By Anino Aganbi
The teenage life festival 2014 was tagged with the theme “Assuring the well being and development of out of school girls was organized by the action health incorporation (AHI).
AHI has been dedicated to promoting young health and development, by informing public policy debates, implementing innovative education and healthcare programs and raising a new generation of youth responsive professionals. It serves as an advocate and catalyst for change in favor of youth well-being in Nigeria .
The Teenage festival of life (TFL) was conceptualized by AHI in 1993 as an avenue to bridge the communication gap between the youth and adults on sexuality issues and the challenges of growing up. TFL provides a platform for the youth to acquire knowledge and share their viewpoints on the years designated theme, using the creative arts (drama, songs, poetry, and essay) as a medium.
The competitive presentations in song, drama, poetry and essay explored the experiences of the out of school adolescent girls, health challenges ,developmental challenges ,implication of health and developmental challenges, and the role of Government and other stakeholders in assuring the health and development of adolescent out of school girls
Dr Essiet stated that “Many girls are daily denied their basic human rights, as well as the education, health and skills investments which would enable them to live healthy lives and achieve their potential. In the case of out of school adolescent girls, there are various subsets in this group such as, Married Adolescents, Out of School Adolescent Girls exposed to forced labor, Out of school adolescent girls living in slum communities and out of school adolescent girls trafficked and engaged as domestic help” “The Challenges faced by them include, social isolation, discrimination, physical violence, sexuaxploitation, neglect and all forms of discrimination which not only infringes their fundamental human rights but is counter-productive to personal and national development. These abuses are further compounded in poor and socially disadvantaged or slum communities” He disclosed.