With the continuous increase in peer pressure making adolescents and young adults engage in things they would not do if better informed, the Nigerian Urban Reproductive Health Initiatives (NURHI) is providing life skills that would build their self esteem and prevent them from succumbing to such pressures.
State Team Leader Kaduna NURHI, Dr. Kabiru Abdullahi expressed this in his remarks at the LPAY sensitization workshop for journalists in Kaduna on Tuesday July 17, 2018.
“Just like in some climes, peers tell the others that if you don’t have gonorrhea, you are not man enough. Those old perception is what we are set to change. The old order that to be masculine is that you have to go all out and conquer girls. Life skills help you to manage the attraction you feel from the opposite sex.
“If they are together, because of pressure of experimenting, they can make mistakes
“Life skills tell you how to overcome such peer pressure, how to say no, how to build on your self esteem by not allowing peers to make you do things you don’t want to do.,” he said.
The team leader explained that the constitution recognizes that below 18 you are a minor, above 18 adult, hence, they provide information to minors on, while information and services are provided to young adults.
“We also have a large number of married adolescents. But those between 15 to 17 years are considered minors. We have large numbers of adolescent that are brought in to access child birth spacing services. They can’t access service without consent of a guardian.
“While the provision is to provide information for minors, they can only be provided services with a guardian.
“The second age group, 18 to 24, constitutionally they can access services without a guardian or parent.
“NURHI is providing information for people that are minors and information and services for those that are adults,” he said.
He explained that they harp on abstinence, teaching of life skills that gives them opportunity to say ‘not now’ when approached for sex.
” Issues of attraction occur between both sexes at a very age and how to relief of pressure from peers.
“However, if you make mistakes, how you can go about it. If you know the number of women that die form abortion from quacks,” he added.
He pointed out that life planning takes precautions right from puberty.
“We are interested in that window where a lot of young people make mistakes, but if they make mistakes, they would know where to go to correct it. When a young man makes mistakes, he goes on with his life, but when a girl makes mistakes, it may go on into the next generation,” he added.
He advised that in dealing with adolescents, you need to actually listen to them and get part of solutions from them.
“You have to make them your friends and come to their age, be one of them and correct them.
“Raising an adolescent at this age is not easy. You have to be close to the child otherwise you will lose them to someone who is brainwashing them,” he added.
He further advised that if you come into contact with young people, try to understand them first before attempting to influence them.