Snapshot: The lifeline being offered to Uganda's rejected teen mums
In the Mayuge District, Eastern Uganda, half of young mothers only eat once a day. Nearly 28% cannot read or write and more than a third have experienced abuse.
Many of these women have becoming parents at an incredibly young age, making motherhood an even tougher job.
In a bid to provide them with some vital support, a revolutionary school has been introduced for these mums, some of whom are little more than children themselves.
The Strong Mother’s Programme, delivered by NGO Act4Africa, is a year-long project that enables women to gain vital skills to lift them out of poverty and destitution.
Many who started the programme last year felt isolated, depressed and broken, with several having either contemplated or attempted suicide. But following a year’s worth of mental health guidance, sexual and reproductive health training, vocational skills and other support, feel optimistic about the future again.
Lily Newman, one of the founding members of Act4Africa, says: ‘The adolescent mums that we work with face incredible challenges in Uganda. According to the Uganda Demographic and Health Survey in 2016, approximately 25% of girls aged 15 – 19 are either pregnant or parents already.
‘We know that, in the rural areas where Act4Africa works, the statistics are higher. Teenage pregnancy limits the already scarce opportunities for girls in Uganda.’
‘The stigma of single parenting means they are unable to attend school and are often rejected by their families and their communities. With no income or familial support, they are also more prone to staying in abusive relationships with either distant relatives or with their often much older boyfriend.
‘In Uganda there is no DSS, no government support and no NHS. If you don’t work, you don’t eat and you cannot afford medical care. Act4Africa’s Strong Mother’s Programme is changing the futures of the mums that we work with.’
*Names have been changed
Welcome to Snapshot, Metro.co.uk’s picture-led series bringing you the most powerful images and stories of the moment.
If you have a photo collection you would like to share, get in touch by emailing [email protected]
Source: Read Full Article