The theme for International Youth Day 2019 is Transforming Education and will highlight the different efforts to make education more inclusive and accessible for all youth, including efforts by youth themselves. Rooted in Goal 4 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all”, International Youth Day 2019 will examine how Governments, young people and youth-led and youth-focused organizations, as well as other stakeholders, are transforming education so that it becomes a powerful tool to achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Indeed the Education Sector plays a critical role in shaping the behaviors of young people and is therefore a key partner in the prevention of HIV, STIs and unintended pregnancies. This is largely so because a large population of young people who are in school. Investing in their education through the provision of Sexuality Education and Reproductive Health information increases the potential and opportunity of reaching out to young people enabling them to access good quality education and to develop skills to make healthy behavior choices. However, we are living in a fast changing world in which attitudes towards sexuality and procreation are evolving by the day, a situation in which globally 20,000 girls below the age of 18 are reported to give birth daily, according to the State of the World Population Report 2013. Uganda is an extremely youthful nation with 48% comprising of young people less than 15 years of age. Coupled with a higher birth rate, the country has the highest teenage pregnancy rates in Africa standing at 25%. Global studies estimate that about 70,000 adolescent girls continue to die from complications related to pregnancy and child birth whilst many who survive days of obstructed labour end up with complications like obstetrics fistulas. Cited causes of teenage pregnancy in Uganda are linked to early sexual exposure for girls, forced child marriages, coerced first sexual intercourse, family situations for the adolescent girls and limited access to sexuality education and reproductive health services.
It is against this background that YEC and partners are yet again organizing the 3rd international Youth Day Run on the Saturday 10th of August 2019 to spotlight nhow investing in Sexual Reproductive Health and Right of Young can the Transforming the Education outcomes and achieve the Demographic Dividend.