As the year comes to the end, MFURA Foundation Organization organized three important activities that aim at supporting teen mothers and their children, ensuring their wellbeing and a brighter future.
This organization trained parents of the teen mothers on various concepts that can help them understand lures into which their children can be trapped and how to help them prevent against them.
Parents of teen mothers were urged to help them to heal moral injuries instead of abandoning them with their little children.
Marie Clarisse Mfurayabo, Founder and Executive Director of MFURA Foundation said that lack of parental education has been observed as the main accelerator to early pregnancies and it is why parents need special conversations reminding them of their responsibilities.
“Today we want to interact with you and see how to cope with trauma you face after seeing your daughters impregnated and see how to cater for them as well as your grandchildren born from them.” Mfurayabo said.
Claudine Mukabaziga, one of the trained parents, said that the lessons she acquired will help her to change attitudes as she used to be aggressive and rude towards her daughter’s behaviours.
“I used to call my daughters “Prostitutes, etc.” but this training teaches me, I am healed at a certain extent and I was rude and aggressive against my children instead of giving them pieces of advice.” She said.
Jeanne Umutoni, the vice mayor of Rwamagana district in charge of Social affairs told parents of the teen mothers to play good parental role in protecting all children against any form of violence.
“A parent should play his/her role everywhere and for every child. Our role as the government is to prevent early pregnancies through school initiatives and in the community through friends of the family as well as via radio spots. We expect this issue will take an end when we all work together to protect a child.” She said.
The second event of training brought together 39 teen mothers from Kigabiro sector, Rwamagana district to acquire knowledge on their rights and responsibilities on their children.
Though, their common issue is to raise children while they are also children, teen mothers experience and struggles are different.
Ingabire was impregnated when she was 16, with her two-year old son, she said: “I do not know the whereabouts of the man who impregnated me, we met when I was coming from school, he bought me a soda and roasted meet, then we had sex, that is the first and the last time I saw him.” She said.
Most of these young teens have testified on how they face mistreatment and threats of their parents, others were forced to leave their parents’ homes.
MFURA Foundation has sensitized them to go back to school for their best interests but some hesitated, saying that they don't have anyone who can look after their children while at school.
Marie Clarisse Mfurayabo, founder and Executive Director of MFURA Foundation said this organization is doing its best to help these young teen mothers and their children despite conceiving and giving birth at early age.
“We are educating them on their rights and responsibilities as well as helping them in vocational training courses which will enable them to continue to shine a life in a relevant manner like any other Rwandese.” She said.
Jeanne Umutoni, the vice mayor of Rwamagana district in charge of Social affairs said that it is a process to know men who impregnated these teen mothers because they cannot force them to reveal these men.
“We will continue discussions with them and we believe as they get open to sat=y something they will also reveal who impregnated them.” Umutoni said.
At least fifty teens who are experiencing early motherly in Rwamagana district, Kigabiro sector will be able to prepare a nutritious diet for their little children to fight malnutrition, thanks to MFURA Foundation training to teen mothers on nutrition sensitive and how they can ensure successful growth of their children and protect themselves against malnutrition.
Researches proved that teen mothers and their children are pre-exposed to malnutrition as they figure among the categories that need nutritious food.
Shukrani Umutoni who gave get pregnant while in senior 2 of secondary school is among the beneficiaries of this training.
“I gained a lot of knowledge in terms of nutrition, I did not know that rice for example figures among energy boosting food recipes. I only knew that nutritious food is made of green vegetables, small fishes, meat and beans. Nutrition knowledge will help me to balance the diet at home so that we remain healthy and my child.” She said.
Most of these teen mothers struggle to find daily survival. In recent months, Umutoni tried to make a small business in tomato vending but, unfortunately fell in a loss and gave it up.
“It happened that I could not get the return on my investment as I used to benefit Rwf 500 and Rwf1000 per a basket of tomatoes in two days.” Umutoni said.
Umutoni is happy to join MFURA Foundation and acquire free Vocational Training skills in the second phase of 2022 beneficiaries, which she says will help her to improve livelihoods.
“Vocational training can add value to my living conditions in terms of financial status. If I can earn like Rwf3,000 in tailoring every day, I can start a saving scheme of Rwf2000 and use Rwf1,000 to eat. The savings can help me tackle financial issues in the near future.” She said.
Adeline Nyiramakumi, 16, is the mother of a child aged 1 year and 6months. With no financial capacity to eat and feed her baby, she does not even know how to prepare nutritious food.
Speaking at the closing event of training Teen Mothers and their parents on December 23, 2021, Vincent Senkunda, Nutrition Specialist in Rwamagana Provincial Hospital and National trainer in Nutrition at Rwanda Biomedical Center (RBC) said that that a conceived baby is pre-exposed to malnutrition once the mother is less that 19 years old.
Marie Clarisse MFURAYABO, Founder and Executive Director of MFURA Foundation urged teen mothers to strive for a good choice in their lives.
“To attain your objectives and make your dreams true, you need to be specific on what you need and avoid peer pressure that can miss orient you. Your future is brighter when you return to school and avoid more pregnancies.” Mfurayabo told teen mothers.
Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi, the mayor of Rwamagana district pledged partnership with MFURA Foundation and close support to the teen mothers in terms of social wellbeing.
New beneficiaries who will be assisted by MFURA Foundation will spend 18 months in vocational training under the organization’s TUBARENGERE project in partnership with Rwamagana district.
To help them enjoy the Christmas. the teen mothers were given various food stuffs and hygiene materials as well as the cooking stoves that are environmental friendly.
All these activities were conducted under the MFURA Foundation’s project dubbed: “TUBARENGERE” whose objectives are to improve welfare of both teen mothers and their children.
In 2020, the organization supported 40 teen mothers in tailoring and will support more 50 beneficiaries over the next twelve months.