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Changing the Story: New hope for young mothers in Kenya

Written by Elizabeth Stanley, SIA Administrator

SIA Partner TAI Community-Based Organization (TAI CBO) in Kenya works to improve the lives of children, women, marginalized groups, and the general community in Meru County through capacity building and empowerment for sustainable development. Recently, we received a mid-year report on their progress, and we are excited to learn that their initiatives are doing so well!

outdoor training session in Kenya
A training session

The Meru “ Pregnant Adolescent Girls Training Project” was funded in January 2023 to reduce the mortality rate of children and mothers caused by malnutrition by July 2023. They also aim to increase the number of pregnant adolescent girls and women utilizing community-based health services and to increase health literacy, self-efficacy and peer support.

Six training sessions, including educational lectures and demonstrations by Community Health Volunteers, were held covering various topics such as danger signs in pregnancy, preparing for birth, maternal nutrition, and post-natal maternal and infant care.

group of Kenyan woman with gifts
Graduation with special guest Margaret Ikiara from the SIA African Advisory Board and CIFORD Kenya

Overall, the project outcomes are very successful. TAI CBO was able to reach 40 girls instead of the original 20 they planned for, and to date, 30 of the 40 girls have graduated.

One of the graduates said, “I’m surprised at the information about pregnancy that I didn’t know, but now I know. I must help my fellow girls also to know.” The girls were enrolled in insurance to combat hospital bills, and there have been five healthy deliveries so far!

TAI CBO informed us of a key takeaway: "The majority of young adolescent girls have no support system at the community level, and the most challenging situation is where girls who’ve been rejected by their families can stay." To address this challenge, TAI CBO will work closely with the Children’s Department for reunification.

Looking ahead at the next six months, TAI CBO hopes to help the young girls and their families find security by raising chickens for eggs. They also hope to broaden their training to include boys and focus on decreasing the number of adolescent pregnancies in the community.

The young graduates with their newly acquired sack gardens! This vertical gardening is handy when space for growing food is not available.


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