By Stephen Adeleye
An NGO, Iko-Josh Empowerment Foundation (I-JEF), on Saturday sensitised vulnerable teenage children in Kogi on health education and personal hygiene to ensure a healthy living and avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Speaking at the event at Lokongoma Primary School Lokoja, the Executive Director of I-JEF, Mr Reuben Joshua, said the programme was a community awareness campaign on adolescent reproductive health education and personal hygiene for vulnerable children between age 10 to 17 years.
He said the aim was to be able to raise change agents within the age cycle of 10 to 17 years, that would influence their peers positively in terms hygiene and sex education.
He stressed that the children would be able to talk to their peers and educate them on what they had learnt about sex education and personal hygiene.
”So, we are grooming them to become change agents in their own generation, because when they talk to each other it has more effect than that of adults.
”Instead of falling to peer pressure negatively, others will fall to their own peer pressure positively because of what they had been taught,” he said.
Joshua assured that the community awareness campaign would be a regular event aimed at raising change agents in terms of sex education and personal hygiene in the society.
In their lectures, Corps Members: Miss Faithful Wealth and Peace Okpala, who spoke on ”Sex Education” and ”Personal Hygiene” respectively, urged the children to be responsible.
Okpala advised the children to always maintain good personal hygiene to avoid strange body odour and build self confident in the future.
She urged them to take care of every part of their body such as the hair, mouth, nails, armpit, private parts, and ensure thorough and regular bathing.
She advised parents especially mothers to take out time to watch and guide their children in maintaining good personal hygiene as well as sex education.
On her part, Wealth advised the girls to focus on their education, career and should not be distracted by boys or social media.
She advised parents to stop been too harsh on their children, but to be open to them to enable them freely express themselves.
A participant, Stella Okpanachi, 16 years old, commended the foundation for educating them in the areas of sex education and personal hygiene.
According to her, the sensitisation have positioned them better as teenagers to focus on their studies, preserve and protect themselves against negative peer pressure and unwanted pregnancy.
She promised to put what she had learnt into practice and also teach her friends in school when they resume.