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FAWE and Partners Launch Initiative to Empower School Dropouts Due to Early Pregnancy

Imarisha Msichana Initiative Aims to Provide Second Chances and Support for Young Mothers

To address the challenges faced by girls who have dropped out of school due to early pregnancy, the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE) has launched a pioneering initiative in collaboration with various stakeholders. The initiative, spearheaded in Kiambu County, aims to retrace and reintegrate these girls into the education system, offering them a second chance to pursue their academic goals.

FAWE, a pan-African Non-Governmental Organization dedicated to promoting girls’ and women’s education, has long recognized the importance of providing equal access to education for all. Through its network of 34 National Chapters in sub-Saharan Africa, FAWE endeavors to improve access to education and enhance its quality for girls across the continent.

The initiative emerged from a workshop held at a Nairobi hotel, convened under the auspices of the Imarisha Msichana initiative. Attended by County officials, National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs), and Community Health Promoters (CHPs), the workshop highlighted the pressing issue of school dropout rates among girls due to early pregnancy.

According to FAWE and experts present at the workshop, the number of girls returning to school after pregnancy has been declining in recent years.

Recognizing the importance of providing support and opportunities for these girls, FAWE emphasized that they should not be barred from registering or sitting for national exams.

It is the responsibility of school management to ensure that these girls are able to continue their education unhindered.

The initiative involves a multi-faceted approach, including the collection of up-to-date data on dropout cases by Community Health Promoters.

These frontline workers, who are deeply embedded in grassroots communities, play a crucial role in identifying and reaching out to affected girls.

By leveraging local knowledge and resources, FAWE aims to mobilize support and resources from both local and international partners.

The Ministry of Health, in a grim presentation, underscored the urgent need for a unified approach to address the issue of underage pregnancies in Kiambu County.

Factors contributing to these pregnancies include poverty, peer pressure, social media influence, child labor, and poor parenting.

In response to these challenges, FAWE envisions a comprehensive strategy to reintegrate underage girls who have become pregnant, particularly those in villages and informal settlements.

This process, though potentially slow and arduous, will be facilitated by the involvement of NGAOs at the grassroots level, including chiefs, sub-chiefs, Nyumba Kumi leaders, and village elders.

Furthermore, the initiative aims to seek justice for perpetrators of underage pregnancies while providing a supportive environment for affected girls to continue their education. Through the Imarisha Msichana initiative, similar efforts will be replicated in other counties where teenage pregnancy is prevalent.

Pauline Masese, Coordinator of Imarisha Msichana, emphasized the importance of data in securing support from partners like the Mastercard Foundation. Without accurate data on dropout cases, it would be challenging to mobilize resources effectively to support these girls.

The FAWE-led initiative represents a significant step towards empowering young mothers and providing them with the support and opportunities they need to succeed. By addressing the root causes of underage pregnancies and school dropouts, stakeholders are working together to build a more inclusive and equitable society for al

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