As part of our efforts to transform the community through life skill trainings, Life in Africa Kireka thought that we should not leave behind the teenage mothers of Acholi quarter. There are more than 3,000 displaced families in Acholi quarter, and the numbers of teenage mothers contribute to this. The life at this IDP (internally displaced persons) camp is very miserable and young girls have faced some serious conditions in this place. Due to lack of school fees, some drop out of school at the levels of primary seven to even senior four due to such problems and end up idling at home. Some end up joining their parents cracking stones in the quarry or making paper bead products to make ends meet.
At the end of the day, they are approached by men at the quarters who lure them with their money they get either from gambling or from the quarry works and make them pregnant at early ages! Having conceived at this age, they are either rejected by these men, or get married to them under new hard conditions. So the life cycle of poverty and suffering just continue like that. As concerned community, we have thought of how we can break this cycle, and that is giving them life skill training that would help divert their minds from these distractions.
The only life skills training we can give them at the moment are computer basics and tailoring. These are some of the skills these teenage mothers can acquire in a short period of time, and begin their own businesses such as a secretarial bureau, or perhaps they could acquire and open up a boutique. At the end of their training, we shall see how to help some of them to acquire the equipment to start their own businesses through small loans. Also, some may get the chance to be employed by sole proprietors who would need people with such skills. Whatever the case, these teenage mothers have to go beyond stone quarry or paper beads.
So far we have registered ten (10) teenage mothers who are undergoing the training, working on the computer together with the young boys who began a little bit earlier. Tailoring will kick off as soon as we get someone who can help volunteer in that area. And we have a very big number to register in tailoring because even those who do not know how to write and read completely can grasp these skills.
Grace Briefing teenage mothers
Training in progress