Blantyre, The Young Women Christian Association of Malawi (YWCA) has expressed satisfaction with how the ‘Community Model for Fostering Health for Adolescent Mothers and their Babies’ project has managed to positively change lives of adolescent mothers in Namiyango.
Executive Director for YWCA Malawi, Dr Nettie Dzabala made the remarks on Monday during a graduation ceremony of 71 adolescent mothers from the project.
With support from Grand Challenges Canada, YWCA in collaboration with the Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative and the World Young Women Christian Association has been working on this joint project.
So far, we have seen an improvement in early child development of the babies and well-being of marginalized married adolescent pregnant girls and young mothers.
There is also a strengthened self-awareness and self-care on the side of the adolescent mothers who were neglecting themselves, said Dr Dzabala.
Dr Dzabala said the adolescent mothers have also been given psychosocial support as well as being empowered to prioritize their own and their children’s health and wellbeing.
Regional Psychosocial Support Initiative Malawi Country Representative, George Alufandika said the young mothers have also been given support on how they can bond with their children.
Most of the times there is a detachment between adolescent mother and her children because it is the grandmother who takes care of the kid, this creates a detachment.
This has changed in these adolescent mothers as we have been drilling them with how they can take care of their own babies, said Alufandika.
Alufandika also pointed out that the psychosocial support rendered to the adolescent mothers has also brought back confidence in them which was lost as a result of being taken as failures after pregnancy.
One of the graduating adolescent mothers in Namiyango, Samawati Limani said the psychosocial support received in the past two years has rebuilt as well as empowered her.
I gave birth to my son prematurely at 19 years but the YWCM came in to give me support on how to take care of my baby and myself for both of us to live a health life.
Further, I was labelled as a wayward girl in the community and this affected my social life but through the education we get through the project, my self-confidence has also been restored.
I stopped looking down on myself and see my worthiness and I can now stand tall in our community, said Limani.
Community Model for Fostering Health for Adolescent Mothers and their Babies has been implemented in Mulanje, Blantyre and Machinga.
Source: MANA Online