The Teen Mother Project
Bush Ways Foundation started the Teen Mother project early 2015.
Some of the main issues encountered in rural communities, and more particularly in the Khwai Community, are related to education and early motherhood. Khwai counts more than 25 girls who became pregnant between the ages of 12 and 15 and either dropped out of school or never went to school. These girls do not know how to read or write, nor have they had the chance to develop the ability to get prepared to face the challenges of parenthood and related responsibilities, or to adapt to professional environments.
Bush Ways Foundation has therefore targeted the following goals:
- Ensuring that the young mothers whose parents are still alive and able to help take care of their grandchildren can attend school again.
- Tutoring of the young mothers who cannot or do not wish to go back to school (afraid of social stigma, lack of family support for various reasons, etc.) to allow them to learn how to read and write. The children are taken care of while the girls attend the classes.
- Since Bush Ways owns and manages Sango Safari Camp which has developed strong links with the local community, we have arranged that each week Sango welcomes one or two of the teenage mothers. They help out in different departments and get to learn different areas in the hospitality industry. As Bush Ways has also recently opened Khwai Guest House on the edge of the Khwai Village, they will be given there the same opportunity. We have hired 3 of the girls amongst the Sango/KGH teams on a permanent basis.
We have received the support from local organizations: Chaunoda from Women Against Rape, Beauty Bogwasi from Rock Solid Counseling and Naledi from Safari Destinations have all three provided early motherhood / child trauma counseling and assistance.
Together we organize regular group sessions to follow up on the progress of our collaborative effort, see how the girls are doing, offer counseling especially for those who have suffered from abuse. These sessions always include some fun activities, singing/dancing sessions, with our teams looking after the children during the meetings.