2018 - Ongoing
An epidemic of teen pregnancies is permeating the population in Rwanda. Over 17,000 were pregnant in 2016. All unmarried, living in poverty. Vulnerable girls as young as 13 find themselves in this unwarranted circumstance. Many as a result of rape and others through ignorance of engaging in sexual activities without protection, nor any knowledge of the responsibility of motherhood. The fathers run away leaving these girls to cope with their pregnancy. They bring shame to the family, are isolated and abandoned. These emotionally damaged adolescents have assumed the awesome responsibility of being mothers when they are still children.
‘Hope for Rwanda’, a local charity based in Rwanda, supported by the Global Fund For Children was founded to address the lack of existing services to support these vulnerable teen mothers. The organisation offers an integrated programme inclusive of phyco-social counselling, prenatal and parenting skills, legal assistance regarding human and children’s rights, and capacity building for economic livelihood to create a solid foundation on which they can build a happy prosperous family life.
These pregnant teens and mothers have found a refuge and support system in a culture that had abandoned them. They now have a community they can trust and depend on.
The aim of this project, is to give a voice to far too many vulnerable adolescent girls who are often condemned and shamed by their community and family. This a tragedy, that leads to despair and at times suicide. It is always the shame that destroys their spirit. Teen mothers is not an isolated problem in Rwanda but lesser known tragedy on the global stage.