Teenage Pregnancy Balloons in Sierra Leone …YOWEF Raises Concern
The Executive Director and Founder of the Young Women Empowerment Foundation (YOWEF) Madam Mamako Fallah, has expressed grave concern over the high rate of teenage pregnancy among young girls in the Kissy communities, Kailahun District, in the Eastern Region of Sierra Leone.
She raised the concern during the official opening ceremony of a week-long international youth conference organised by the African Youth Conference Against Hunger (AYCAH) and held at the Miatta Conference Centre, Youyi Building, Freetown.
Mrs. Fallah said she was born and bred in those deprived communities but that with resilience and determination and through the efforts of her parents, she was able to succeed in life, adding that her father was a teacher and her mother a fishmonger.
She noted that she visited her village last year and discovered that many teenage girls had children, including a 14 year old girl who had three children, explaining that the unpleasant situation forced her to set up her NGO with the aim of helping and empowering the young girls living in those deprived communities in that part of the country.
Mrs. Fallah suggested that communities must be sensitised on the dangers of illiteracy and early marriages and warned that parents caught forcing their daughters into early marriage would be reported to the ministry of social welfare and the police for prosecution.
She observed that some money-hungry and callous parents in those communities are known to betroth their daughters at tender ages of 10 to men, noting that those minors, with neither formal education nor training, eventually become a burden on the society.
Some of them end up being sacked from the marital home, together with their children and consequently become miserable, undertaking menial jobs to survive the biting system.
The CEO of YOWEF appealed to parents not to be influenced by money to give their children into marriage at such tender ages, but rather educate them to become responsible adults before entering into wedlock.
By Albert Jones
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