Campaign Update

Pregnant Teenagers Are Joining Us

Aramide Oikelome
Posted May 14, 2018 from Nigeria

Very recently, I read with dismay an online article credited to the British Deputy High Commissioner in Lagos, Laure Beaufils, which stated that about 36% of Nigerian teenage girls from ages15 to 19 are mothers. This, of course has become a worrisome trend, not just because girls are the most vulnerable in the society but much more because if their welfare is neglected, the society becomes deeply and negatively affected.

It was therefore against this backdrop that Beaufils expressed British government’s commitment to tacking the numerous challenges confronting the girlchild in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State, where the influx of visitors has resulted in our having so many hapless girls on the streets, with no education or means of livelihood. According to the envoy, the British government effort is geared towards taking girls out of the streets and ensuring that they acquire literacy, numeracy and entrepreneurial skills.

It is believed that such knowledge would unlock the potentials of the girls who before now had little or no education as well as grant them access to new opportunities that could improve their lives and the society at large.

It was against this backdrop that we at Bestspring Foundation recently engaged young women in our Adolescent Mothers Club at Ijegun for a vocational training exercise that was facilitated by Omotola Bisuga Jesusina. The primary aim was to create a more structured platform for them to acquire livelihood skills and support them to improve their learning outcomes and economic status.

 Interestingly, the program had in attendance new comers; yes, pregnant teenagers with no clue as to what the future holds; two pregnant girls, aged 16 and 18 that had to drop out of school few months ago due to their pregnancies and are currently going through emotional distress as a result of rejection and poverty. Theirs is indeed pathetic because even with six/seven months old pregnancies respectively, both of them have no means of livelihood- no job, no skill, no business.

But after spending one hour with me at an interactive session where we addressed the issues causing fear and apprehension (health, food and emotional stability) and examined possible intervention measures, they were encouraged. They also spent ample time with our trainer Omotola alongside other members of the Adolescent Mothers Club as she taught them how to make Perfume, Air-freshener and Insecticide. At the end of the day, Yemi and Shade went home with some ray of hope and new sense of direction.

Of course it’s the preamble. We are gradually laying the foundation; training the minds of these pregnant girls/young mothers to see that there is light at the end of the tunnel; that they are not hopeless and helpless; that they can make something beautiful with their lives; that they can take a second chance at life; that they can acquire skills to earn income; that they don’t have to be liability to anyone; that they can have economic power and above all we at Bestspring Foundation are willing to give them and their children all the necessary support.

Yes! I uphold that a girl’s life and dreams should not come to a halt because she got pregnant while in school. She deserves a second chance and should be encouraged to shake off the dust and forge ahead. Let's unite and end the shame game! Let's heal their hurts and restore hope to them and their vulnerable children.

#EndTheShameGame

#SecondChanceForAdolescentMothers

 

 

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Comments 19

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QueenVirtuous
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018

Darling Aramide Oikelome, 

Your story/update is heartwarming. Females are the bedrock of any society, and it is with a sense of pride that I say this. Societies are negatively affected and even face extinction if the girl child is left unattended to. There's just too much potential in a female to ignore, so much more than just culinary and domestic skills and competencies.

Education provides not just literacy but also a sense of value in a woman which is key to unlocking the creative powers that are deposited deep within her.

This is why our fight is for a good cause, and not to be abandoned. 

The situation of pregnant teens always touches me deeply. I know the emotional distress they go through on a daily. Yemi, Shade and all those girls at Bestspring Foundation have a brighter future because of you. On their behalf, I say a heartfelt thank you! 

By the way, I love the name of your Foundation. "Bestspring".....places so much worth on the woman. 

Looking forward to your next update. Much love! 

Aramide Oikelome
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

My Dear QueenVirtuous,

I appreciate your encouragement. Education and Empowerment remains critical if we must end the shame game and give our teen mums a new lease of life. 

I can assure you that Yemi, Shade and others in this situation will enjoy our continued support.

Thanks for being there for us1

In Partnership,

Aramide

Tamarack Verrall
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018

Dear Aramide,

It is so encouraging to read about the down to earth work that you are doing with these young women. Offering training in ways to become financially independent is so important and necessary. But you touch on a much deeper healing that you provide so beautifully - the reminder that one hour of positive support is life changing in itself, undoing of messages of shame and replacing those with confidence and claiming the right to respect, dignity and independence. When I hear people say that "things will never change" I talk about WorldPulse sisters like you.

