I do not condone nor encourage teenage pregnancy, but truth is... many teens will become parents before their 18th birthday. Teen pregnancy exists and will continue to exist. How do I know?
Here's My Story
In 1982, at the age of 14, I became a teenage mother. During that time many options were presented to me, such as adoption, abortion, and even passing my child off to an older family member to be raised as their child. However, at 14 years old, I made the decision to keep and raise my own child. My choice came with many tears, great sacrifices, and at times regrets; it wasn't easy, but with love, faith, time, support, and training... it did get better.
As a missionary, I've traveled to many places, and have seen many struggling teen mothers with stories of despair, hopelessness, and pains of regret.
A few years ago I landed in East Africa, moved on to West Africa, and settled in Nigeria, where there is an estimate of 31.5 percent of teenage mothers and mothers to be. Close to 90 percent of these soon to be mothers, and teen mothers do not have any support from their families in helping them through this difficult time.
My mission in this country was not to start a group home for teenage mothers, it sorta knocked on my gate.
How Elizabeth's Place Came To Be:
On July the 24th, there was a knock at my gate. A young African woman was standing in the pouring down rain with a naked baby tied to her back. She had been beaten and thrown out of her home with nothing but the clothes on her back. Her baby was wet, cold and feverish.
After hearing her story, I realized that many pregnant teens in Nigeria are considered a disgrace to their parents, and are often rejected, disowned, beat, and thrown into the streets like trash. Some have been taken to the father of the unborn child parents home, and left there like disregarded property. Others are given options to dispose of the child, while others have even gone as far as murdering and burying their newborn child just to be accepted back into the home of their parents. This is not the way nor the answer.
At Elizabeth's Place, we offer a 6-month transitional housing and life skill program for pregnant teens, and teen mothers who are experiencing family rejection, abandonment, and homelessness due to their decision to keep their child. Our home provides supportive services for 2nd-trimester pregnant teens and teen mothers with children under the age of 2.
Life doesn't end, because of a bad decision.
There is hope~
Mrs. D, Founder & Dir. Jos Nigeria
Lady D' is the founder of The Learning Center, and Girl Get Ready! Life Soul-ution Network for Women. Lady D` invites you to connect with Elizabeth's Place Nigeria and GGR at the links below......Together We Can