TANZANIA: She was a child and conceived before seeing her first mensturation

rosemary_ntoipo
Posted June 6, 2017 from Tanzania
A young pregnant girl
Many girls who are married off too early conceive during their first menstruation and miss out on the experience that comes with it.

Penina was a 10 year old girl when her parents married her off at the beginning of this year 2017 to a man in the neighboring country Kenya. This for quite a while has become a cross-border trend that is affecting some of the young girls living along the border, where Kenya borders Tanzania in the North.

She had seen her older sister given to an old man and later died due to pregnancy complication. Has is a life that is uncertain. She did not know how to cook. Many times when I saw her in a company of other young girls her age playing while looking after their parents few goats, I could see clearly in her a child whose life had been compromised.

One day I decided to walk to her parent’s home. I arrived to find her younger sister putting on a fire for the mother to start cooking. I had thought it best to convince them to let her be a child and let her go back to school where she had dropped from class two. We sat and I started explaining to the mother about it. It was then that I learned that dowry had already been paid and was about to be given away. The date had not been set and was therefore had to keep track of her moving away soon. I called and alerted a government official in-charge of the area and came to make a follow- up of the same.

When the official arrived, she had already been given out. She was nowhere near. I started asking for her whereabouts. It was then that I came to learn that she had been married off. I started working out to protect the last of the girls in the family who was now 8 years old. As I sort to know whether she had been booked for marriage as this was normal in this particular community. To my surprise she has although she has not been married off but soon there is no question about it. To add onto this her father died early this year and the plans had already been laid. This means when she undergoes FGM then it becomes a ticket to her marriage.

Penina became pregnant; she had never seen her first menstruation. When I asked her mother why they decided to give her out that early she said, she was ready for marriage. It’s when I asked her why she thought her daughter was ready for it and other questions triggered my asking whether her daughter had gone through the menstruation period and she responded that many girls her age have not had their menstruation instead they just conceive. This conversation explained how much these children get into early sex with their husbands and miss out to experience anything like their first menstruation period. This means ovulation takes place without them ever having their first and knowing anything like it.

What I want to do, is to educate and reach out to the larger community especially parents on the same through a Local Community Radio (awareness creation) lessons and also construct a Girls Rescue Center to protect girls and help them complete school

How to Get Involved

  • Donate towards the construction of a Girls Rescue Center

 

This post was submitted in response to Share Your Story On Any Topic.

Comments 13

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jlanghus
Jun 07, 2017
Jun 07, 2017

Hi Rosemary. Poor Penina and her sisters:( I really appreciate what you are doing for these girls. That's no life:( Good luck. I hope to hear some good stories from you soon on your progress... Namaste.

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 08, 2017
Jun 08, 2017

Hi jlanghus. Thanks a lot. I also hope to see the youngest of all get support to go back to school. I appreciate.

jlanghus
Jun 08, 2017
Jun 08, 2017

You're welcome:) Please keep us posted...

Hadebe16
Jun 07, 2017
Jun 07, 2017

Hi Rosemary

Such awful things happen to children from their trusted parents You are doing a wonderful job education and rescuing saving some of these young girls Maybe they will learn and have courage  to save their own children You are a hero Thank you

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 08, 2017
Jun 08, 2017

Hi Hadebe, am very grateful and happy to connect with you. Thanks a lot for all that you mentioned and yes they will learn and have courage to save their own children. Again, thanks a lot

AMumbua
Jun 18, 2017
Jun 18, 2017

Hey Rosemary, This is a painful story, I really feel for the girls and all who undergo the same. Keep up the good work you are doing. I hope to hear success stories from you soon.

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 28, 2017
Jun 28, 2017

Hi AMumbua, Yes, it is.Thanks a lot. Am so grateful and very happy to connect with you. Lets keep in-touch. Again, thanks a lot.

Fiona De Brabanter
Jun 18, 2017
Jun 18, 2017

Hi Rosemary, I read a similar story about a rescue school in India where girls would be given the opportunity to complete their schooling instead of being married off. By the time they had finished their education, they were strong and wise enough to oppose the arranged marriage and also able to sustain themselves without an older husband to take care of their means. I fully support your endeavours. You're a very brave woman.

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 28, 2017
Jun 28, 2017

Hi Flowerpot, Thanks a lot. Am very happy to connect with you. Yes, a rescue center/ school is a very good solution to many of their problems. This will help them complete school, get quality education and be self reliant for future sustainable development. Again, thanks a lot flowerpot.

Anita Kiddu Muhanguzi
Jun 19, 2017
Jun 19, 2017

My dear sister this is a very sad state of affairs. It breaks my heart to know that young girls are being married off at such a tender age. Children should be give  a chance to be children and have an education. There is need for sensitization of your community so that the innocence of these young girls is protectes. You have done well my dear sister. Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Stay blessed

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 28, 2017
Jun 28, 2017

Dear sister Anita, Am happy to connect with you. Yes, like you mentioned it is a very sad state of affair and children should be given a chance to be children. Education for them is the right way to go. Community sensitization is very important to help break the vice. Am very grateful. Stay blessed too, sister Anita.

AbigayleMutua
Jun 27, 2017
Jun 27, 2017

This is such a painful story. We need to educate the parents on the importance of the girl child. the importance of childhood. And the Importance to make their own choices!

rosemary_ntoipo
Jun 28, 2017
Jun 28, 2017

Hi Abigael, Am very happy to connect with you. Yes, it is. Absolutely, educating parents on the importance of the girl child, childhood and making their own choices is very important. This will help them get a better understanding in about the girl child. Am very grateful Abigael.