“There was a time when I was loved by my parents, but when I was 14, I made the mistake of falling pregnant. My parents were so disappointed in me. At that time, I was in grade nine. With exams steadily approaching I continued to attend school. My friends used to laugh at me and point fingers at me. I cried and prayed to God, my only true friend at the time.
But I never gave up. I kept going to school, even though it was difficult to concentrate because the other girls used to gossip about me. When I was writing my exams, I was almost nine months pregnant. I gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
In December, our results came out. I qualified to go on to grade 10. My parents were so proud of me, again. They wanted to send me back to school, but they do not work, so they have no money. So I stayed at home, waiting for God to help me. At least my daughter’s father supports her, and he says he will marry me, once I complete my studies.
Now, instead of being home all day doing nothing, I attend the DREAMS Mentoring and Family Literacy programs offered at Lubuto Library Partners. I always advise the girls in our mentoring program to wait and not rush into having sex. I tell them, 'I miss school … you need to understand the possible consequences of having sex at an early age.’”
*This story was published in DREAMS Innovation Challenge: Silence Speaks- Youth Stories