Members of staff from Absa Bank Uganda under the Women Network Forum yesterday donated assorted items and provided skilling to 70 teenage mothers in Kyegegwa.
At a ceremony held at Kakabara Primary School in Kyegegwa District in Western Uganda, the ladies donated assorted essential items like toiletries, diapers and bedsheets and handed over five laptops fitted with Absa’s Ready to Work program – a digital platform that offers training courses in essential work, entrepreneurial, money and work skills.
Additionally, they conducted training in financial literacy and knitting and planted 100 fruit trees at the school in a drive to increase the area’s green cover and help boost the nutrition of the members of the community.
Chloe Kermu, the chair lady of Absa’s Women Network Forum, said the group was responding to a 2021 United Nations Population Fund report that said that Uganda had recorded 290,000 teenage mothers from January to September.
She said, “As one of Absa’s citizenship pillars to create a just society, we are here in response to statistics that show that the teenage mother is not supported to return to school after they have gotten pregnant. So today, we are bringing a message of hope and giving you the skills you need to take control of both your and your child’s life.”
According to the National Strategy to End Child Marriage and Teenage Pregnancy 2022/2023 – 2026/2027 – a joint effort between the Ministry of Gender, Labour and Social Development and UNICEF Uganda, Uganda’s teenage pregnancy rate stands at 25% and the highest in East Africa.
The report adds that between March and June 2020 alone, pregnancies increased by25.5% among girls aged 15-19 years and 366% among girls aged 10-14 years, adding that Child Marriages and Teenage Pregnancies jeopardize our country’s strategy to achieve results under the Human Capital Development Programme outlined in the National Development Plan III.
Hon. Tom Bright Amooti – the Member of Parliament for Kyaka Central encouraged the mothers not to lose hope and thanked the bank and the other partners present for the support they are rendering to the people of Kyaka Central.
Phiona Bright, the Executive Director of Integrated Efforts for Youth and Women Empowerment Uganda (IEYAWE Uganda), emphasised the need for the mothers to capitalise on opportunities that will help add value to their lives and help them become self-sufficient.
IEYAWE Uganda is an organisation that works with women and adolescents to improve livelihoods through Agri enterprise, conservation and promotion of reproductive health rights.
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