Uganda is ranked as having the highest school dropout rates in East Africa.(UNESCO 2011). This therefore has led to high rates of teenage pregnancy which is estimated at 25% with regional variations. (UNICEF, 2011). Teenage pregnancy profoundly affects girls’ life trajectories. It damages their psychosocial development, contributes to poor health outcomes for girls and their children, negatively affects their educational and employment opportunities, and contributes to the perpetuation of intergenerational cycles of poor health and poverty.
Smile Again Families, Uganda is a Ugandan registered non-profit, community based organization that was established to support abused and troubled teenage mothers. Through Smile Again Families, women rediscover their life purpose and inner-worth through psycho-social support, vocational and entrepreneurial skills training. They are taught how to start income generating activities, leading to social reintegration back into the community.
The overall goal of this project is to equip teenage mothers with life skills, hands-on skills (book making), business skills (computer training), entrepreneurial and vocational skills like tailoring and hairdressing which are key in empowering women to create sustainable income generating activities for improved livelihoods.