Carol Wambua, championing youth health at the Machakos County Assembly

Carol Wambua’s passion in championing for the rights of young people’s Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights (SRHR) drove her to apply and later join the SEAL program by I Choose Life Africa supported by Children Mission Africa. “In my community, many young girls are victims of unintended pregnancies, which results to school drop outs and early marriages. Some end up seeking unsafe abortion which is a threat to their lives.” Carol Said, in a interview. “This is because they are not able to access SRHR services due to inadequate knowledge and youth friendly services. The government has also not allocated budget for young people’s SRHR needs.” She added.

“I joined SEAL program in March 2017 and was trained as a SEAL. The training was eye opening to me as we were taken through the; Sexual reproductive health, Education, Access to employment, & Leadership and governance training. I was challenged by the SEALs motto “Empower 10, Reach 100!” and decided to use my advocacy skills to agitate for the young peoples’ Sexual Reproductive Health & Rights in Machakos County.”

Carol Wambua at the Kang’undo Youth Resource center

Her communication, leadership & governance skills which she had gained from the SEAL program enabled her to vie as a Member of County Assembly (MCA) youth representative. She was the only female vying for the position, against  three other male candidates. She got discouraged by the  patriarchal society in her community  from vying but persisted and campaigned in all corners of the ward. In the August 2018  she was declared the winner and sworn – in on September that year.

As an MCA youth representative for Kang’undo Central ward, she has been able to champion for a budget allocation for young peoples’ SRHR needs at the ward level. The funds (KES 3,000,000) will be spent during  2018/2019 financial year to establish and equip a Youth Friendly Service Centres. The centres will provide SRHR services to the young people which include HIV testing and counselling & treatment, contraceptives, cervical cancer & STI screening. “In 2019 I intend to present a bill in the Machakos County Youth Assembly to ensure all other wards in Machakos have youth friendly service centres. This can only be achieved if we have more support from partners and friends to actualize the dream of reducing teenage pregnancies and HIV incidences among our girls” Carol  added.