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Author Topic: Discount NFL Jerseys I woulda tried my luck at a health centre  (Read 9 times)
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« on: February 09, 2018, 04:42:52 pm »

By Desilon DanielsA cry shatters the silence and her eyes instantly jerk open. Beside her,Cheap NFL Jerseys Stitched, her blind mother stirs, but does not wake, as she quietly creeps out of the bed they share, towards her crying baby. With a breast to his mouth, she quiets him, her hands struggling to hold his tiny body as her eyes droop with sleepiness.For Vanessa (name changed), this is just another morning as a teen mother.At the age of 15, Vanessa became pregnant and now struggles each day to overcome all of the challenges of being a very young mother in Guyana. Now 17 years old and a mother to a baby boy, the young woman says that better sexual education and more dialogue about sex would have delayed her pregnancy and allowed it come at a time when she was better prepared to be a mother.Executive Director of the GRPA Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth (right) with GRPA Youth Coordinator Norwell HindsIn an interview with Kaieteur News, Vanessa explained that she had been a student of one of the top secondary schools in Guyana when she became pregnant. Her baby’s father, she said, was a minibus conductor in his early 30’s who actively pursued her until she gave in to him.“He used to hustle me, but I never tek he on. I don’t know what went in my head, but I finally decided to be with him and tek him on,” she said. She said the relationship quickly became sexual. The first time,Cheap Jerseys 2018, she said, a condom was used, but the second and third encounters had been with no form of protection.Vanessa relayed that she never understood why they had stopped using condoms and instead, she said, she had “just went with the flow”. She added that she did not go to a health centre for condoms because she was afraid her mother would “hear back about it”. Further, she said she was unaware of other forms of contraceptives at the time.Vanessa said most of her friends were sexually active and she would seek advice from the more experienced of the lot. She added she never wanted to speak to her mother about it as she did not feel comfortable about raising the subject.Further, she said, her older brother was very protective of her, “especially when it came to boys”. She explained her father had died when she was 11 years old and her brother had been forced to drop out of school at the age of 15 to take care of their blind mother.The GRPA, located on Quamina Street between Main and Carmichael Streets, offers a variety of sexual health services including counseling, pregnancy testing and laboratory services“My mother also became pregnant when she was 14 so my brother really wanted me to avoid repeating the cycle,” she said. She admitted that she would have never spoken with him about sex.Vanessa noted that in Guyana views on sex were still outdated; many of her sexually active friends, she said, were just as scared as her to speak with their parents.“I had friends who were scared to talk to their parents; they would say how they afraid their mothers would kill them. Up to now I don’t think any of them told their parents about their sex lives,” Vanessa said.She added that teenagers were pressured by parents who wanted to believe their children were “better than the rest” and who would wait for marriage until sex.Vanessa said even after she became pregnant the conversation on sex had not been opened to her and instead she had been swamped with negativity from multiple sides. Fortunately, she said, her family was surprisingly supportive though they were clearly disappointed in her. Their support was drastically different from the reactions of many persons,NFL Jerseys Outlet, she said.Her baby’s father, in particular, had become hostile and shut her out. He eventually began avoiding her and to this day he is mostly absent from their son’s life, except through a monthly stipend paid through the courts, she said.His immediate reaction on learning of her pregnancy was to suggest an abortion.“When I told him I was pregnant, he told me to throw it away and he said he would give me a pill to drink,” Vanessa recounted. She admitted that in that moment she had wanted to take the pill and kill her baby, but the older man had never come through on the promise. “I wanted to get rid of the baby; I wanted to just drink the pill and get rid of it and my mom would never know,Air Max 90 Black And White,” the young woman said.A TABOOAccording to Patricia Sheerattan-Bisnauth, Executive Director of the Guyana Responsible Parenthood Association (GRPA), Vanessa’s situation is not a new one as the subject of sex in Guyana is still considered a taboo.“Guyana is old-fashioned, but that’s because we are still very much based on Victorian customs and norms, which are quite influential on how we think about sex and sexual behaviour,” the GRPA executive said.“Coupled with that, our religions…are still very much in a colonised form. We haven’t really been freed of this kind of framework in which we’re living or in which we find ourselves; we haven’t been emancipated from all of that…In many ways, it’s surprising and worrying that we are so steadfast on these principles,” she said.Sheerattan-Bisnauth further said that Guyana’s society was a dualistic one and the idea was backed up by GRPA Youth Coordinator, Norwell Hinds.Hinds opined that though Guyana’s culture was very sexualised, it did not facilitate open conversations with young people on sex.“So, there’s this paradox where young people are faced and exposed to sex and sexuality in their daily lives…and yet there isn’t a space or scope to discuss sex and sexuality. So this becomes a paradox and an issue,” he said.“It’s amazing in Guyana that we can think and prescribe that this is the right way,” Sheerattan-Bisnauth added. She continued, “We live in this kind of dualistic way, especially religious people. People are opposed to talking openly about sex because sex is very much a taboo and we are still holding very much to that.”She said there is a misconception that talking about sex with children will make them more sexual.