Teens bonk because they’re bored

2012-02-24 00:00

THE main reason teens from poorer communities have sex is ­because they’re bored. This was the finding of a recently launched teenage-pregnancy prevention campaign by the NGO Youth of Choice, after talking to local schoolchildren.

The Not Now campaign aims to spread the message of abstinence to teenagers by visiting schools around Pietermaritzburg, and teaching pupils that every action will have future consequences.

The organisation has visited three schools this month, and through their inter­actions, members learnt that the most prevalent ­reason for teenage sex among poorer children is boredom, as well as peer pressure and a lack of positive role models in their community.

“In these poorer communities along the outskirts of Pietermaritzburg, the youth treat sex as a game, and have sex because it is fun,” said Mswane. “They don’t have games and sports facilities or other activities to entertain them, and the government schools in those areas don’t provide after-school activities.”

Aphelele Dladla, a Youth of Choice ambassador and finalist of the Face of Lux 2011 competition, said that the experience of talking to pupils one-on-one has changed her life.

“It’s hard talking to them. Some of them don’t want to hear you when you tell them about the wrongs and rights of their actions. It’s taught me not to judge people because we all come from diff­erent backgrounds. It has also shown me how much the economic climate affects communities.”

“We don’t go to the youth to lecture them,” said Thenjiwe Mswane, a communication intern at Youth of Choice.

“We visit them and ask them questions such as‘why they are having sex. We don’t prescribe how they should live, but show them what could happen.”

Mswane added that the Youth of Choice ­organisation plans to ­return to these schools when it has enough ­finances, and to take its Basketball for Change and Dance to Inspire campaigns to these areas.

Youth of Choice aims to inspire young people to take action on social challenges that they see in their communities, and hopes to become a leading international youth movement, with at least one million young ­people taking ­action and inspiring change by 2030.

The Not Now campaign will be an ongoing campaign and will be visiting different schools throughout the year.

Schools that are interested in the getting involved in the campaign, and for more information, can phone Youth of Choice at 033 342 2394 or ­e-mail info@ youthofchoice.org

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