Due to the alarming rate of teenage pregnancy in the Kavango East region, the local non-governmental organization, Marembo Charity Foundation has recently hosted a teenage mothers workshop in the region.
Founded by philanthropist Marembo Marembo, the idea of the workshop was motivated by the high teenage pregnancy rate that is immensely increasing within the region, which he believes is a contributing factor towards poverty and the rate of school dropouts in high school.
“A majority of girls are left with no choice but to have boyfriends at a very young age, as they have unemployed parents, and poverty keeps increasing year-after-year,” explained Marembo.
Marembo also pointed out other factors contributing to high pregnancy, such as rape and lack of information.
“Another issue pertaining to high teenage pregnancies is unreported rape cases in the region. Several girls that are teen mothers today are victims of rape,” said Marembo, adding that young girls also need to be well informed to enable them to make the right choices.
The workshop was attended by a large number of young mothers in the region, tackling issues such as the causes of high teenage pregnancies in the region and discussed solutions on how to curb the devastating condition.
The majority of the young mothers indicated they would like to go back to school, as they are still young - and they believe given a chance, they would do better and focus on their studies.
The foundation reached out to the young mothers and outlined ways on how they can get assisted.
The foundation also strives to cater to young mothers with sanitary pads as one factor hampering their dignity.
As part of the workshop, the foundation provided inspirational flyers to the young mothers and short stories of inspirational young women.
Earlier this year, education minister Anna Nghipodoka reported the country recorded 3 627 teenage pregnancies last year alone in all 14 regions, compared to 1 542 pupils who fell pregnant in 2019.
Out of that number, Kavango West has reported 554, making it the second-highest in the country, with Omusati leading the pack with 562 and Kavango East with 522.