During the COVID-19 pandemic, the founder of Pack for Purpose, Rebecca Rothney, met with Lilliane Babirye, the founder of The Young Women Coalition during a International Focus zoom call. Following their discussion, Lilliane became fascinated with Pack for a Purpose and found a tour company that would support her organization’s mission. In December 2021, we were delighted to add The Young Women Coalition to our organization. Since their addition, Pack for a Purpose has been able to provide younger mothers with supplies that enable useful skills and independence from their socioeconomic hardships.
The current teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda at 25% is the highest East Africa, from 2019 to 2021, 67 districts in Uganda have registered increase in teenage pregnancies and girl child school dropouts.
Data taken during and after the COVID-19 lockdowns suggests that Uganda may be in the throes of a far larger crisis with longer-term social, cultural, and economic ramifications for the nation as a result of teenage pregnancies. The effects of teenage pregnancies directly impact on the life opportunities of girls and young women. Indeed, early and more frequent childbearing has increased their risk of maternal morbidity and mortality, gender-based violence, low educational attainment, and high levels of unpaid labor.
Many out of school adolescents in Uganda are trapped in unprotected sexual activity which has heightened their risk of acquiring HIV ,Teenage Mothers in Uganda are a vulnerable demographic when it comes to this disease since they lack the resources ,bargaining power, knowledge and information to protect themselves.
The overwhelming girl child school drops outs and the health related complications that come up as a result of early sexual activity in Uganda have also led to long life threatening complications to teenage mothers such as hemorrhage, still births ,un safe abortions, short term interval births and second teenage pregnancies, permanent body deformities, cancers of the reproductive tract and infertility problems, Sexually transmitted diseases which affect their productive lives and sometimes lead to maternal deaths.
Teen Mothers in Uganda stomach silence on the accumulated stigma that comes along from peers, family and the community. Negative community perceptions and stigma towards teenage pregnancies continue to bar teenage mothers from healing, opening up about their past fate and getting back to the public due to the too much echoes, victimization, finger pointing and noises that come up every time they show up in public places like hospitals, schools and community activities. Teen mothers further face discrimination and expulsions from homes by relatives and parents were they end up sleeping in public places, markets, verandas were they are further exposed to rape and sexual harassment.
We are supporting over 1000 teenage mothers to regain a meaningful life.
Your support through Pack for a Purpose will aid their comprehensive integration back into the Ugandan Education system, it will help them gain soft or hard skill and support their full enjoyment of their human rights and bodily autonomy.
Help us save the Next Girl Generation!