Teenage mother Rehabilitation

Premarital pregnancy is considered as a taboo in Ugandan families and this counts for the mistreatment and abuse faced by majority of the girls after getting pregnant. Most pregnant teen girls in Uganda and in Mukono district in particular undergo stigmatization, abandonment and rejection by their families, which compels them to carry out abortions, drop out of school, engage in forced/early marriages, and spend the rest of their lives in abject poverty subject to child labor, abuse and neglect. Over 600 girls have benefited from this program

1.0 Introduction

Early Pregnancy Prevention and teenage mother rehabilitation is one of the thematic areas in Child Care and Youth Empowerment Foundation which aims at having child mothers attain quality and full anti-natal care, safe deliveries, post-natal care, breast feeding skills and rehabilitation in prevention of second unwanted pregnancies and promote self-reliance.

 

The program was started in 2010 with three girls after realization that teenage pregnancy was not considered a big issue to both rural and urban communities in Mukono District; yet it counted for 24% of all pregnancies reported in Mukono District hospitals and health centers according to CCAYEF survey 2009-2011.The department extends its services to young mothers in Mukono District-Uganda below 18 years of age and so far, 624 girls have been reached. This is done through positive collaboration with Mukono HCIV; working hand in hand with caretakers; as we provide counseling, home visiting to strengthen our relationship with the girl’s care takers, emergency material support, medical services and support to the teen mothers and their babies; cognitive restructuring classes; re-integration into formal education and vocational skilling.

Children of teen mothers are supported to attain their full growth and development potential through promotion of child nutrition, treating the very sick and clothing the cloth less.

1.1   Background of the program

Premarital pregnancy is considered as a taboo in Ugandan families and this counts for the mistreatment and abuse faced by majority of the girls after getting pregnant. Most pregnant teen girls in Uganda and in Mukono district in particular undergo stigmatization, abandonment and rejection by their families, which compels them to carry out abortions, drop out of school, engage in forced/early marriages, and spend the rest of their lives in abject poverty subject to child labor, abuse and neglect.

Children of child mothers are often rejected by their fathers, lack parental love and acceptance; failure to breastfeed, by their parents, financial support hence missing the opportunity of going school since their mothers are children as well with no source of income to support them entirely.

Children of child mothers in Mukono district have been discovered to be growing through a vicious cycle of child motherhood, juvenile delinquency, and high rates of HIV infections, chronic poverty and malnutrition. The young mothers and their babies die due to difficult labor coupled with the general inadequate health services in Uganda but particularly to handle young mothers.

360 teenage mothers have so far been recruited into the program in partnership with Mukono Health Center IV, and other Health Centers in the district, but also with Mukono Gender Office and the Police Child and Family Protection Unit.195girls have been reached with the servicessuch aspsychosocial support, life skills training, and re-integration into formal education. This has enabled 300 girls to be accepted by their families, supported into going back to school and have become more assertive.

 

1.2 Vision:

A world with empowered children, free from sexual violence

1.3 Program Mission:

Forging a free and secure future for children with access to peace and social justice

1.4Program goal:

Support vulnerable children, and victims of sexual violence access social justice, have health pregnancies, become better parents and take steps to self-sufficiency.

1.5Objectives:

  • To empower Child brides into resilient, powerful, determined and self-sufficient individuals, who can adequately fight for their rights.
  • To provideSexualReproductive Health/services to child brides so as to empower them and prevent second unwanted pregnancies.
  • To support children of teenage mothers attain proper growth and development.

1.6 Activities Carried Out

  • Recruitment and assessment of teenage mothers
  • Provision of psychosocial support to the teenage mothers and their families/ care takers.
  • Re-integration of teenage mothers into formal education.
  • Cognitive restructuring and life skills training classes.
  • Provision of medical care and soya flour to teen mother babies.
  • Advocacy through community mobilization and sensitization on the consequences associated with teenage pregnancies, early marriages and parenting.

1.7 Recruitment and assessment of teenage mothers

It aims at assessing the vulnerability of teenage mothers in order to design appropriate interventions during their rehabilitation process. This activity is carried out 5 days a week at Mukono Health Centre IV.

1.8       Provision of psychosocial support to the teenage mothers and their families/ care takers.

It aims at empowering the girls emotionally and to rehabilitate them so as to get back to a normal channel of life and to become more focused in life and work towards attaining their future goals. More still, home visiting is carried out in the girls’ homes to strength the relationship between the caretakers and the organization, more so it helps in assessing the socio-economic environment in their homes and hence vulnerability. They are intended to assess parental support, presence and readiness to sustain the young mother in their homes.

1.9 Cognitive restructuring and life skills training classes

Teen mother classes aimed at equipping the teen mothers with necessary skills and knowledge in dealing with their new responsibilities as young mothers and coping with daily challenges.

 

2.0 Advocacy

The program focuses on working with key stakeholders to end teenage pregnancies and child marriages in Mukono district through sensitizations and community dialogue meetings.

 

2.1 Re-integration of Teenage Mothers into the Formal Education System

We have re-integrated over 15 teen mothers into formal education. One teenage mother has completed training in nursery teacher education and she is now employed and able to look after herself and her child. One mother is in primary school, while the rest are in secondary schools. They have set their life goals and we are supporting them to realize their goals through consistent follow-ups and continual counseling and training.