Before we got married we felt called by God to work with families, especially young couples, which we still do today, however along the way while working with these young people we saw a great need that was affecting the families of our generation which was the teenage pregnancies.
In 2016, we had started the construction of our future home and we felt compelled to give our house to the teenage mothers for temporary stay especially those that didn’t have where to go, so we had to change the plan of our house to a Smile Again Mission House to answer this great call.
Uganda’s population comprises about 65% young people, making it the most youthful nation in the world. The government of Uganda has emphasized education for all through Universal Primary Education and Universal Secondary education programs, however only 46% of children who enroll in primary one drop out of school before primary level. Factors contributing to school drop outs are social, economic, physical and psychological, among which is early pregnancy. Uganda Bureau of statistics states that Out of 1.2 million pregnancies in Uganda annually, 25percent are teenagers. It’s noted that one out of every four teenagers has given birth between the ages of 15-19 years. (UBOS 2009/10).
According to the above report, girls affected by teenage pregnancies face community shame, ridicule, discrimination, rejection by parents neglected from social amenities, become prone to diseases; they get affected by health issues such as fistula or even face death at birth. After giving birth most of the teenagers cannot afford basic needs to raise the children. Most of them lose hope and aspirations for their future.
To bridge this gap, Smile Again family project, seeks to restore hope of the victims of teenage pregnancies and socially reintegrate them into the community, sensitize teenagers about dangers of early pregnancies, and empower them to become self sustainable through livelihood skills development.