CAPTIVATING VOICES OF ADOLESCENTS
My name is Silvia from Githurai 44, and I’m 19 years old. When I was in form one, I had a boyfriend, and on our first sexual encounter, I got pregnant. Though my parents were disappointed in me, they never neglected me but gave me the support I needed. They allowed me to keep my pregnancy as I continued schooling.
During the pandemic in 2020, I gave birth and resumed school with the rest of my classmates in 2021. Though I’m now a mother, I still want to achieve my dream of becoming a journalist, and for this reason, I’ll continue working hard and never give up.
I encourage my fellow teenage mothers that getting pregnant in your teens doesn’t mean you’ve failed in life. You can still work on your visions and achieve your dreams while raising your baby. I thank God for my parents’ support, and I urge parents not to abandon their girls when they become mothers at an early age or force them into an abortion but give them the support they need.
Empowering and mentoring young girls like me will also help reduce teenage pregnancy and school dropout among teenage mothers.
My name is Brian from Githurai 44, and I’m 15 years old. My mother died when I was young, and my father was absentee as he used to work in Tanzania. My older brother had to be responsible for the family. Unfortunately, he joined a gang, got arrested, and was charged with robbery. My father had to come back and bail him out of jail.
Although I was happy to have him back, it never lasted. He started using drugs and got addicted to the point that he could not provide for us. We then had to find a way to fend for ourselves. Because of the situation at home and lack of mentorship, I found myself in the wrong company but was lucky to be taken to rehabilitation by Unilever. Staying at the rehabilitation center for months helped me, and I started to view life differently. I’m now working with the garbage collectors company and making ends meet for my younger brother and me as my older brother pays our rent.
My childhood wasn’t easy. I didn’t get a chance to continue pursuing my education. My elder brother and I have teamed up to pay for our younger brother’s school fees for him to reach where we couldn’t. I still dream of becoming a footballer and I’m hoping that one day my dreams will come true.
If I could have gotten a mentor, I wouldn’t be where I’m today as a garbage collector. I could have pursued my education even to the higher levels. My advice to my fellow adolescents is for them to work smart and have a plan for their dreams.