I have embraced modern family planning to plan for my future

Sakina Kassim who is 18 years old, was only 10 when she went to stay with her sister who was married in Mombasa, as her mother struggled to support her seven siblings. “As I grew up, my sister did not manage to send me to school and insisted that I work at home for them due to the little income my in-law (shemegi) was earning.” At the age of 16, Sakina would frequent bars and discos. “One day I met a man who promised to take good care of me despite being 10 years older than me. A few months later, I started to feel strange and told a friend who used to visit that I suspected I was pregnant.

I was so afraid; I did not know what to do because I felt with my age and situation I could not handle the pressure of becoming a parent. When I told my boyfriend that I suspected that I was pregnant he kicked me out of the house and changed his address” she revealed. This was a devastating moment in her life.

“I faced many challenges beyond my age. I was not ready to have this baby considering my financial situation. I tried many ways to abort the child or kill myself, but it did not happen. I was afraid to tell my mother, so I went back to my sister and she allowed me to live with her.” Living with her sister was not easy as they were constantly fighting and Sakina was always blamed as the cause of her sister’s rocky marriage.

“I eventually had my child and started working as a fishmonger in order to support her. One day I was invited to a dialogue session by a youth CHV called Teddy Ruwa, in Shimo la Tewa Annex Dispensary, I attended the dialogue in the hope that I would receive some allowance. But this was a blessing in disguise because though I have been hearing people talking about Family planning “Kipanga Uzazi’ I had never been keen to understand how the different methods work and the best method to use for my age and I felt I was at risk of getting pregnant again,” she said.

Thanks to the DESIP program, Sakina was able to learn more about family planning and is currently using a five-year family planning method. “So far it has not affected me in any way. In the beginning, I was afraid due to fake rumors from the society but from my experience, family planning is the best thing for us youths to fight against early and unplanned pregnancy.”

She urges teenagers and the youths to keep on attending DESIP program classes. “My future may seem ruined but I plan to continue with my education once my daughter starts school. I wouldn’t want to see her make the same mistakes I did,” she noted.

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