The Asmaa James Foundation held its first ever inter-secondary school debate on the use of contraceptives.Teenagers representing four different senior secondary schools debated the pros and cons of making contraceptives available to children under the age of 18. According to Sierra Leone’s laws, a child under the age of 18 can not consent to sex.Yeanoh Bai Kamara a student of Evelyn Royal Academy Senior Secondary School emerged as the winner for this year’s debate competition.First runner up was Seray Marah, Freetown Secondary School for Girls who took the second position, Albertina Johnson of the Vine Memorial Senior Secondary School was the second runner up and Salamatu Johnson of the Saint Joseph Senior Secondary School the third runner up.
Nicky Spencer-Coker, a lawyer and radio personality served as the chief judge for the debate.Mrs. Spencer-Coker said that the debate was an eye opener for her.”There is a lot of information lacking. Teens need to understand what contraceptive are, they need to understand what their sexual organs are external and internal; and they need to understand what reproductive health means,” said Mrs Spencer-Coker.“They need to understand how you get pregnant, and how you don’t get pregnant, and also how you do or don’t get sexually transmitted diseases.”The debate was organized by Mrs Asmaa James, Executive Director & Founder Asmaa James Foundation. She said that creating a platform for girls to discuss and learn about reproductive issues has been a lifelong dream.“It is a shame that there is still so much taboo around reproductive health and sex education especially in our homes,” said Mrs. James.“We hope that those who wanted the debate will recognize the need for serious and committed effort to bring sex education to schools. The more our children know about sex, the better choices they will make.The Asmaa James Foundation improves the lives of girls from marginalized backgrounds by giving them access to reproductive health education, scholarships, mentoring, and life skills training.We also use the media to advocate for policies that positively impact women and girls across Sierra Leone.The AJ Foundation has three flagship programs: Big Sis-Small Sis Toks, Wi Teen Talk Radio Show, and The Pujehun Girls Trust.