Smile Again Families, Uganda is a registered non-profit CBO that supports abused and troubled teenage mothers. We support teenage mothers to re – discover their life purpose and inner-worth, lead social and economic change through psycho-social support, formal education and entrepreneurial skills trainings. Uganda is ranked as the 9th Hot spot of child/teenage marriage in the world. Teenage pregnancy is estimated at 24% with regional variations. This increases to 34% in the poorest households. 34.8% of the Uganda’s population are adolescents and there has been an increase of teenage pregnancies to 25% which is nearly 3 out of 10 teenage girls between 15-19 years who get pregnant or are already mothers. 1 in 10 teenage girls are married off before they are 15 years according to the ministry of health. (twitter@softpowernews Paul Ampurire, November 26th 2018). Uganda is predominantly patriarchal society with high levels of strong negative socio-cultural stereotypes among the communities , many of these stereotypes aggravate gender inequality against girls and women. In rural areas, 24% of girls experience early pregnancy compared to 16% of wealthier households and 21% of urban girls (UNICEF, 2020).
Teenage pregnancy profoundly affects girl’s life trajectories. It hampers their psycho-social development, contributes to poor health outcomes for girls and their offspring’s, negatively affects their educational and employment opportunities, and contributes to the perpetuation of inter-generational cycles of poor health and poverty culminating to gross domestic violence for the teenage mothers.
Many of the mothers are victims of sexual abused or abusive relationships which causes the family members to throw them out because the girls can’t speak out. As Smile Again Families Uganda, we operate a safe shelter for some homeless teenage mothers and others are supported from within the community through solidarity groups.
To create strong sustainable and reliable families that will historically transform society