The last six months at Hope for teenage Mothers have largely been a period of learning and discovery. I have visited many homes for the teenage mums who are within our project areas.
The gap in the underserved teenage mothers for generation of livelihood was re-affirmed and strongly legitimizes the need for Hope for teenage mothers programs. Currently there are 20 teenage mothers learning microfinance and entrepreneurship. Many more are waiting to start their training program from July. Learning from the past experience most the girls who benefited in the last years training are having small business that help them get a livelihood for themselves and their children.
One of the most popular training is the hairdressing. Some girls took up the course last year. Their graduation is happening in April after attachment period .The girls aspires to set up their small saloons, others will get jobs at the existing saloons within their community areas and the outskirts of the city.
While discussing with the teenage mothers during my visits many stated that the main benefits of the business include: ability to engage in income generating activities; ability to diversify their economic activities and that they are able to make small savings and to have ready access to these savings in times of need.
I am therefore committed to making Hope for teenage mothers an organization of choice for those teenage mums who are stigmatized, hopeless and wish to transform their lives through empowerment of starting up small income generating activities. The need to fundraise to support the training which is free for the young women cannot be overstated. It is my belief that the support of the well wishers and friends shall remain enthusiastic at this critical moment.
This is driven by my personal belief that teenage pregnancy contributes to poverty and this needs to be tackled not just as urgent economic issue of our times. Rather it is more compelling as a basic human right.
Hope for Teenage Mothers annual Project Report 2010
Working with the community
Hope for teenage mother is working with the community to change the lives of the community in the area that we are working. In April 2010, over 100 community women and children received free medical attention, training Hygiene for mother and baby and effects of HIV/AID. This was in partnership with Afya Foundation.
Hairdressing and beauty
Hope for teenage Mother would like to thank our donors for their generous support to our project. This project has been able to take off due to your continuous support. The project for hairdressing seems to be most popular to the teenage mothers as one girl Winfred said, ‘‘it will boost my existing business of the saloon that I was able to set up after the business training .Now I will add more skills of the hairdressing and beauty to increase my money at the end of this training.’’
The girls are being supported by Hope for teenage mothers to undertake a 6 month course in hairdressing and beauty.
The girls joined the hairdressing school (Mukuru skills) when they had undergone different experiences in their lives due to the family dynamics, peer influence and bad exposure. They suffered from fear, low esteem, anger, guilt and self pity. Through life skills training and counseling are gradually overcoming their psychological feelings have been seen to gain their self esteem.
Through previously some girls may have been tempted to bad peer group, the school has reported improvement in their social life and practical work. The school has reported that they have high hopes in their performance and that they are expected to perform well by the end of their training and ultimately perform on their own in the near future.
The examinations are expected to take place the week of December 1, 2010 after which the girls will go for attachments and practical within Nairobi saloons for three months. The girls will be examined and monitored during this time through a time sheet in collaboration with the saloon they will be attached to.HTM will support them with money for bus fare and lunch for that duration of time ( 3 months).
After a successful completion of the practical attachment, the girls will be evaluated and graded according to their performance. They will each receive a certificate on graduation in March 2011.After which they can be employed by people with saloons or they can use their skills to make people hair in the neighborhoods (the neighboring estates of the slum have well of people who can give them employment) and they can get a livelihood.
Tailoring and dressmaking
The school grades of the children in school are affected by lack of school uniforms as they lose their self esteem. It was noticed that some children had torn shorts, shirt, dress or sweaters. Some had no uniforms at all. The children in the upper classes had their especially girls are maturing to their teenage hood. It was noticed that their school uniform dresses has become either too short or too tight. The teachers reported that their self-esteem has been affected as they feel that everyone else is noticing that they are dressing ‘indecently’ as this being a mixed school where there are boys and girls schooling together.
Business training for teenage mothers
27 teenage mothers graduated on small business training Mid May this year. The training was done by our partners Project Baobab. We want to thank our donors for their generous support. Of the whole class 10 girls came up with the best business plans and they were given seed capital to start of the businesses or boost the existing ones. Project Baobab is giving the girls mentorship on their business so that they can be successful .Some of the girls are selling secondhand clothes, saloons, shoes, cups ,water kiosks etc. Some of the girls used their certificates to get jobs at the factories.
One girl Maggy Wambui a mother of 2 children sells cups from door to door .She said, “ the training has helped me set up two businesses, a water kiosk and selling of glasses and cups. I can now pay my house rent and feed my children.” Maggy says that if she can get more money she can increase her stock and also diversify her products to include shoes selling.Htm is encouraging the group to have a merry go round and borrow money from the group that would be returned with a small profit any time the group meets.
Through our various programs of counseling and leadership training, most the teenage mothers have regained their self-esteem and are now well groomed. Some have showed potentials of leadership as community leaders.HTM have embarked on Training of trainers course within the group. Five girls (Peers Educators) have been trained to speak to other teenage mothers facing teenage motherhood stigma from different slums. The Peers Educators will give talks of drug abuse, alternative livelihood as a means to the girls already having children at the tender age, back to school programmes .This will be achieved through skits, drama and football .
