RCRA will leverage gardening as an entry point for increasing information and access to quality sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services with a focus on adolescent mothers participating in its current community garden program.
The main outcomes of this project are to increase access to community-based interventions that will promote safe sexual and reproductive health care practices for those populations that are at highest risk—poor, rural, and young. The project addresses young mothers’ exacerbated need for resources to sustain themselves and their families and promotes practical means that lessen their vulnerability, including peer support, access to economic resources, and shifts in cultural norms that supports women and girls’ bodily autonomy. As it seeks to address root causes of these issues, including poverty, lack of food, and limited intra-community socialization, the project seeks to directly improve the underlying inequities that contribute to poor sexual and reproductive health outcomes and limited opportunities for adolescent girls in rural communities and generate learning to apply to similar contexts elsewhere around the world.
In Kasese District, Western Uganda adolescent girls face numerous barriers to accessing sexual and reproductive health care and to attaining economic self-sufficiency. In 2020, Kasese had the third highest teenage pregnancy rate in the nation, and more than half of the district’s households are classified as “moderately to extremely poor.” Transactional sex, or noncommercial, nonmarital sexual relationships motivated by an implicit assumption that sex will be exchanged for material support or other benefits, has been identified as a primary correlation to the elevated rates of sexually transmitted infections, including HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.
Rwenzori Center for Research and Advocacy (RCRA)
Youth, Abortion, Family Planning