We want to give teen mothers the chance for a better life for both them and their child. Street Child aims to help teen mums back into education and provide their extended families with a business grant and training to create a sustainable income.
Sierra Leone has one of the world's 10 highest rates of teen pregnancy. According to UNICEF, 38% of girls under 18 in Sierra Leone have given birth. 74% of girls we spoke to ranked pregnancy as one of the top five barriers to education. After Ebola the situation is known to be even worse, particularly for those unable to afford school. Families that struggle financially might even encourage their own daughters to find 'boyfriends'. We want to give teen mothers the chance for a better life.
Street Child's aims to help teen mothers back into education by: helping identify extended family members to help with mother and baby's upbringing, providing food packages, a business grant and training to create a sustainable income and a school package to help her re-enter education and we will provide ongoing counselling to teen mothers and their families.
This support will allow the girls to return to school and finish their educational journey whilst also allowing their families to establish a small business. UNICEF research shows that even a single year of secondary education has the potential to increase a girl's future earnings by up to 25%. Investment in girls' education also has a multiplier effect: educated girls benefit from better family planning and have healthier children who are more likely to remain in education themselves.