Thursday, 17 November 2011

My Story: Teen Pregnancy

I am 20 years old. I am a first born in a family of six. We all live in the Lindi Village of Kibera, with both parents and my six-year-old daughter. My siblings are all in school and my mother is a housewife. My father, the sole breadwinner for the family works with a security firm as a guard in industrial area in the outskirts of the city.

It was not my intention to get pregnant that early, but I had a boyfriend who was also my neighbour. He gave me money to cater for my needs like pads, lotion, and toiletries, and he would even buy food for my family at times. When I got pregnant, my parents wanted to know who was responsible so that he could take accountability for our daughter, but he denied responsibility and moved to another house without telling me where he was.

My parents suggested I procure an abortion because they could hardly provide for the entire family and this was an extra burden to them, but we could not afford the abortion money, so I had to carry the pregnancy out through delivery.

I decided to work as a laundress in a nearby estate along with other women in the community, so that I could earn some savings, which could help me support my child and myself, and earn money to open a sukuma wiki (vegetable) kiosk.

After some few months I started operating the kiosk, which provided well for my family and me until I delivered a baby girl. A year later, I applied to join a nearby secondary school and through my savings from selling the sukuma wiki, I paid for a whole year.

I knew that I would have difficulties in the second year, so I applied for a government scholarship to finance the remaining three years. Due to good performance, I got the scholarship, which provided for the rest of my secondary education. I did very well and attained good grades that would enable me to join a public university in Kenya. However, I might not be able to achieve my dream of becoming a nurse because my family and I cannot afford fees for my university.

I am currently volunteering with ICA as a mentor empowering girls in life skills, reproductive health and financial education. It is my hope that they will be able to make informed decisions and choices for better lives in this community.

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