A Young Couple Uses and Promotes Family Planning in Their Community
Kizza Kedekiya and Katusemi Evelyne, residents of Bukona Village, Hoima District, were in their late teens when they married. Five years later, they have two healthy little girls. Kizza, a farmer, and Katusemi, a nursery school teacher, are happy in life. They believe that raising two children is already a large responsibility for them, so for now, they use hormonal implants to keep their family small.
In July 2015, the district health office and EngenderHealth chose their youth group—the Bukona Youth Development Group—to mobilize youth leaders to disseminate messages about family planning in the community, especially among youth aged 10–24. They believed in the messages and immediately signed up to be a part of the initiative.
“We felt the need to be role models and examples to other married youth in our community. That is how we became peer educators in the group,”says Katusemi. After some basic training, the dedicated couple moved from house to house to inform youth and other community members about the importance of family planning. They also spread the word when health providers periodically came for special family planning youth days. The couple say that many youth are happy to have family planning information and methods, especially in youth-friendly spots outside the usual clinic settings.
In her role as a peer educator, Katusemi says that her biggest challenge is tackling misconceptions about family planning methods in the community. In their volunteer role, the couple discuss the benefits of family planning overall and take questions about health issues during youth group meetings, drama activities, and community and religious leader meetings. Katusemi says that she saves the more technical health issues for when the health workers from Kigorobya Health Center IV come to provide services to youth in the community. She adds that the entire Bukona Youth Development Group is proud of their leadership on sexual and reproductive health issues. She says, “I believe we have sufficient information to clear up myths and misconceptions that block others from using family planning methods. It’s not foreign to us like it used to be.”
According to Katusemi, she and her husband are confident that their role as peer educators yields positive results for youth in their community.