Woman’s Hope has been a beacon to many women for over ten years. A couple of years ago we established the Season for Girls initiative. Our goal was to nature leadership skills by creating a sense of self awareness, self-esteem and self-worth, while at the same time assisting them in how to navigate teenage issues and entrapments.
With time, we realized that there was a necessity for intensive mentorship to not only guide, but also to rehabilitate those who had lost sight of their way, more so the teen moms. Most of these teen moms undergo excessive trauma with the highest percentage being consumed with thoughts of suicide. We have worked with these strong young women helping many to successfully overcome their challenges; where after we assist them in their back to school integration, or alternatively teaching them life skills that will aid them in fending for their families.
This year, the global covid19 pandemic exploded the teen pregnancy challenge locally, more so resulting from the closure of schools. Everyone seems to be looking for someone to blame, with few willing to address the issue. We did some research and interestingly enough, we realized that most people willing to address the issue only do so by appealing to half the problem.
Woman’s Hope is launching a new project under the Season for Girls initiative dubbed ‘Linda Binti’ that seeks to address the root cause of the problem. It is common knowledge that a pregnancy takes two to tangle, yet we keep cautioning the girl child and forgetting the ones who will convince her to part from the given advice.
In most of the local communities, perpetrators are adults who lure the girls with cheap gifts of food, clothes, pocket money and the like, things that are hard to resist for a young girl whose family can hardly afford a decent meal. In our bid to address part of the problem, we are also running an ‘Adopt a Family’ initiative to help feed this families, most of who lost their manual jobs when the pandemic hit. (Look out for more information on this project in the next blog).
Back to our ‘Linda Binti’ program, this time we are targeting our male counterparts, giving them a seat at the table to take a step in preventing any more teen pregnancies. For a start, we have created rapport and a plan to work with the local boda boda riders to be ambassadors of change in our #stopteenpregnancy campaign. This will hugely involve branding and regular sensitization activities. We are optimistic that this will work as a first step entry strategy as they can easily reach everyone in slums, villages and the different estates; besides being fathers, uncles, brothers and generally men who should believe in valuing their women as well as the protection of their daughters.
We will keep running the Season for Girls program in nurturing and mentoring girls, both via online platforms and community visits where necessary. As the saying goes, empower a girl (woman) and you will change the world.