A visit with young unwed mothers
Approximately 3hours interactive session was held with the young unwed mothers in my birthplace. After the advocacy visit with the gatekeepers, a town crier went round the community with his gong to announce that they have visitors that want to talk to young unwed mothers. They converged in the town hall built by the community women development union.
The number that turned up was reasonable, most of them with their children. It happened that most of them also are out of school as a result of pregnancy and child birth. Most of them were actually in school when they got pregnant and as such have become school drop outs. They are not back in school after having their babies because their parents cannot afford feeding an extra mouth and as well pay their school fees. Staying at home fully except for occasional farm work does not help the plights of these girls. Some look good and others look malnourished.
We talked about school activities and subjects before they stopped due to pregnancy. I noticed that during the discussion some of them were actually vibrant and enthusiastic in the session while others appeared unconcerned and bored. I deduced that those that were enthusiastic will want to go back to school giving a second chance while the other half enjoyed the short time they spent in school and will want to move on to other things like learning a trade to support themselves and their children. For those that were unconcerned felt that they do not have hope in ever living a good live after they have lost the opportunity of being in school & graduating with their peers.
We took a look at condom education and unintended pregnancy because I found out that some of them have more than 1 (one) child. We discussed the use of condom and the types that are locally available. Sexually transmitted infections also came up in course of the discussion and as part of the functions of condom.
At the end of the interaction, I believed that those unconcerned learnt that they could actually pick up the pieces of their lives and move on by learning a trade or skill. We talked about different skills that are available to them since they are in rural & remote communities like bead making, catering / baking, sewing, petty trading and computer operations. Some confirmed they have started petty trading but does not make much because they do not stock most items clients wants due to lack of fund. Others do not have the fund to enroll to acquire the necessary skills they want and those interested in going back to school do not have the wherewithal. They also learnt that they can actually go back to school after their children have grown up and they have money of their own.
They asked for a skill acquisition center to be built for them by government to encourage them and form a compelling force to learn a trade. They were happy of our visit and asked that we visit them more often as they learnt a lot from the encounter. This activity were part of my organizations 2013 annual report.