Marcy (22): “I teach girls about the importance of family planning” – #IDECIDE4MYSELF

This week we’re sharing young people’s stories from all over the world, in which they tell us about their sexual experiences and the role of self-empowerment. Marcy (22), from Kenya, has been through two unplanned pregnancies. Now she spends her time teaching and advising young girls about family planning.

My personal experience

I became pregnant when I was 17. I couldn’t keep the baby so I had to have an abortion. The abortion was done poorly and was incomplete, so it was a very painful experience. I became very sick after that; I thought I was going to die. That is when I came to the clinic, where I was taken care of by Dr. Agri. Dr. Agri told me then about the importance of family planning, but I didn’t pay attention because my friends had told me that contraceptives can make you put on weight. That’s a myth, but I believed it and didn’t go back to the clinic. In 2017, I started having doubts, and decided to go back to the clinic for the contraceptives, but in order to get them I had to take a pregnancy test.

That’s when I found out that I was pregnant again. I was still at school and wanted to have another abortion, but Agri told me that he wanted me to carry the baby, in spite of the challenges. It’s very hard for me to survive with this child. I’m still struggling. But Dr. Agni also inspired me.

My story of self-empowerment

I want to inspire other girls like Dr. Agri has inspired me, to make sure that they don’t have to get an abortion or have children at an early age. I now give sessions twice a week where I talk to young girls about contraception. It makes me happy to see that a lot of the girls are now on the pill, take injections, or have an implant. It makes me feel proud that I can use my voice.

Are you inspired by this story about sex and empowerment?

Research shows that young people who feel empowered are more able to make positive sexual choices. That is why Dance4Life offers an innovative curriculum co-created with young people for young people: the Journey4Life. A journey in which they increase their confidence and feel enabled to make healthy choices about their sex lives and relationships. Dance, music and personal stories are important elements.