Ian, a student of St Peters WAUNIFOR High School in Uasin Gishu County, Ainabkoi, Sub County was an average student, with average marks in his examinations. Lately his teachers have noticed a great improvement not only on his grades but also his overall behavior. He has been one of the members of the SEAL Club that was established by I Choose Life Africa (ICL)The SEAL project which aims at improving the health outcomes of young people, strengthens the social determinants that affect their health.
The project in its third year, has seen Ian not only improve is academics grades but also start a small business of selling Tomatoes and Vegetables where he makes KShs 100 a day, that has enable him acquire stationery, which he would previously been sent home to get if he did not have. “He has tremendously improved in the studies as well as his overall behavior” said his class teacher, Mr Chemos.
The project also trains parents in entrepreneurship as well as empowers them to start Table Banking initiatives for sustainable income through pooling resources together for investment. “I have been able to start selling Fries during the school holiday and has supplemented my school fee, which previously my parents were struggling to pay” said Shanice another member of the SEAL Club at the same school.
The transition rate of the school from Form one to Form four is only at 42%. “In 2017 five girls did their examination while pregnant. One of those was delivering a second child. In 2018, one student was pregnant but delivered before the exams,” said Mr Chemos who also doubles up as the patron of the SEAL Club
With the work the SEAL Project is doing, parents are now more involved in the school and are happy to know that their children learn more about Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) including life skills that coulee help them over and beyond school.
The training the students have gotten from the project has helped them not engaged in risky sexual behavior as the levels of unintended pregnancy has drastically been reduced. Also, motivation, astuteness and confidence has improved as including school absenteeism among students. 15 other students have committed to start business which would help them keep busy as well as supplement the little allowance they are given by their parents.
Before I joined the club, I had five girlfriends but after undergoing the trainings of the SEAL Club, I have concentrated by efforts on my studies as well as resolved to stop the all the unhealthy relationships in my life” said Ferdiand Ouma.
The students reiterated the need for ICL to visit more including organizing inter-schools debate on thematic issues surrounding sexual reproductive health and rights including rising up a No Corruption Generation (NCG). Calls for visitation and establishing a platform where students could showcase their talents were raised including supporting them to start an income generating activity for the club which would go along way to supplement and run the activities of the club when the project ends.