2008 Uganda BRPID Projects

Uganda BRPID Projects 

Uganda: Support for Teenage Mothers

Uganda Association of University Women

uganda_teenmothersIn many communities there is no support structure available to teenage mothers. As a result they feel isolated and have to face problems of discrimination, rejection, poverty, vulnerability to disease and to HIV/AIDS by themselves. This project, based in the Rukungiri District of western Uganda, brings together young mothers, local civic leaders, religious leaders and women’s group representatives, to find ways of addressing these challenges and to make the community more aware of the needs of young teenage mothers. PeerLink Initiative Uganda (PELI-U), a national NGO, is working in partnership with Uganda Association of University Women (UAUW) members on this project.

Special training courses have been devised for the young mothers by PELI-U, with emphasis on health care, child welfare, parenting skills and income generating skills. Members of the UAUW direct and are responsible for the administration of the training courses, which started in July 2008.

During 2008, 40 young single mothers received child care training. They also received skills training in basket weaving from community based artisans, which has enabled them to earn a small income. A savings scheme has been established for the group and each member contributes the equivalent of US$1 monthly.

UAUW members monitoring the project report that there is already evidence of increased community support for the teenage mothers. However, there are many obstacles to overcome. There are still inadequate funds to purchase materials for all of the activities and a lack of facilities (toys and mattresses) for the babies. It is also proving difficult to find the funds to cater for meals and refreshments during the training periods and many of the participants do not bring food with them for themselves or their children. Absenteeism among the young mothers is another problem and some are missing training days because they have to engage in casual work to earn extra money.

It is planned that the project will continue during 2009 and 2010.

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