“My most memorable part of YYGS was the Family Time. Much as we were virtual, there was a special connection with people miles away. It was mind blowing talking about our beliefs, and learning each other’s languages. We were challenged to break down all the stereotypes we possessed about each other and demystifed all of them. And to crown the whole experience, we made our yearbook. It’s the only tangible memory I have of my virtual YYGS, and it teaches me this one thing: Miles and miles away we might be, but our willingness to come together and have fun is insurmountable.”
During my simulation in YYGS, we tackled problems that were intensified by the pandemic in the lesser developed areas, like education. Uganda is a country with about 68% school dropout rate. Afterwards, I personally sat down and searched about what could be the missing link in fighting school drop-outs in my country. Our education system is one where you repeat a grade you have performed unsatisfactorily. As a result, girls reach age 18 before completing school, and are quietly whisked off to marriage. Instead of rejoicing upon reaching consent, they dread it. And the sadder bit is when the law cannot fight for them because they are already adults. There is that perception that forced marriages affect only children below age 18, and the young adults are left hanging in space.
I have written an article highlighting the plight of these girls, yet to be published. And I cannot wait for these girls to stay in school even after consent age, because they have their own part to play in the future.