When a young teenage girl gets pregnant in Nigeria, there is an instant shroud of shame cast upon her. If she is lucky, she’d get support and love from her family and friends. Very few teenage girls get this. The predominant attitude is a stigmatisation and an outcasting from everything she has known or relied upon.
For a young girl, this can have a long lasting psychological impact. We live in a world that remains consistently unfair to women, as the men who impregnate these girls are not shamed in equal measure.
Bertha Amuga set up Amuga’s Hope to give teen moms a sense of love, and a feeling of inclusion. Raised in Port Harcourt, Bertha had a lot of friends who had to drop out of school because of teenage pregnancy, who never and a chance to pick up pieces of their lives again.
“The hardest part of being a young unmarried mother, is the misconception and stigmatization labels from society. People can be cruel and the lack of support from society puts you down and makes you feel ashamed of being a parent, Amuga’s Hope, is formed to empower the mums-to-be by enabling them to secure a good future for themselves and their kids’ future.”
Amuga’s hope was set up to counsel, educate and empower teenage mothers. Through the non-governmental organisation, Bertha also provides medical counselling to families in order to help reduce the pain caused by unplanned pregnancies.
With a special emphasis on counselling, educating and equipping these girls for the future, Amuga’s Hope isn’t hoping to just give these girls fish, but also teach them how to fish. It has been a slow but steady process, but more girls have come to Amuga’s Hope through referrals from Bertha’s friends, family and associates. Social media has also been impactful in spreading the word of love and inclusion.
And this is the space which Amuga’s Hope strives to fill. This is the quest of this organisation: “to raise women who are going to be a support system to their countries and respective communities. Women that will contribute to the growth of a strong and vibrant next generation.
Read the Full Story on BellaNaija