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Lowestoft volunteer shares experience teaching sex education in Africa

PUBLISHED: 09:33 09 October 2019 | UPDATED: 09:33 09 October 2019

James Boosey travelled to Kenya in June this year via the government funded International Citizen Service programme. Picture: Contributed by ICS

James Boosey travelled to Kenya in June this year via the government funded International Citizen Service programme. Picture: Contributed by ICS

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A Lowestoft man has shared his eye-opening experience teaching sex education in Africa.

James Boosey travelled to Kenya in June this year via the government funded International Citizen Service (ICS) programme. As part of the programme, the 24-year-old lived with a host family, was embedded in the community and ushered around the village by 80-year-old local man named Edward.

Mr Boosey said: "In my community, barriers to education were a big problem. Many young girls do not go to school when they start their period as they can not afford sanitary products."

To combat this, he organised a fundraiser with his volunteer team to buy 300 menstrual cups for the women in the community as they couldn't afford sanitary products.

"Menstrual cups last for 10 years and are more hygienic than other methods, and with this project we hope we can increase school participation among girls in the long term.

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"Early pregnancy was also another major issue. This not only forces young girls to leave school, but can also be very damaging to their health. Indeed, complications during pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death for girls aged 15 to 19 globally."

The volunteers held sex education sessions in the school and taught pupils about topics such as contraception and STIs.

He said: "There were many aspects of my volunteering that I enjoyed. I was part of a great team, and working and building relationships with members of the local community was very rewarding.

"I was particularly proud of a project I managed with two others working with the elderly. We raised some funds to purchase blankets and bar soap for people who had been neglected by others in the local area and were struggling."

He said Edward showed him around the local village for three hours introducing the volunteer to elderly people and translating.

"With his help we invited around 30 guests to a day in celebration of the elderly where we held talks on sanitation and offered refreshments along with the gifts.

"We also had money left over for the next cycle of volunteers to use towards working with the elderly."

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