In recent years, the number of teenage girls experiencing pregnancies has risen by 50%. Amongst rape victimes, almost 40% are between the age of 12-18. One of these girls was referred to us from a partner NGO, her name is Daevy.
Daevy is a 14 years old girl. One day, coming home from school, one of her neighbour assaulted her, and threatened to hurt or kill her if she said anything. She went home, and kept silent.
7 months later, she went a health clinic for a checkup and they discovered her pregnancy. When she first found out she was pregnant she was scared and confused. She felt pain as she didn't understand why this was happening to her. She didn't understand women's health, or bodies.
She was scared the baby wouldn't come out: “Babies are so big and I am so small”.
When we first met her she was frightened and shy. She depended on others, afraid to go anywhere alone. MHO provided counselling, support, medical care, and explained what was happening to her, and what would happen. She was not alone.
Daevy told us: “Mother’s Heart gave me a place to live while I was pregnant, they helped me with food, clothes, and medical appointments. They support me, when I am sad, I can call my counsellor. I feel secure and safe with them. It is fun to live in the women’s home with other moms. I feel happier.”
After our staff mediated with the family, she was able to go back home with her daughter. She has returned to school, studying in grade 11, and she studies extra classes after hours. She helps and spends time with her baby in the morning and at night and has kept up breastfeeding. Her mother helps watch the baby while she's at school.
She is a proud mother despite her young age, and will be able to finish school. She is no longer the shy girl we met but is confident, independent, and a wonderful mother. She said she feels supported by her family and MHO and feels secure. She loves to ride to school alone and not need someone constantly with her. In the future she wants to become a primary school teacher to help and support other girls in similar situations.
Young girls like Daevy benefit from our pregnancy support program, and this week, as we celebrate women, you can make sure they don’t experience an unintended pregnancy alone. Donate to Mother’s Heart and give them the chance to become empowered mothers.