In Kenya, 23% of girls aged between 15–19 years get pregnant with their first child while 50% begin child bearing by age of 20 years, according to Kenya Centre for Study of adolescence. It is important to note that most of the Kenyan young girls in this age bracket are still pursuing education in secondary schools and the pregnancies at this very age definitely interfere with their education efforts at that level. Some of the causes of teenage pregnancies in Kenya include poverty, broken family and social-cultural related factors.
It’s even worse that some girls as young as 12 years old find themselves pregnant even before they understand well about their reproductive health. Parenting has its challenges even to grown-up, so you can imagine how much harder it is for a 12 year old girl, who is under age, unemployed and immature. It’s unfortunate that most girls who get in this situation stop schooling and start up families which do not end up well.
Macheo Teen Mother Program work with the girls to help them cope with the situation and also find solution on how the girls can have a better future together with their babies. Since the program started, we have helped more than 30 teenage mothers. Some have been able to go back to school while some have started income generating project to take care of their babies and themselves. Mary (not her real name) story, she joined high school this year.
Some of the girls get pregnant at a very tender age. Ann (not her real name) is an example, she got pregnant at 13. Ann was subjected to child labour and other forms of child abuse. When we met Ann she was confused and stigmatised, she did know what to do next. Through generous donors, Macheo helped Ann during her pregnancy and a safe delivery in the hospital. Macheo also supported Ann to enrol in a dress making school in Kiandutu slum. In future she plans to start her own dress making business.
Macheo meets many teenage mothers regularly but unfortunately we have no enough funds to help as many as we would like. Macheo, appeals for funding of the Teen Mother Program.
Watch a 2 minutes video of Ann, just after enrolment in the program. The name of the program was Mother To Child then; today we have both Teen Mother and Mother To Child programs. Ann’s video