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.