Teenage Mothers School Project
In parts of Africa many girls and young women struggle to remain in education or to enjoy the best opportunities for their lives because of teenage pregnancy. Girls’ Brigade is working alongside girls to raise awareness around sexual health, choices and is of course involved in the lives of many girls affected by challenging situations in their communities.
A story from Zambia
In Zambia the Ministry of Education has a policy of allowing teenage mothers to go back to school after delivery, but for all sorts of reasons very few are doing so.
- It’s hard to leave your baby – 8 hour days away from someone who relies on you for food and love and protection is just not easy to bear.
- It’s painful and isolating to experience the ridicule of those around you
- The rejection by the men involved is destroying to any sense of self-worth.
- Abaondonment leaves behind no practical or financial support
That’s why Girls’ Brigade Zambia is intentionally working to establish the Second Chance Project – with initiatives and care that provide young mums with a route back to school!
The project includes the provision of mothering skills, general education, and importantly personal and emotional support.
The work of GB’s second chance project is inspired by one amazing truth. God’s love for each of us never fails! GB believes that this is so clearly seen in the Bible, especially in way that jesus Christ brings new hope to to every woman he meets
Help give a girl a Second Chance – click here to donate to GB’s ‘giveagirlaHOPE’ fund
Sara lives in Africa. She’s a young leader in Girls’ Brigade, and Helen Hoskins, one of GB Afica’s leaders, got to know her at their amazing conference for girls, ‘More precious than Rubies’.
This is what Helen discovered about Sara
Sara’s (now 18) life has not been short of its share of difficulties. 7 years ago she had plastic reconstructive surgery on her cheek and jaw and was scheduled to undergo further surgery in 2010 as she turned 16. This is to correct her jaw, which was still locked. I met Sara at the ‘More Precious than Rubies’ GB conference in 2009. She was 16 then.
She went back to her village exited about her experiences at the camp. She had new confidence and was stronger in her faith, knowing afresh that she is, as God says in the Bible, ‘more precious than rubies’.
2009 was to be her last year of school, so it was good timing for her surgery on completion of her exams.
I was devastated to discover, later in ’09 when I visited her village, that Sara was pregnant. It was totally unplanned. According to the law of the country, the young boy involved with Sarah could be jailed for 30 years for what had happened between them, but he was a visitor in the village and is now nowhere to be seen.
Sara’s life was totally changed, and she felt ashamed and distressed. But she had hope inside.
When I visited her in February 2010 she was struggling, and the baby was soon to be born. As Girls’ Brigade women we got around her and encouraged her that she is still ‘more precious than rubies’ as she faces her new life – God loves her. There is hope even in the hardest of times and places in her life!
Sara has been such a courageous young woman, and finally her lovely daughter Juliana was born July 2010.
At present she managed to complete her standard 7 exams (last year of school), and has decided to postpone her surgery AND further studies until Juliana is a little older. In the meantime she returned to her Girls’ Brigade and church life where she is discovering still more about how God and his people do bring transformation into life’s most painful situations
How giveagirlaHope projects help.
Helen summs the story up – and reveals the point of the various innovative ‘giveagirlaHOPE’ projects being pioneered by GB around the world:
“For me, the message coming from GB Africa about issues faced by so many girls and young women is that there is no point in burying our faces in the sand.
We are the key to the empowerment of young women around us. We have many budding emerging leaders world-wide who face very real and difficult situations, and we need to be responsive and relevant to their lives – just as they are.
If through GB we are able to reach deeper and love them however and wherever they are, they will discover new hope.
I am convinced that God has called GB to love real young women, in relevant ways. Some of them might not follow expected paths in life, and It’s our privilege to let them know that they are precious to us just as they are.
That’s how they will know that to God they are ‘more precious than rubies’!”
A thought: Rubies like diamonds, pearls and most precious gems are created out of the harshest of conditions. Experienced jewelers will tell you that the best gems are those which have been burned, crushed and put through the roughest process.