One of the unanticipated consequences of the shutdown of schools due to the outbreak of the novel Coronavirus has been the rise in teenage pregnancies.
The Economic and Social Empowerment for Local Communities (ESLA) has committed itself to come to the aid of girls who fall into this category.
One such student is Hannah Twinomugisha (16) who is a beneficiary of the ESLA initiative. Twinomugisha was a student at YMCA Wandegeya studying a Tours and Travel course before she fell pregnant.
Upon learning that she was pregnant, her parents warned her not to set foot at home in Masindi with her “shame.”
Twinomugisha was forced to seek shelter with friends who live in the ghettos of Katanga as they wait for resumption of the normal education cycle.
Her boyfriend, upon learning of her pregnancy, had cut off all contact with her.
Luckily for Twinomugisha, she had learned of ESLA’s programmes and applied. She asked to be taught a vocational skill she could use to look after herself and her baby, once she gave birth.
This week ESLA-Uganda communication director Racheal Nakanwagi and her team visited Twinomugisha and other ESLA affiliates in Katanga.
During the ESLA visit, Nakanwagi explained that ESLA wishes to expand its programme to help even people trapped in gender based violence situations. She appealed to good samaritans and those with a giving heart to continue aiding ESLA in this mission.
She said that teenage pregnancy is a form of GBV though many people do not realise this. She appealed for more sensitization and said ESLA would continue to do its part in this effort.
ESLA visited with donated items.