Child Protection

The Amplified Community Action against Teenage Pregnancy and Child Marriage

Project: Funded by Capital for Good through Girls First Fund and aims at, Ending child marriage and teenage pregnancy for prosperity and social economic transformation. The project is implemented within Abarilela Sub-County in Amuria District. The project has resulted into the following achievements:

Increased income opportunities for teenage mothers: Approximately 83% of the teenage mother’s targeted households reported to have no income source during the beginning of the project; this has reduced to 42.5% at the end of May 2022. The general improvement in income generation is linked to the VSLA youth groups formed, which increased access to credit from VSLA Cumulative Loans of $3,500 (UGX 12,600,000/=) used for running micro-business. Teenage mothers’ members can now borrow money and start a business without many challenges. The enterprises created include: fish selling, general merchandise, milling flour business, piggery, goat selling, butchery, saloon, bakery, bee keeping, produce buying and tricycle operation. The higher increment is attributed to access to loans through VSLA methodology and mentorship provided by AYADO staff. Also, AYADO successfully completed disbursement of revolving fund exercise to 100 abandoned and vulnerable teenage mothers. AYADO teamed up with Abarilela Sub County Community Development officials and transferred startup revolving fund worth UGX 3 million ($833). This was delivered to 5 groups in the field to facilitate running the group and individual businesses among teenage mother beneficiaries. The businesses are: tailoring, goat selling, grocery, saloon, bakery, horticulture, tailoring and farming.

Responsible parenthood Built;

The community dialogues held have emphasized on the role of parents in child development as well as challenge negative cultural norms that do value boys at the expense of girls. This has enabled parents to care children equally and provide basic needs for both children especially education access without considering gender as it is was previously. This has led to increased school enrolment of girls and change in their mindset.

Development of self-esteem and confidence among girls;

With continues sensitization by established Child Protection Clubs at schools who often speak to their peers on the dangers of child marriages together with training sessions and life skills training conducted for the selected beneficiaries on themes of communication, time management, health promotion, gender equality/leadership, protection, and other social cohesion related topics, this has built confidence and self-esteem among girls. They have become more assertive against child marriages thereby leading to a decrease of child marriage cases as girls.
Mind-set change: through community dialogues, reflection meetings and trainings that we often conduct, there is a positive change in the community in light to marrying off girls at a tender age. Community member are now aware of the negative impacts of child marriages and were taught on proper parenting methodologies thereby creating awareness and change in negative attitudes that see girls as a burden and sources of their livelihoods. AYADO continuously promoted “mind set” change processes through stimulation, inspiration, and motivation for self-reliance and reduction of cases of child marriages in the community.

Awareness creation; The community dialogues conducted have created awareness to targeted communities on the dangers of child marriages. This has led in to change in attitudes and mindsets in regards to girls getting married early and thereby its now progressively reducing.

Police Officer Abarilela Sub County addressing the community member of the dangers of early marriages during community dialogue in Arute Parish: Photo by Catherine Akiror
Provision of temporary employment and livelihood opportunities for 500 teenage mothers engaged in Savings for Transformation. Loans were mainly used to start individual petty businesses and cater for immediate household needs like clothes, access medical care, purchase of food and scholastic materials for their children. The groups provide safety nets through the social or welfare funds that members access during emergencies like funerals, sickness and disasters. Now S4T approach provides platform for vulnerable households to save and acquire quick and cheap loans to invest in productive activities because it is member managed and they share both profit and losses. The established businesses are creating temporary employment opportunities for teenage mothers who are now relying on their micro businesses for survival other than depending on men who in turn exploit them sexually.