The First Lady and Minister of Education and Sports Janet Museveni has said youth in Uganda have to be able to change with life in order to be able to overcome some of the challenges that come with living.
The minister, who was speaking at a dialogue organized by the Uganda Youth Forum and KCCA, gave an example of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has disrupted our social and economic lives.
"... I would like to add one more skill to your set of skills, and that is the skill called adaptability. For example, during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic, many things have happened which have upset our normal way of life," she said.
Please know that your children’s home is their sanctuary;therefore, the adults in the family need to treat each other respectfully, demonstrating that no violence - physical or verbal–is tolerated,thus setting an example to the children and inspiring confidence in them.— Janet K Museveni (@JanetMuseveni) August 27, 2020
According to the First Lady, "if you add adaptability to your other skills, it will enable you to bounce back more quickly from adversity."
"Bad things happen in life to all of us," she went on. "But if we learn to be flexible and adaptable, we will take adversity in our stride and not let it destroy us or our destiny."
The dialogue run under the theme, “Positioning urban youth for socio-economic transformation amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic”.
Janet Museveni also appealed to the youth to play a part in sensitizing the community against domestic violence and also report cases in that line.
"I believe you have been hearing media reports concerning cases of domestic violence which have reached alarming levels during this period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the closure of schools, organizations that work with communities have all confirmed that they have witnessed a significant increase in the risks for children, adolescents, and youth," she said.
"My appeal to each one of you, therefore, is that you make yourselves available to your community and become part of the effort to counter and mitigate these very negative forces that are threatening a whole generation of children," she added.
"Finally, my heartfelt appeal is to the parents, the families, and the communities, upon whom these children depend and look to for love, care, and guidance. Please know that your children’s home is their sanctuary; therefore, the adults in the family need to treat each other respectfully, demonstrating that no violence - physical or verbal – is tolerated, thus setting an example to the children and inspiring confidence in them regarding their security."
Over 21000 cases of child abuse were registered within the five months of the lockdown, the Minister of ICT & National Guidance Judith Nabakooba recently said.
She said that there were increased cases of teenage pregnancies in communities across the country. In some of these cases, both the girl and the boy are under age.
According to the minister, since the COVID-19 period in March, some of the areas with the highest number of cases include Kamuli, Gulu, Naggalama, Kiryandongo, and Jinja Road policing areas in Kampala.
“During the peak of the lockdown between March, April, May and the Months of June and July, a total of twenty-one thousand, two hundred sixty cases of child abuse were reported to police, (21,260),” she said.
“Out of these more than half of them involved situation of children being abused from home.”
Apart from early pregnancies, cases of child marriage have also soared, with underage girls being sold off into marriage in exchange for money and other commodities. “We are seeing an increase in cases of defilement and rape,” Nabakooba said.
It remains unclear when schools will be reopened.