Towards building the Resilient of young mothers in Prevention and countering Violent Extremism in Kisauni Constituency
Teenage pregnancy is high in counties across the country, and has remained so for some time now despite the periodic outcry when numbers on teenage pregnancy are released. This therefore calls for a redoubling of efforts and change intact on how to address this menace that is holding back our girls from maximizing their full potential.
Lack of knowledge about sexual health in Kisauni constituency contributes to the high teen pregnancy rate. Teen pregnancies are a major challenge for socioeconomic development. This has contributed to the depriving of young girls' the opportunity to further their education and attain their career goals. It has also exposed them and their children to major health risks. According to World Health Organization (WHO), “pregnancy and childbirth complications are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15–19 years globally.”
During our first Forum in 2020, we realized that the efforts to address teenage pregnancies and other sexual and reproductive health matters are resisted by parents, religious leaders, political leaders and other stakeholders despite the mounting evidence that young people are initiating sex earlier than in the past. Proven interventions like appropriate sexuality education are also often dismissed with the view that they would encourage young people to indulge in sex.
"Young mothers are also human, they deserve love, affection and attention"
In order to address this challenge decisively, YOWPSUD convened the #WamamaKwanza sensitization forum aiming at bridging the knowledge gap in the community. Being the second convening bringing together 45 young mothers from different localities of the Kisauni constituency, still there is need to reach out to more young mothers who have not yet accessed this forum.
In the process we realized that the young mothers undergo a lot of challenges and below are some of the challenges they face immediately they get on the early parenting level.
Increasing burden of responsibility
Its obvious that as young parents, they need to find that balance of communicating with their children, while giving them space to find their own feet. On the other hand, several responsibilities in new condition, lack of time and energy, experienced restrictions on spending on personal interests has been their main challenge from the very first day of their journey on parenting.
Physical problems and insufficient support
There is a great need to empower the community on good parenting since most of the young mothers come from broken homes where they are forced to take care of the kids independently. Most of these young women received inadequate support from spouse, family, friends and health care providers thus leading them to traumatic moments.
Emotional and mental distress
Emotional and mental distress was also a problem faced by young mothers in the forum. They had experiences on fear, worries, regrets, frustrations, guilt, shame, depression, and disruption in relationships of couples.
The forum was a great platform where young mothers stressed on this point as a key problem that mostly of the young mothers loose out on it. It also appeared that young mothers experience fear of inability to accept the maternal responsibilities, shock, depression, denial, fear, shame, regret, loneliness, social isolation, and mental exhaustion.
Adaptation to mothering and adolescence, dependence on others, unwanted pregnancy, poor decision making and problem solving, severe fatigue, unpreparedness, lack of time and energy, repetitive tasks, lack of social support, stigma, and taking responsibility alone are sources of stress and trauma.
“As parents we need to accept that the digital era has taken over, so we need to build our own capacity on how we cannot lose out on parenting.”