Bid to turn around teen mothers’ lives

Maggy and her baby at their home in Kimilili Bungoma County. [Jeckonia Otieno, Standard on 20 Sept 2018]

A “second-chance” initiative in Busia is turning around lives of school girls forced out of school by early pregnancies.

The brainchild of Busia Women Representive Florence Mutua, is yanking the girls off the miserable lives and back to school to a promising future.

When 70 beneficiaries of the programme converged at Funyula CDF Hall recently, the tales of despair and tribulations had transformed to those of hope.

While in Class Eight back in 2015 at a Mombasa school, Marion Wanyama fell to tricks of her teacher and fell pregnant: “He tricked us into sleeping in his home when we came back late from a volleyball tournament. My team mate did not get pregnant but I did,” she says.

Living off her single mother, life took a turn for worse. Her mom however got her back to a different school where she was able to sit KCPE, scoring 249 marks. “I had challenges with school fees and in Form Two I stayed home for one term; later on I heard about the scholarship for mothers who would like to go back to school, I applied and I was accepted. I went back to school in May 2017,” she says. Marion is now a Form Three student at Sisenye Mixed Secondary School.

Her story is not different from that of 24-year-old Sharon Nekesa, a Form One student at Nyakwaka Girls Secondary School.

“I was made pregnant when I was in Class Seven back in 2010 by a schoolmate. Since my mother did not have money to send me back to school after having my child I left for Nairobi to look for greener pastures,” she says.

After working at a construction site and as a house-help, Sharon headed back to the village but soon after, a hardware shopkeeper impregnated her.”

Now with two children, she returned to school and scored 169 marks in KCPE examination. She later applied for the sponsorship programme targeting young mothers when she got wind of it.

“When we enroll the girls under the second-chance programme we monitor them until they sit for their KCSE examinations. We also support their college or university education,” Ms Mutua says.