Teen Mothers Return to School in Neno

Back in class - teen mothers Back in class - teen mothers - pic by Steve Kalungwe

In a bid to ensure that teen mothers are back to school after giving birth, a local non-governmental organization Community Action for Sustainable Development through Save the Children is interfacing with the teens, their mothers and guardians to appreciate challenges being faced and embark on a go back to school campaign through the Securing Child Rights Through Education and Protection (SCREP) project.

Speaking to Zodiak on Friday, Edwin Polera CASDO project officer for SCREP said time has come for teen mothers to embrace education and desist from looking down upon themselves saying their situations are not death sentences.

"Teens of nowadays are sexually active and know more about life hence we encourage parents to guide them in accessing family planning methods as we can't afford to lose our daughters to unwanted pregnancies when an option is there," he said.

He then advised parents to take care of their pregnant daughters than punishing them, saying denying them basic pregnant needs puts both lives of the mother and the unborn child at stake.

One teen mother Mary Aliwari, aged seventeen and has a six month old boy whose twenty year old father denied the pregnancy says she is ready to go back to school as she has learnt a lesson and advises her peers to focus on education.

"I have now experience, though bad one, will focus on education and avoid men. I’m lacking a lot for myself and the baby, life is tough and please men encourage us and not marry us", she said.

Fabiano Nyanga, an HSA at Ligowe Heath Center advised the teens not to shy away from coming to health centers if of age, to access quality family planning methods of their choice.

"A lot of teens are suffering due to myths associated with family planning, so we seek to engage them so that they get expert facts from us. In this way we might avoid pregnancies among them and keep them in school,” he said.

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