Chinta, 16 years old
I live in an urban slum area, where there are no roads, running water and little to do. It is not a nice place to be and it’s next to a landfill site so it smells. Until I was 15, I used to go to school regularly but stopped when I met a boy from a local gang. He was older than me [22 years old]. He had money and would take me out. So most days I would leave home in my uniform and then I would get changed and hang out in the streets with him and his friends. I thought it was fun. They would buy me lots of drinks, and sometimes I would get so drunk that I would wake up in strange places unable to remember what had happened.
It was only when I started the Life Skills course that I recognised the risks I was taking. I saw the difference between a good friend and a bad friend, between love and attraction. It was an important moment for me when I realised that my boyfriend and his friends were using me, and that I could already have an STI or be pregnant.
Now I’ve broken up with my boyfriend and am going to school regularly. This course changed my life and I’ve been sharing my experience in the hope that my classmates can learn from it too.