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Archbishop Urges Parents to Mentor Children During Festive Season

“Dear parents, you have a very big role to play; a very big one, the role of mentoring these children from young age upto the time they are big and even then, when you see them doing wrong things, challenge them because you still have power, don’t underestimate your power!” -Archbishop Odama said
Archbishop Dr John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese talking to his flocks after the mass at St Joseph’s Cathedral in Gulu City. PHOTO BY JOSEPH NYEKO

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Archbishop Dr John Baptist Odama of Gulu Archdiocese has urged parents to take seriously their parenting role during this festive season saying many children are getting wasted in the presence of their parents.

Archbishop Odama said many parents have neglected their responsibility of parenting, counting on other to look after their children something that is leading to more street goons than holistic citizen.

“Dear parents, you have a very big role to play; a very big one, the role of mentoring these children from young age upto the time they are big and even then, when you see them doing wrong things, challenge them because you still have power, don’t underestimate your power!”  says Archbishop Odama.

He said the rate of teenage pregnancy is worrying in the society, adding that is proof  for parental negligence paving way for indiscipline to sink into children.

“During this Covid-19 lockdown alone, as the country we registered over 17,000 pregnancies; just within 9 months and these are reported cases; how about those ones that were not reported anyway but resolved with money exchanging hands?” Archbishop Odama asked? 

The archbishop also urged the cultural and religious leaders to be the light in the community saying majority are shying away from speaking against evils in the society, something that is making the society go from bad to worse.

“Teachers, religious and cultural leaders; God has put us there so that we can guide people in the correct way and when we do that we are guarding the population,” he said.

In March the government sent more than 15 million children home from educational institutions in a bid to halt the speedy spread of coronavirus.  However, some students were able to attend virtual classes using phones and tablets during the lockdown something that is believed to unintentionally have aided the derailing of many youngsters.

On Wednesday this week, Makerere University released a mini survey report indicating that phones are spoiling girls and aiding communication that translates into risky sexual behaviours contributing to the high adolescent pregnancies in the country. 

Several mini researches that came out during the coronavirus lockdown show a worrying trend of teenage pregnancies with no clear plans on how to tackle the problem.

During the dissemination of the “sexual and reproductive health information and determinants of adolescent pregnancy, among adolescents in Wakiso and Kamuli districts” on 17th December, the lead investigators indicated that parents who had no or little time to speak to their children about sexual and reproductive health issues risked their adolescents engaging in unsafe sexual behaviour. 

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