TEMO in campaign to make teenager mothers entrepreneursTEMO has provided a vocational centre located in Namuwongo, on the outskirts of central Kampala, which offers training in tailoring, hairdressing and entrepreneurship skills that help teenage mothers start up small businesses.
Teenage Mother’s Outreach (TEMO), a Ugandan NGO that tries to limit the stigma towards young single mothers by encouraging and supporting them with business skills, has launched a new campaign dubbed, ‘My Heroine Challenge’.
The campaign wants to draw out the best and different attributes of the young women who have showcased perseverance in hard times without compromising their dignity any longer. TEMO says this will go a long way to encourage many other teenage mothers and their households.
May 9 was Mothers’ Day. Joseph Arineitwe the TEMO Founder said, “We couldn’t have celebrated these young mothers on any other day except Mothers’ day. We have held their hands for eight years now, and have witnessed their challenges but also evident and ongoing transformation of their lives. We therefore say to them “Yalamanoi TOOTO” translated as “Thank you Mother” as we raise awareness of the dangers of teenage pregnancy and early marriages; and also raise funds towards their health and nutrition.”
TEMO was founded in 2012. He said, “Whereas TEMO has provided the bare minimum in empowering the women with vocational skills, their health and nutrition remains a challenge that endangers their livelihood. I specially thank our partners, Engage Hope Ministries, Strong Minds Uganda, Kampala Capital City Authority, Access Medical Center; Dr. George Odoi who have been at the helm of monitoring, treating, advising and referring teenage mothers to TEMO.”
Since its inception, TEMO has reached out to over 500 girls from the Kampala slums of Namuwongo, Kasanvu, Kanyogoga, Yoka, Go down, Tibaleka and Mugalu. It has also provided a vocational center located in Namuwongo, Makindye division which offers training in tailoring, hairdressing and entrepreneurship skills that help teenage mothers start up small businesses to earn and support their children and households. The women also engage in hawking vegetables and fruits, domestic working, frying pancakes, cassava and chips, among other activities.
Dr. Odoi said, “The teenage pregnancy rate in Uganda stands at 25%, where young mothers in Uganda risk poor maternal and child health. It is our role as medical practitioners to guide the young mothers on how to take care of their health though encouraging them to seek prenatal care, and feeding their children on a balanced diet. I call upon all the teenagers to abstain from sex before marriage or use contraceptives to curb unwanted pregnancies.”