Teen mothers in Rwanda have found a channel for employment and self-rebuilding. Dative left school because of early pregnancy, she was then abandoned, she narrates how she was loved again
Dative (not her real name) is a teen mother of 19 years-old who dropped out of school as a result of early pregnancy. Then, she was studying in primary five.Schooling children is a clear pathway to better future
After her father died she continued to live with her working-class mother who was unable to cater academic materials for her.
‘’ My mom was too poor enough to buy scholastic materials for me, so I left school in order to go to look for a house-maid job. Later, I had sex with my fellow housemaid who was working with me in that home and that is how i found myself pregnant,'’ she said.
She complemented that she was evicted from that home immediately when the owner figured out that she was pregnant. She remained with no further choice except for returning to her mother’s home. As her mother saw her coming home she realized what happened and started berating and mocking at her.
‘’ My mom became very mad at me and mistreated me until she refused to give me food, then I felt alone and isolated since I left with nobody to share my problems with,’’ she added.
She further said that something good that she will never forget is a relentless support she received from speak out initiative, because to her, she at least has people to share experience and opinions with.
‘’ I enjoy every moment when I am with other girls in the group. We do save some money and I can borrow some to solve my problems''.
She concluded that she grasped opportunity to enjoy intensive training on violence organized by ActionAid in partnership with Victory Association, wherein they are educated on diverse forms of violence. As she began to be taught about her rights and obligations as a girl, she learned that her mother was violating her rights through verbal abuses.
She was also told where to report violence cases just in case and learned how to invest in small income generating activities thanks to her savings. She is for now happy and ambitious woman, rearing chickens and selling tomatoes