From: joachim omolo ouko
News Dispatch with Father Omolo Beste

Claris from Naivasha writes: “Fr Omolo Beste I read your article (attached here) on BISHOP OBALLA’S MESSAGE TO THE YOUTH ON MORAL and found it enriching. I agree with the bishop that youth should keep to moral values and self-discipline as the only way to keep off from sexual immorality.

I have brought this argument Fr Omolo because of the Reproductive Health Care Bill sponsored by nominated Senator Judith Sijeny, of which if passed it be possible for school children as young as 10 years old to have access to contraceptives, including condoms.

As a parent I am so upset. Can you imagine Father that parental consent is not mandatory for the children to access the contraceptives if the bill which is before the Senate is passed? Could it be that this bill is pushed by PSI? This organization has been spearheading the condoms adverts in Kenya even to children”.

Thank you Claris for this good question. You are not very far from the truth. PSI was registered in Kenya as an international non-governmental organization in 1989. Since then, PSI/Kenya has been implementing social marketing programs to address HIV and Aids, reproductive health, malaria and child health promotion.

Their programme seeks to promote safer sexual behaviour among younger and middle aged individuals through social marketing and behaviour change through increase of and access to availability of condoms.

This is the very organization that led to a public outcry last year with their television advertisement on condom usage even to married couples who cheat on each other. This year they have continued with similar adverts. This time they have included young people in the adverts.

Among people who have opposed the bill include Education Cabinet Secretary Jacob Kaimenyi who said the ministry would not allow “introduction of immorality” to young school children by any institution or law.

Like Bishop John Oballa, Kaimenyi says his ministry has an obligation to educate all children and promote good values and we will not be dragged in attempts to propagate bad teachings in schools.

The Kenya National Parents and Teachers Association (KNPTA) has also opposed to it. The Kenya Primary School Heads Association (Kepsha) also rejected the proposed law arguing children should be kept away from contraceptives.

The Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) National Chairman, who is also the Principal of St. Mary’s Yala Secondary School, John Awiti has also rejected it. Awiti who is devout Catholic and my parishioner from St. Mark’s Obambo Catholic Church, Archdiocese of Kisumu, says is a mistake because innocent children will become curious and they will start experimenting and that will compromise their morality.

Awiti argues that all parents, teachers and other persons who play a role in bringing up the children must allow the children to grow naturally through proper guidance if we still intend to have a sane society in future.

“Why do we even allow this to be part of national debate?” Awiti asked, telling MPs to focus on pressing issues. On his part, Kenya Union of Post Primary Education Teachers (Kuppet) National Chairman Omboko Milemba warned the Senate against passing the Bill, arguing it would encourage moral decadence.

According to Senator Sijeny, the Bill is very important because it seeks the development of a system that is aware that many children are exposed to situations that could lead to risky sexual behaviour.

Her argument is that 10 years old girl is already sexually active and it is her right to fulfill her sexual desires through intercourse just like other sexually active adults. Although it sounds as if foreign NGO’s, including PSI are behind the bill, the Senator said the Bill was her own creation and not sponsored or pushed by any third party.

Fr Joachim Omolo Ouko, AJ
Tel +254 7350 14559/+254 722 623 578
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