Uplifting girls after teenage pregnancy

Uplifting girls after teenage pregnancy


Life as a single mother, especially as a teen, can be overwhelming. When Martha Septemba gave birth in Kilifi, she had no idea how she would raise her child.


Septemba, who is from Mwabayanyundo in Kayafungo ward, says she received training from the Centre For Rights Education and Awareness Kenya when her child was three years old (Creaw Kenya).


She and other young mothers formed a group called KaloleniYoung Mothers to help address the area's high rates of gender-based violence.


Creaw identified their group for training to help end GBV among women and girls, she says. The training addresses girls' poverty, which leads to them engaging in sex in exchange for money to buy pads.


According to Septemba, the Creaw programme is important for them as young mothers because it helps them address cases of teenage pregnancies and deal with perpetrators in order to obtain justice.


"We started working to help young girls advocate against teenage pregnancies, how to end them, and how to support victims in raising their living standards," she explained.


According to the community champion, empowerment enabled her to learn how to survive with her child while also raising awareness.


"Most girls who fall victim to teenage pregnancy usually lose hope after getting pregnant, but there was a positive change in the society after engaging them, sensitising them on how they can move on and raise their standards of living," she said.


Septemba stated that through their association, they came together and decided to take loans from the Kilifi government in order to sustain and improve their livelihoods.


Initially, the women were unaware that they could form groups and apply for loans to start projects, but Creaw'straining enabled them to take action.


More than 70 women participated in their association and shared their experiences at the family level, allowing them to raise awareness and begin to address the challenges they faced.


As a result of this, she began to change her financial situation. Socially, she felt she was becoming younger and stronger than she had been when she had lost hope after being abandoned to raise her child.


"I've helped groups form their own organisations and apply for loans, and the move has really helped spread awareness at the grassroots level," she says.


Teresia Nyevu, a member, says the organisation has been extremely beneficial.


"Our girls are occasionally summoned to Kaloleni, where they are given underwear, soap, and sanitary towels. I'd like to thank them for their unwavering support. If a mother is unemployed, it is difficult for her to purchase such necessities "She stated.


She claims that because of poverty, young mothers sometimes choose to buy food rather than sanitary towels or underwear, making them more vulnerable to men.


Cases of GBV are rampant, according to Boniface Kalama, a local administrator from the Kayafungo location, but they have pushed for perpetrators to be arrested and victims to receive justice.


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