Hope for Teenage Mothers

beaded necklace3.JPGHey Loves,

My contract with a great organization had just ended when I got an opportunity to volunteer with Hope for Teenage Mothers (HTM).  This is an NGO that rehabilitates teenage mothers residing within the informal settlements of Mukuru and its environs. I knew the journey was going to be interesting but challenging owing to the fact that the organization is located in a slum and I wasn’t a mother myself.  Undoubtedly being a mother is something I am looking forward to someday. Away from that, I had never been to a slum and the images that came to my mind were only things I had seen or heard in the media. Much of it wasn’t good stuff. From fires, to crime to unsanitary conditions, all these played in my head. How was I going to fit in? Clearly they would know I was a stranger to the place because as much as it was a big area, it was closely-knit… somehow. Ladies can have an attitude and I had my doubts if they would ever open up to me if they knew I wasn’t a mother yet. You may wonder why I needed their opening up, it’s simple I needed to document their stories and successes. So I decided I wasn’t going to make it about me, but them. Left out any information that might make them uncomfortable and completely bonded with their kids. I decided to swim and headed straight to the deep waters. Nothing has ever made me so proud.  The experience was worth every second of my time. I made friends, built my communication CV and most importantly LEARNED! Key lesson- it doesn’t matter that you made a mistake. If life gives you a second chance, grab it with both hands and never look back. HTM not only allows the young moms to acquire formal education, they are also equipped with life and survival skills. The photos you’re seeing represent some of the works by the lovely girls. Great yeah? Be that change you want to see out there 😀

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