A Masiphumelele non-profit has changed the lives of many young mothers by helping them regain their pride after falling pregnant.
An increase in teenage pregnancies led to the start of Girl Pride Africa in October 2016.
Founder, Lolah Mupotaringa, realised there was a great need for young mothers to complete school and studies and to find employment.
“Young mothers are often rejected by their families and stigmatised by society and we provide them with hope for the future,” said Ms Mupotaringa.
The organisation focuses on young/teenage mothers,abused girls and girls rescued from child marriages.
Ms Mupotaringa said many women were left to deal with the burden of raising children as single parents when partners abdicated their responsibilities. Women and girls were often forced to leave school or their studies to look after their child.
Girl Pride Africa offers support to these women by assisting
with free childcare, holding support groups and working with each mother to reach their potential and be financially independent. They mentor young women and educate school children about teenage pregnancies.
The organisation is also supported by Ukama Foundation, an NPO assisting children growing up in townships. Ukama provides
Girl Pride Africa with food,
baby nappies and clothing and other items when they are are able to.
Janine Roberts, founder and managing director of Ukama Foundation, said they work primarily in Vrygrond and Masiphumelele.
A Masiphumelele mother, Thuli Mbele, 19, fell pregnant when she was 16. She said her parents
had been very angry, and her community had rejected her.
“I had no one to talk to and didn’t know what to do,” she said.
But Girl Pride Africa came to her rescue.
“Lolah is very caring and understanding and wanted a better future for me,” she said.
Girl Pride Africa had given her advice as well as baby clothes and nappies.
Ms Mupotaringa said Girl Pride Africa planned to feed 70 homeless teenage mothers for Mandela Day today July 18 and will have a
peaceful march on Women’s
Day Friday August 9.
The march will take place from the entrance to Masiphumelele to the community hall in support of women and child abuse.
For more information about
Girl Pride Africa, call 071 714
1480 or email firstname.lastname@example.org