“People think that if we talk about sex – if you teach children sex education in a comprehensive way – they’re going to want to go have sex. So what do we do instead of talking about it? We keep it in a dark corner and hide it away. But that is problematic, as the whole society is highly sexualised – sex is everywhere! – yet there is no healthy place for teaching that would be helpful,” she opined.Sheerattan-Bisnauth emphasised that this “closed off approach” was dangerous, particularly for teenagers who are going through changes and who are still struggling to find their sense of self. “Who do they talk to about that? They really have to come up with their own understanding and they very much rely on social media and other forms of information; oftentimes, they get a lot of information from each other,” she pointed out.CHANGING THE CULTUREFor Vanessa, being able to openly speak about her situation allowed her to grow and become a better person, though she still struggles each day with being a teen mother.Vanessa said she was forced to drop out of school and had fallen ill soon after she gave birth. She said too that she had to battle with depression and discrimination and began to seek solace in the comfort of her home. She quickly lost many of her friends, she said.“It’s really tough being a teenage mother; everyone is just looking down at you,” the young mother said, before adding, “I used to be locked up in the house because I was so ashamed but eventually I met other teen mothers in worse situations than I was and heard their stories and I decided to walk with my head high.”Vanessa said she joined a women’s support group, which helped her cope with what was in store for a teen mother. She also said she soon learnt about how she could protect herself from another unplanned pregnancy and how to understand sex and sexuality better.Sheerattan-Bisnauth and Hinds said the GRPA is working on building avenues of support for teenagers.According to the GRPA representatives, plans are underway to improve the number of young people who have access to sex education. One of the association’s goals will be to target parents.Hinds said although young persons were the ones most affected, it was equally important to target adults in an attempt to change sex from a taboo to a topic open to discussion.Only then, he said, will sex education be comprehensively dealt with in Guyana and only then will many of the societal issues, including teenage pregnancy, be tackled.“We’ve been doing a bit of advocacy and we plan to target parents. The main focus is on youths, but we are going to be targeting more the parent-teacher associations and also the community groups that we work with, because it’s very important,” Sheerattan-Bisnauth explained.She further said teachers and religious bodies will be targeted as part of GRPA’s advocacy plans.“Many of the teachers are unable to deliver this kind of education because they themselves have the same problems with these issues. They are ill-prepared to really handle it so I believe that could be one of our major problems. The religious bodies have also been a part of the problem because the system is stagnated and people are just not comfortable with talking about sex,” she opined.Along with improved dialogue, the GRPA is hoping for increased access to sexual education through the introduction of “healthy spaces” such as informal settings and non-traditional institutions.“What we have witnessed here at GRPA is that when young people are engaged with each other and have the opportunity to engage in conversations with each other on sex and sexuality and share correct information on their own bodies and sexual lives, then they are more likely to make more responsible decisions. Young people are asking for those spaces,” Hinds said.He said young people are constantly asking questions on sex,Cheap Jerseys, many of these questions on the basics of sex. Hinds and Sheeratan-Bisnauth said they are unsurprised by the level of misunderstanding shown by teens in relation to sex. “This is why we’re strong advocates for sexual education in schools,” Hinds added.Further, Sheeratan-Bisnauth said there is need for age-appropriate sexual education from an early age. “The education should start early, from a young age, but it should be appropriate. It should be mandatory that parents share this sort of information,” she said.Hinds noted that sexual education should be tackled through a multi-sectoral approach,Cheap Jerseys China, but in the meantime GRPA will work towards increasing the number of youths who have direct access to sex education and services offered by the organization.“Young people need to know that they can have access to a number of services, including counseling services. Sometimes it’s just as simple as that,” Hinds said.  He further said that youths need to know that it is their responsibility to “safeguard their sexual health”.“Education is one approach, service is another, but most important is advocacy, because this is an issue that has very little focus on it. It’s time we reposition this conversation within the national discourse so we can put a focus on sexual rights and sexual health,” Hinds said.Vanessa too emphasised the importance of sex education and advised both young women and men to take control of their reproductive health.“Girls, educate yourself about sex; not because a guy says he loves you means you have to have sex with him. If you really want to, then protect yourself; get contraceptives from the hospital and there are workshops where you can learn more about sex. Approach your parents, if necessary, or someone you’re comfortable with. Seek advice and definitely educate yourself,” she said.The 17-year-old told Kaieteur News she is looking for a job and is struggling to do so. Following her son’s birth, Vanessa said she wrote English and Mathematics at the CSEC examination and passed with a Grade Two and a Grade Three, respectively.“I’m hoping right now that it’s my age that’s keeping me from getting a job. Maybe they want more qualifications, but I haven’t got any job offers,” she said. Further, she said, her son will turn 2 years old later this year, but is not yet enrolled in a daycare service because she cannot afford it. Instead, she seeks the help of her grandmother and mother.“If I had better sex education I woulda been able to prevent this; if I had more education about sex I would not have gotten pregnant. I would have been able to have my condoms on me, so if he said he didn’t have, I would have still been able to protect myself  ‘cause I woulda had one on me. Or, if I had been more educated, I woulda tried my luck at a health centre,” Vanessa maintained. “But what’s in the past is in the past and I just have to keep it there and look to the future,” she said.
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