Chastity Training Helping Youth in Lesotho

Women in Lesotho are in a dire situation. Recent estimates say that, between 2015-2019, 67% of all pregnancies in Lesotho were unintended. 24% of unintended pregnancies resulted in an abortion. According to these estimates, about 15.9% of all pregnancies ended in an abortion. Abortion in Lesotho is only legal in “necessary situations” (such as to save the mother’s life), so women who do not “qualify” for an abortion may seek other ways to abort. One way is through Facebook, where some women have received unknown pills from an unverified source. These pills and procedures can be extremely painful and harmful to women and their unborn children. And with a high rate of teen pregnancies, it is clear that the women of Lesotho are in great need of hope.

And in Mohale’s Hoek, HLI is working hard to give them this hope.

Fr. Francis Makhetha works as the spiritual director of the pro-life mission in the diocese of Mohale’s Hoek. He worked with the Diocesan Coordinator for pro-life activities, Sister Celestina Tiheli, to form pro-life groups for high schoolers. These groups help equip high schoolers with the knowledge they need to defend life in an increasingly anti-life world and to live and promote the culture of life.

Fr. Makhetha accompanied HLI affiliate Emil Hagamu to South Africa for a pro-life youth training program that wrapped up in March. The training ended with an evaluation on how it impacted attendees, which shed a light on how necessary HLI’s mission is. Multiple participants thanked HLI for the training, saying that they learned just how horrific abortion is and that it kills an innocent person. One said, “I give thanks to [the] HLI Director for enlightening me on this issue. I would have never known that abortion was wrong and evil.” Another said they had been living a sinful life. Because of the training, they resolved to change their habits and live more virtuously. Yet another encouraged HLI to open a branch in South Africa to serve the needs of their community.

Fr Francis Makheta

Fr. Francis Makheta of Lesotho

But how can HLI’s training help with the high rate of teen pregnancies?

We have seen how Planned Parenthood’s deadly sex education has deeply harmed the youth. As HLI has seen in the mission field, Planned Parenthood will teach sex ed and bring along condoms and birth control as part of their “free contraception” program. Because students are being encouraged to use condoms and birth control, more students end up having premarital sex, which leads to higher rates of pregnancy out of wedlock. Sometimes in the mission field, HLI has seen how girls will get kicked out of school due to her pregnancy. And all this, because Planned Parenthood insists on practicing “safe sex” and assures students they are “safe” from pregnancy if they use these methods. Almost all of the girls our affiliate from Malawi spoke with were pregnant due to contraceptive failure. These girls report that they thought they were “safe” from pregnancy because they were using birth control. It is clear to HLI that Planned Parenthood’s sex ed is not helpful in decreasing teen pregnancy rates.

As an ex-sex educator affirmed, Planned Parenthood “laughs” at the idea of chastity. They believe that chastity is a joke, that it is not possible, and that children should instead be encouraged to use condoms and birth control without taking the option of chastity seriously. The assumption is that everyone will be having sex, anyway, so why not teach them how to do it “safely?” But HLI has seen firsthand that chastity is not only possible, but that it helps people flourish. Some of the many benefits of chastity include healthier relationships, protection from STDs, fewer unintended pregnancies, and a lower abortion rate. In our mission field, we have seen that when students go through chastity training, teen pregnancies decrease.

The prime example of this took place at Natola Secondary School, where HLI affiliates conducted chastity training and had the students pledge to abstinence before marriage. After our training, there were no new teen pregnancies! The training was so effective, that when Planned Parenthood sex educators showed up with boxes of condoms, the students refused to hear them and burned the condoms. Seems like chastity is not so impossible!

With the support of our generous donors, we are able to continue our mission to help people in countries like Lesotho where the damage of Planned Parenthood’s sex education is so apparent. Please pray for the continued success of HLI!

Marisa Cantu has an MS in political science and international affairs and a BA in political science. She has also studied international studies and French. She has a strong background in nonprofit work, research, writing, and policy proposal and analysis.

In her free time, Marisa enjoys painting, writing, cooking, and spending time with her husband.

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