Forum Comments

A Schooling Crisis in Kenya -- The 'Lost' Year
In Forum VII - Reopening
Dasha Asienga
Aug 15, 2020
Thanks, Sabahat, for reading through this and taking the time to respond! You're definitely right -- solutions like broadcasting lessons on TV could be a step in the right direction, but it's also important to remember that not everyone owns a TV. One could say that the radio is an option as it's more widespread especially here in Kenya, and my government did try that. However, the problem is far more complex than perhaps might first meet the eye -- being at home brings with it so many challenges. I actually wrote an article for the August periodical on the alarming high rate of unintended teen pregnancies seen during the pandemic. Besides that, the way the society is set up here expects a lot from children in the household. So in as much as lessons were being broadcast on radio, a lot of children were busy with helping out their parents with cooking, caring for the livestock, etc that they didn't even have time to listen in, propagating the issue of inequality as some were indeed able to. To add insult to the injury, most students share books since the resources are not enough, so access to things like books becomes another factor to key in, so if they did find time to in fact listen in, they were not be able to apply it and practice it. Having NGOs distribute books, like you suggested, would be of huge help and that's a great idea, but as you said, it's far from the perfect solution and would require a lot of resources to accommodate for every single school-going child. It's just devastating to think about how millions of children are stranded at home unable to obtain an education because of the pandemic and in turn facing many more problems while I have the privilege to easily attend online classes at my own institution. I think it's an issue that we all need to think about and your suggestions could definitely be a good start. Thanks Sabahat! I hope Saudi is doing much better than this haha.
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How is marijuana different from more commonly accepted things like alcohol or smoking?
In Forum III - Marijuana
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson
In Cases of Depression
Dasha Asienga
Mar 10, 2019
Following this example of the Rock, I wanted to raise a case of a friend of mine who is also currently suffering from diagnosed depression. Your last point states that the Rock stresses the importance of outreach and awareness, which we have to realize is not always possible, especially for those who come from more traditional countries like my own, Kenya. My said friend has only confided in me, a couple of other people, and his therapist -- his parents know nothing of this, the same parents who should be his greatest support system. Sometimes, it's just very difficult to reach out, especially to the people who care most about you, because of the stigma that surrounds the topic. In addition, he mentions that we ought to help them through it and remind them that they're not alone. I find this strikingly hard, especially in helping those with severe depression. My said friend does have severe depression. I'm one to be drawn to talk with people going through problems, and helping them, and for this reason, he trusts me as one of his closest confidants. I always try to remind him that he's not alone, but he always replies that he has lost all hope in life, and that he doesn't really care about anything anymore -- nothing I say seems to help and even his therapist doesn't seem to be making any progress. I just wanted to raise this example to show that depression cases and solutions aren't always black and white. I wonder if any of you have had similar experiences. However, I applaud the Rock for speaking out about his depression, and attempting to raise awareness on the topic.
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Dasha Asienga

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