Life Skills Education to End Teenage Pregnancy

by Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW) Vetted since 2014 Top Ranked Effective Nonprofit Site Visit Verified
Happy faces during a school outreach by HFAW
Happy faces during a school outreach by HFAW

Dear Friends, Colleagues and Supporters,

Nyamira County is number 5 in preference rate out of 47 counties in Kenya. Months ago, we began noticing a crisis in rising number of young girls getting pregnant while in primary school. HFAW has been trying to reach out to schools to speak to parents, teachers and students on child abuse, early pregnancy, GBV, sexual reproductive health rights and FGM.

When a girl gets pregnant that becomes the end of her schooling. There is a perception that they have become women and yet they are children getting children. Very little work has been done to reduce early pregnancy in our county.

In mid-July, 2018, 9 girls have become pregnant in a local school. These girls are said to be 15- 17 years old.

"The pregnancies are due to boda boda(motorcycle) riders and poor parenting," commented Charles, the school head. "The pregnancies are spread across all the classes in the institution." Added Charles.

"This is a crisis, how can 9 girls get pregnant in the same school at the same time?" Expressed Joyce, HFAW grassroots coordinator.

HFAW CHHRPs have been mentoring girls in schools so that they can be retained in schools. Unfortunately, we haven't been able to reach as many schools including this local school with 9 pregnancies. We have been able to go to schools with messages of early pregnancy, child safeguarding, FGM, GBV and advancement of human rights.

The Kenyan Justice system is slow. In Rape cases or any form of sexual abuse, girls are often hesitant to follow up on a case in court. This is a body which HFAW is also involving in ending Early Pregnancy.

This Education has also helped men as well.

"You know, when you put me on the spot I thought you were cruel but now I appreciate your way of doing things. I thank you for putting up with us." Said one of the men during a training in Nyamira.

"This mesages have helped me know the importance of having self esteem and saying No to unwanted sex," said one of the girls after a dramatization by the CHHRPs.

"Through this education, I have learnt that I should protect my sisters against sexual abuse." Added one of the boys.

"If you were able to reach more schools, this could lead to reduction of pregnancies in schools," commented a teacher from Tindereti Primary School.

Early pregnancy affects not only girls but the whole community because it robs girls of their potential. Educated Girls develop skills, knowledge and confidence to make informed decisions including if, when and whom to marry.

It is for this reason that we are seeking your support. These are children getting babies. We know we have come to you over and over again to support us. We do this because we know you care about our cause. Together, let us end Early Pregnancy and provide an opportunity for these girls to move from domestic environment to literacy and getting exposure to new ideas and value systems.

Some of the donations and grants are also used to train law enforcement officers and health care providers who are assisting us on holding perpetrators of FGM and GBV accountable. This project however has not been able to raise as much on Global Giving. We acknowledge and appreciate our funders I.e. the Girl Generation, AWDF and United Methodist Women who have helped us run this project as well.

We sincerely thank you our Global Giving friends and Supporters for supporting us and walking with us through every step of the way. We appreciate that you are part of us. This will be a long journey but worth it at the end after reducing the numbers of early pregnancies and finally ending it.

With Gratitude,

Winnierose N Sululu

Girl pledging to say No to Unwanted Sex
Girl pledging to say No to Unwanted Sex
Boy vowing to advocate against rape
Boy vowing to advocate against rape
Law enforcement officers during a training
Law enforcement officers during a training
Teacher asking HFAW to reach more schools wthmessa
Teacher asking HFAW to reach more schools wthmessa
Girl showcasing a message after school outreach.
Girl showcasing a message after school outreach.
Murema pupils after anti FGM/early pregnancy sessi
Murema pupils after anti FGM/early pregnancy sessi

Dear Friends,Collegues and Supporters,

Teenage pregnancy is both a public health and education problem in Kenya. According to the Kenya Demographic and Health Survey report 2014, teenage pregnancy and motherhood rate in Kenya stands at 18 percent and has remained unchanged since 2008. The trend has been like a leaking tap where the number of girls at entry in school is high but along the way towards higher classes the number goes down drastically. This has been due to the girls drop out from school. It has also led to experience in health challenges due to birth complications and unsafe abortion. Some due to lack of alternative are forced into early marriages. Many teenage girls In Nyamira County drop out of school every year due to pregnancy.  Nyamira County ranks 5 out of 47 Counties in early pregnancies.

Training sessions with the youth, women, men and leaders have enumerated early pregnancies as a situation affecting the child in Nyamira. “There exists a lot of ignorance among our girls that once they get married it is the end of their problems .They are easily cheated. Mothers are not usually ready to talk to their girls about life, sex and how to keep themselves. Parents assume that the responsibility of talking to their girls about keeping themselves is on the teachers.” Said one of the women during the leaders training session in Nyamira County.

When asked what causes teenage pregnancy one girl said “Free bodaboda rides.” What do you mean, asked the facilitator. When girls do not have money to take a matatu (public transport service) a free ride from a motorbike rider is very appealing.” She said. “Sometimes it is basic food that is needed or something. The girl ends up sleeping with this man in the bush.” She stated.

“Girls do get taken out for sex, sometimes without their full understanding. They get pregnant and can die while giving birth or trying to abort. It is sad.”  said Raymond of Murema primary school.

Over the years HFAW has done school outreaches visited schools in Nyamira and Nairobi County and talked to boys and girls about child abuse, FGM, Teenage pregnancies and its consequences. We have interacted with teachers, students and pupils who confirmed cases on the same. Feedback from small group sessions with the pupils showed that they lack basic life skills education and often shy away when they hear of these topics. Most importantly girls and boys are gaining from what they are learning during these sessions.

“I now know what my rights are as a child.” Said Patience from Pisgan academy after a mentoring session.  “I know where to report if someone tries to hurt me.” She continued.

Previously, we thought these are girl’s problems but now I know even us boys must learn and advocate for girls, said a young boy at Murema primary school.

“If I see my parents try to cut my sister, I will dialogue with them,” said a youth at Tindereti primary school.

Keeping Girls in School and providing life skills education is very effective strategies to end teenage pregnancies and empowering girls in Nyamira County. None of these can happen without your support. In the recent times your contributions have helped us reach over seven schools with over 2000 students and 15 teachers. We invite you to share information about this work with your friends and family. Tell them what your contribution means to a young girl. She will survive, thrive and reach her full potential.

Thank you for supporting this project.

Yours Sincerely,

Winnierose N. Sululu

With much gratitude.

Tindereti pupils participating in sessions
Tindereti pupils participating in sessions
Pupils highlighting notes after the sessions
Pupils highlighting notes after the sessions
Sungututa pupils listen to Anti early pregnancy se
Sungututa pupils listen to Anti early pregnancy se
Notes highlighted by murema pupils after sessions
Notes highlighted by murema pupils after sessions
Pupils learning during the sessions at Sungututa
Pupils learning during the sessions at Sungututa

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Organization Information

Hope Foundation for African Women (HFAW)

Location: Nairobi, Kiambu County - Kenya
Website: http:/​/​hopefaw.org/​
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Dr. Grace Bonareri Mose Okong'o
Nairobi, Nairobi County Kenya
$30 raised of $5,000 goal
 
1 donations
$4,970 to go
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