Every year, Smile Again Families holds an annual event of young mothers of ages 19 years and below, this is to help them realize their worth, for them to know that amidst what happened in their lives, they still have hope to be what they always dreamt to be, for them to appreciate that they are still loved and that God has a plan for their lives, He is not finished with them. To know that, there are people who have gone through their situation and their lives are better now and that, they have a family that cares for them and sees them as worth.
This Summit gives Smile Again Families an opportunity to have intense outreaches to find the mothers as most times they are hidden in their grand parents’ home after being chased from their parents’ homes as they believe that this is a shame for them. Francesca one of our field staff said,” these outreaches are good because they put in touch with the people and you are able to see the reality of life”.
This year we had sixty teenage mothers from twenty of the previous year, who turned up for the Summit, we had to hire a bigger space for us to fit in with their children. This year we were blessed with the presence of two beautiful sisters, Caitlin and Bridget from Boston, USA and Amber from Canada who came to volunteer with us. Their presence was much needed as they shared their lives through their life stories and spent much time with the mothers, they were also very helpful in taking care of the children during sessions so that the mothers could concentrate.
They also brought in many children kits and toys, plus drawing and painting materials for the mothers to use in the event. Bridget said that, “this was a lovely African experience, spending time with the teenage mothers, it has helped me to be in touch with the people, Fredie and Stella do an amazing job, to restore the faith of these mothers”.
Amber top most left sharing her story with the teenage mothers, Bridget on the right and Caitlin at the bottom left helping with the children at the Summit and Bridget spending some time with the children in one of the communities called Kajjwa..
At the end of the 4 days of hard work , we had many mothers hopes and dreams restored and most of all their smiles and love for their babies, they spent the last night singing and dancing knowing that there is a reason to live. Viola our youngest mother said, “ I had great hatred for my baby Tracy because I was just abused, but from today I have developed love for my baby and will take great care of her, I know she will make a difference in the world one day”.
Last but not least, the event was graced with the presence of our Masaka Municipality Mayor, Mr Kayemba Afaayo, who was impressed with the work done as he mentioned, “I never realized the great need in our community that has arisen as a result of the teenage pregnancies, this event has helped me to realize that and I promise to be part of this great family, to work with Smile Again Families, so that this need is addressed and reduced in our community. I also thank Smile Again Families for coming up to see the need and starting to do something about it, I invite you friends to support this cause so that our people in the rural communities can be helped”.
We look forward to a good working partnership with our mayor and you friends of good will, as you read this article, know that there are so many opportunities to work with us and together we can make a difference in the lives of these mothers plus their children.