The vocational teenage mothers are now making bags that we intend to sell and make some money out of it. Part of the money will be given to the girls for their livelihood while the rest will be rolled back to the project to buy more material. They are also making toys that could be commercialized for the livelihood of the girls and their children.
Many of us remember Alimlim a mother of 3 children now. She did not know how to read or write when she was picked by HTM. Alimlim can now read and write. She has been taking adult literacy together with the tailoring class. Thanks to teacher Phillip who has dedicated his energy to teaching her every day.
Alimlim back to school with her 3 weeks old baby called “Gift”. Hope for Teenage Mothers highlighted her plight through Kenya Broadcasting corporation media-(state media) and now she has gotten a home for her 2 children in Pokot Children’s home. Alimlim will have access to her children where they will have a livelihood and good education.
It was realized that the girls doing the courses of vocational training are concentrating on the learning of the practical skills of the tailoring and dress making art without looking at other social aspects affecting the lives .
Hope for Teenage mothers has witnessed four cases of teenage pregnancies within the girls that the project is supporting since 2008.A few girls seems to still be on drugs still. Hope for Teenage Mothers intends to include the following trainings in the project ;
Sexuality (hygiene, adolescent, abortion, rape)
Social Ethics that will include spiritual healing, conflict resolution
Issues of drugs
There is a concern of the girls not attending class when they are on their menstruation due to lack of sanitary pads. Some girls are using old clothes or blankets in place of the pads. This ends up being unhygienic, and can cause infections. The girls loose self esteem due to offensive smells. Hope for teenage mothers will work with partners/donors who can supply the girls with the sanitary pads.
The other challenge is the exit of the girls after they finish the vocational class in December. These girls can look for work in the neighboring industries .Not all the girls will be taken in for the job markets as it is very competitive. The girls will continue being members of HTM. How can we keep them busy and also help them earn a livelihood? Your thoughts are welcome…….
Thank you for making all this happen. It is mostly appreciated.
Your comments and inputs on how we can change or improve the lives of these teenage mothers will be highly appreciated.
God bless you all.
The last three months has been weeks of various activities.
15 girls joined the vocational training class in the months of March 2010.The girls were from the slums where they had undergone different life experiences due to the family dynamics, peer influence, bad exposure and poverty. They suffered from fear, low esteem, anger, guilt and self pity. Through life skills training and counseling they are gradually overcoming their psychological feelings and have been seen to gain their self esteem.
The girls self esteem can be seen from the life skills of the hand bags they have made. We have been able to buy the materials for making these bags through your kind donations. Thank you. These bags will be sold in our Kenyan markets and outside. The profits we make will be used to buy more materials and part of it will go to the girls’ livelihood. We encourage you to share this information with your friends who could be interested with the ‘Kenyan bag’ to contact us. Each bag will cost $ 12 only.
Hope for teenage mothers is touching the lives of the most vulnerable orphaned children of the slum in which our project is situated.Over 157 orphaned children from Mukuru received school uniforms tailored by HTM project. These children had low esteem as they either had torn uniforms or had no uniform at all. This impacted negatively on their performance due to low self esteem. One girl from class 3 said. ‘Now I look like other children as I now have a school uniform. My mother will be very happy when I go home today’.
Global giving is matching all donations made in the month of October from 12th October to 21st October 2010 in the matching campaign.Please share this information with all your friends so that we get the greatest Match for this year.
We would love to have your input on how we can change more lives to make a better world for the most vulnerable in our society.
Thank you for your continuous generous support.
As you may know the vocational class just came from a three weeks holiday. The teenage mums have good news of working with mentors who are training them on making hand bags, bead works, table clothes table mats ,pillow cases and bed covers. This innovativeness will enable the teenage mothers get a livelihood from the sales of the items they are making. The sales will be to the local supermarkets, exhibitions centers and also international markets.
15 girls are learning hairdressing course. This will take six months. This course have become popular with the teenage mothers as they can go for non formal education classes in the morning and then join the other class in the afternoon. At the end of the course the teenage mums will have skills of hairdressing and they can either start off their own saloon shops or get an attachment to the existing saloons and at the same time have education.
As I look back on all we have achieved over the last Eight months of the year, I want to thank you for your steadfast commitment to our work .None of what we have done would have been possible without you.
Let us know how better we could do to change the lives of these teenage mothers and their children.
Afya Kenya Foundation has moved our project forward by partnering with us to educate the teenage mothers by on the preventative measures on HIV/AIDS and Home based care for the ones who are already infected.Hope for teenage mothers partnered with the community from the Mukuru Slums together with the teenage mothers and they held a free HIV AIDS testing and counseling.
The learning lesson from this visit by the Afya Foundation is that the teenage mothers need more support on Health care support and nutrition.
Mary Osumba who is one of the teenage mothers commented that ''I wish you could bring some medical people to check us up as we and our children are sick and forgotten''.
Hope for teenage mothers is still working with partners and friends to ensure the young mothers get livelihood for themselves and their children.Twenty five girls graduated in Micro Finance on 17th May ,2010.The teenage mothers are able to present realistic business plans and stand up small business that will help them feed their children after this training .
We need to attract more donors to our project so that we can support these young mothers and their children.
How can we work together to attract a wider support to for this project? Please feel free to give us your views and comments .
Thank you for your continued support.
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