Reigning Miss World-Africa Quiin Abenankyo has called on teenage mothers across the country to return to school after giving birth in order to better their future.
Abenankyo, who was speaking during the first ‘Switch On’ event in Mayuge District this week also urged parents to make sure that their children complete a full cycle of education.
Switch On is part of a ‘Power a Home’ campaign imitated by the Empowering the Future Foundation (EFF) in partnership with Village Power Uganda, Miss Uganda Foundation and MAAD Advertising. It seeks to empower 10,000 vulnerable rural families in Uganda with Solar energy and is set to light the first 100 vulnerable homes in Uganda.
The campaign that was launched during a fundraiser breakfast on March 26 in Kampala.
EFF is a not for profit organization created with the aim of creating partnerships that actively work towards improving the lives of less privileged individuals in society, and to promote and support a range of environmentally friendly and renewable energy projects and initiatives with the long-term view of making the areas we work in carbon neutral communities.
“I come from the Eastern part of Uganda, a region with the highest rate of teenage pregnancies, where one out of four of 13-17 year old girls are either pregnant or mothers,” she said.
“I want to encourage teenage mothers to go back to school by providing resources and skills. When you educate a girl, you educate the entire community!’’ she said.
Sumaya Kiwanuka, the Project Manager of Power A Home campaign reaffirmed the Foundation’s commitment to keeping a girl in school and creating a positive impact in the society. “Many homes in the rural areas do not have access to electricity and this leads to many children especially girls dropping out of school and getting pregnant among other things. We shall work with the Miss Uganda Foundation to ensure that the girl child stays in school,” she said. “We also want every disadvantaged family to have access to electricity for positive development.”
Ali Balunywa, the Managing Director Village Power Uganda highlighted the health and safety issues that come with using traditional lighting methods.
“The fumes inhaled and domestic fires that could be started by tadobas pose a health and safety risk to the members of these families. Village Power wants to provide a safer lighting solution for Ugandans through provision of quality solar products. Solar is clean renewable energy and is safe for your health and the environment,” Balunywa said.
The event was graced by Aggrey Bagiire, the Member of Parliament Mayuge District who expressed his gratitude to the teams behind the ‘’Power a Home’’ Campaign.
“I’d like to thank you for choosing Mayuge District as a beneficiary of this campaign. I pledge my support to this campaign as we light up 10,000 rural homes in Uganda,” he said.