In sisterhood,

Tam

Aramide Oikelome
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 19, 2018

Tam Darling,

You have always been a Strong Pillar and Powerful Encourager! You are indeed a treasure and your support is one of the things that keeps me going. 

I totally agree with you that Worldpulse is one place where " Positive Change" is inevitable. Here we are Changemakers; working passionately to revolutionize our world and make it better for all women, regardless of their status, creed, age or profession.

Keep leading the way Tam. Much, much Love!

In Sisterhood,

Aramide  

Jill Langhus
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018

Hi Aramide. Thanks so much for sharing your story and your Adolescent Mothers Club. What an amazing gift you have created there for those girls. I do hope you keep us posted on how they are doing in the future and what they end up doing for livelihood? Have they considered joining WP?

Aramide Oikelome
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

Hi Jill,

Many of our teen mums and pregnant girls either did not go to school or didn't finish before pregnancy set in. So, they are not educated and may not be able to express themselves on World pulse platform. That is why I have not formally brought them on board.

But I have introduced them to WP and also told them amazing stories of the exploits our sisters are doing across the globe.

Thanks for your kind words!

Aramide

Jill Langhus
May 31, 2018
May 31, 2018

Hi there:) Oh, I see:( That's sad. I hope they are able to gain some or more education in the future so they can pursue their dreams. You're very welcome:) Have a great day!

coolasas
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018

You were right everybody deserves second chances to right the wrong but more to learn a d grow from our mistakes. And it's right that you give them the fighting chance to better themselves by providing them the knowledge and skills they will need to navigate their new realities. 

Good luxk to you Aramide and Inwish all the best to the young girls you're accompanying to the future whatever others try to say about it.

Cheers 

Coolasas

Aramide Oikelome
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

Hi Coolasas,

I appreciate your encouragement and trust that our young mothers will do well. I will definitely keep you posted.

Thank you,

Aramide

Olutosin
May 15, 2018
May 15, 2018

E Ku ise sister mi. I love your energy. Keep on transforming our world. Respect.

Aramide Oikelome
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

My Darling Sister,

Kudos to you now and always! You inspire greatly!

I appreciate you!

Aramide

Corine Milano
May 17, 2018
May 17, 2018

Always so inspired by your updates! Thank you for your work and passion, Aramide!

Aramide Oikelome
May 30, 2018
May 30, 2018

Thank you Corine! I'm encouraged by your kind words.

Blessings!

leila Kigha
Jun 06, 2018
Jun 06, 2018

Thank you for sharing my dear sister. There is alot of work to do but we are getting there one girl at a time. Keep on keeping on.

Aramide Oikelome
Jun 19, 2018
Jun 19, 2018

Leila Dear

Thanks for your kind and encouraging words. It's truly uplifting

I appreciate you!

Aramide 

rosemary_ntoipo
Oct 23, 2018
Oct 23, 2018

Thanks a lot for sharing this Aramide and thanks for helping and giving hope adolescent mothers. Interactive sessions are very important as they help them express themselves and drives them to coming bold and courageous. Keep up the good work you are doing. 

Aramide Oikelome
Dec 04, 2018
Dec 04, 2018

Hi Rosemary! 

Thanks for your encouraging words. Truly, the interactive session gives a strong sense of bonding because each one feels loved and heard. That way, they are relieved of their burden and stress.

Stay blessed as you continue your great works too.

In Sisterhood,

Aramide

Pertulla Ezigha Ketcha
Nov 17, 2018
Nov 17, 2018

Dear Aramide,

Thank you for the wonderful work you are doing, creating an inclusive environment for young girls who have lost the essence and joy of life. The stigmatization against teenage pregnancy has to stop. I always say "dependency leads to vulnerability", as long we do not educate and train our girls on the importance of learning a skill and exploiting the many opportunities out there, then we will be doing the same work every time which is advocating without good results. I am happy you are breaking that cycle by giving girls opportunities to get a sustainable livelihood. I want to encourage you in your good work, that of helping girls empower themselves and reducing infant and maternal mortality.

Keep up! courage

Aramide Oikelome
Dec 04, 2018
Dec 04, 2018

Dear Pertulla,

Your words are deep and thought-provoking. How striking "dependency leads to vulnerability". That is absolutely true. The more reason why we must do everything possible to break the cycle of poverty through education and economic empowerment. Our girls deserve the best and they will have it by God's grace.

Keep soaring Pertulla. Wishing you the very best in all your endeavours.

In Sisterhood,

Aramide