Unemployed and homeless, they quickly become prey

Bill Cooke has an article about humanists helping pregnant teenage girls in Uganda at the CFI blog.

Since 2011 HALEA has been working with a group of girls in the local district it is based in. It began after a survey of its immediate neighborhood found 111 teenage mothers, nearly all out of school and unemployed. Religious superstitions are such in Uganda, that pregnant girls are often thrown out of the family home and suspended from school. Unemployed and homeless, they quickly become prey to unscrupulous relatives or to organised crime.

Faced with a daunting problem in their own back yard, HALEA supporters began by helping those girls willing to return to school. This often meant persuading the school authorities of their legal obligations. And usually, it also meant HALEA taking on the ongoing school expenses on the girls’ behalf. 26 of them returned to their studies. Another 21 were given some basic computer skills and nine undertook other vocational training.

But they’re running out of money, and cutting back on what they do.

In Uganda it costs about US$440 to keep a teenager in vocational training for a year. Overall HALEA has helped 57 girls, but this year the programme is only able to support the ten girls still at school. —  CFI is concerned about this cutback, and will be happy to take donations on HALEA’s behalf for this program, or you can donate directly to the HALEA website.

Bill and Melinda – just down the hill from me – please note.

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