I am a Single mother who lives in a Small town called Gboko, Benue State Nigeria. The rate at which teenage girls get pregnant here is very high. Most have to leave school and are sent away from their homes. Some attempt to abort the pregnancies illegally and some end up loosing their lives.
Others give birth to those babies and abandon them or smother them to death in other to be free of the " curse". Others are forced into early marriages in order not to stain the reputation of their families. Others are given off to men who are old enough to be their grandfathers and have many wives and children in order to do away with the " Curse."
I was privileged to have an Educationist father who refused to give me up and faced the shame of accommodating a "Disgraceful"l daughter, and saw me through Higher Education. He helped me also take care of my son whose father denied getting me pregnant. My son is out of High School now and is preparing to go to the University.
I now choose to speak on behalf of such girls in my community although no one pays me any mind. Some shake their heads and proclaim pity for my late dad who chose to keep such an abomination.( Me) I am even threatened to be beaten up if I go ahead with my campaign.
I speak to the few I can privately because I cannot be caught by family members of such girls who would even kill me if the y know I am giving encouragement of any kind to their daughter to keep their babies or not loose help.
Single mothers in my community are Stigmatized and some cannot even walk about confidently. Men secretly ask them for sex in exchange for money to care for their children. They are vulnerable to Prostitution and poverty and disease. Their children are prone to hunger, lack of Shelter and illiteracy as the mothers cannot afford to send them to school.
I call on all well meaning women to come to the aid of these girls as there is only very little I can do. They need support in shelter, food, clothing and education for their kids. They also need to be trained in various skills and trade to become self subtenant.