2022 Teens Dream - Swim to kick Sexual Harassment out of our Schools
I have a burning desire in me to become a courageous global opponent against sexual harassment in schools.
A Uganda government study published on 25th Jan 2015 reported that 78% of school girls were facing sexual harassment in schools. I reviewed several other online articles which revealed that sexual harassment in schools is not a challenge for Africa only but rather a global pandemic.
Sexual harassment in Schools is a very serious issue that causes dangerous effects on the well being and academic performance of students who experience it. It takes many forms including verbal abuse, physical assault, unwanted sexual advances and rape. It has a long term psychological effect on students such as loss of esteem, depression and anxiety.
As Uganda’s young superstar swimmer, I dream of changing the narrative of swimming competitions globally from being a sporting activity that generates fun to begin addressing the most challenging humanitarian concerns affecting the globe like sexual harassment which is at the bottom of my heart.
This dream pushed me and I founded a project called “Swim to Kick Sexual Harassment out of our Schools”
Every game and every medal I win, I dedicate it to students facing sexual harassment in school and for every financial benefit that comes with every medal, I use it to conduct school outreaches inspiring girls and boys in different schools not to stay silent but to speak up. I also conduct trainings with student leaders in participating schools to train their peers in life skills to be able to contain sexual harassment in schools before it occurs.
I am also carrying out a fundraiser to complete a community swimming pool project I started at my school. This swimming pool will gather the most-at-risk community teenage girls during the long school holidays to provide them with swimming lessons and life planning skills in order to be able to identify who wants to sexually harass them. Moreover the swimming pool will keep them busy and help them to avoid temptations of engaging in risky sexual relationships which young people usually have during the long school holidays. In this way I will be able to save them from contracting STIs, HIV and teenage pregnancies which could lead them to drop out of school.
My project is aligned with Sustainable Development Goal No. 3 (to achieve Good health and well being) and No. 4 (which seeks to achieve Quality Education) by 2030. We will never be able to achieve Goal No.3 if our learners are depressed, anxious and have lost self esteem because they are sexually harassed at school. Neither shall we attain Goal No.4 if teachers in schools are turning their learners into sex objects to quench their weird and un tamable sexual desires.