Home Health Violence Against Women: ‘Early Pregnancy Cost my Medical Career;Tales of a Teenage...

Violence Against Women: ‘Early Pregnancy Cost my Medical Career;Tales of a Teenage Mother


“I could see myself donning white uniform, with thermometers across my shoulders, in my transparent specks just like how doctors behave, I start working on my patients, one after the other,” 

“I wish this was true! No its not! My dreams are shuttered, whenever I recall those moments I wish time could rewind” 

The emotional statements of 16 year old teenage mother Jackline (not real names), sunk my heart into sorrow as I dived into her horromatic story.

“I can’t live out my father among the people who are responsible for my woos,” she said.

Raised by a single mother in close supportive hands of a step father in a family of 8, Jackline, a third born amongst six siblings was 15 years old senior two student when she experienced the entire synariols which left her a mother at such a tender age.

“I trolled a distance of 4.6km from Mbiiko town to the streets of Jinja to fetch for what wasn’t given at home,” she said.  

Her judicious nature had earned her a right to sponsorship but no right to her step- father’s wealth, who worked as a mechanic.

He was kind enough to only provide for basics at home and pay for his daughters’ school fees. 

“I spent most of my learning time contemplating on where the next exercise book to pen down my notice would come from.”

From as little as school requirements, to a hungry stomach that only relied on school meals, Jackline’s desire to put a break on her long term mishaps in school welcomed her to the 2019 lock down salvation but yet another raw deal to her day break

“During lockdown the situation didn’t get any better, infact l was struggling even more than l was at school, the meals at school were at least guaranteed but l could have assurance for the meals at home,” she recalls.

“Many days I would go without food, even the basic needs had become quite a hardship at home,” tearfully Jackline narrates further.

Jackline’s mother, however persieved the lockdown as a fertile ground for her daughter to make some fortune so that she can earn, save some money for her school requirements when school resumes.

She could later recommend the young but ambitious Jackline for her first job; working as a waitress in a local restaurant on the outskirts of Jinja town.

Jackline recalls making some reasonable money but got frustrated with the transportation fares which would later drive her back at home.

“I would spend all my would be saving and hard earned commission in transporting myself from my home in Mbiko to Jinja town.”

As the lockdown and it’s wrath continued settling in,  she could later venture into a juice vending  job earning as little as $1(Shs.3500) daily or even less depending on how much juice she sold.

Soon or later her inexperience and fear for more losses over little or no sales couldn’t back her up any more. 

By then, Jackline had fortunately saved some money in a local savings group where she had been registered by her mother. Unfortunately, the group savings were later embezzled by the treasurer.

Jackline later went back to school after the first lockdown but with nothing to change for former situation 

“I had not only earned myself daily customers while at the juice job but also my first boyfriend, who is the father to my child,”

The 23 year youthful man had sent Jackline packing for her juice job, he claimed that she was not getting value for her money and that the business was only making her lag behind.

“I later joined the ‘lucrative job’ in a toilet paper making business known as Modern in Jinja town, but ironically earning Shs2500 relatively less that what I was earning from the juice. I immediately left, then joined Labonita a cosmetics company where I started reaping big, earning between Shs5000 and Shs6000 during day or night shifts respectively,”

Meanwhile, she started having ample time with her boyfriend who would even treat her out or spent nights together.

Jackline could later Start missing some work shifts at the expense of spending ‘quality time’ with her boyfriend with empty promises of heaven and earth among which included clearing all her school requirements only to lure into believing that the boyfriend had spent all his money preparing his mother’s funeral.

Jackline explains the rather empty look on her mother’s face and the brazen good byes that were unusual; a non-satisfied hanch on whether the mother already knew what was going on, which she did. Her friends had already confined the mother into what her daughter was up to which later led to her pregnancy.

Life at Pregnancy 

A month down the road as expected, Jackline’s body started adjusting to her changes, she began feeling unwell and had started experiencing her pregnancy symptoms.

Having confirmed the suspicion, Jackilne was thrown a curve ball first by her paternal uncle who had gotten her the scholarship she had and then by the boyfriend who denied having had any relationship with her to the school that expelled her due to the lack of zeal to even concentrate in her studies and family to her mom and the rest of the family that stigmatized and threw her out of the house.

“When the school nurse examined me and confirmed my pregnancy, my uncle was contacted and since then cut his ties with me, my mom, step-dad and my step-sisters continued mocking me and my mom revealed that she couldn’t stay with me especially that am now grown up and will soon be having my first child.” She narrates.

“She claimed that the situation at home was not that good and that it would only be worsened by my stay there.”

Jackline could later be sent to her father’s village in Bulimanjaga to keep with her grandfather before she there too got rejected. The fortune of shelter later came through her Aunt who claimed that her father’s volition was a one influenced by old age and that he could allow sharing the same roof with Jackline.

In denial, Jackline settled for the cold and unsafe streets for a night until she remembered of her first 30 Year old boyfriend Daniel, who she has resented and rejected for many years.

Daniel a local contractor agreed to shelter her, having explained to him about her misfortunes on a phone she had borrowed from a friend and directed her a town named Wailaka.

The ‘sympathetic Daniel’ she said provided for her until six month when he lost his jobs.

“He was sinking in bills and afraid of what would happen to me and yet he was barely surviving himself. He flee his house leaving me in a single roomed house with only a mattress before I was called by Daniel via the neighbor’s phone the following day to explain what had caused his impromptu departure,” she said.

Daniel could later recommend Jackline to a local herbalist were she (Jackline) was receiving her antenatal care that she would continue supporting and providing for her.

The old lady, Florence lived in a single grass thatched house with an extent end family and a humble background.

Florence could hardly support her family given her condition but fortunately agreed to take care of Jackline too.

They shared the room, and the little food they earned from digging on people’s farms. 

“I could spend some days without food since the jobs were not guaranteed and this would be worsened by the rainy seasons that caused Florence’s rooftop to link yet I had an Asthmatic condition,”

“The old woman could no longer afford me, coz truly l had become a burden.”

Ray of Hope

When the situation worsened for this expectant teenage mother, Florence knew of an organization that takes care of people in her condition.

“She talked to Mariam Namusabi a founding Director of Araise Women Empowerment Center (AWEC) Africa, seeking for some help,” 

She (Namusabi) at first turned down our plea but later agreed to extend her hand but only with meals and while l still stay with Ms. Florence.” 

However literally nothing changed until when Namusabi agreed to shelter Jackline and lifted a burden from Florence’s Back.

“Unfortunately my stay at Namusabi’s home didn’t last long, she had agreed not only to share a house but also a bed where her husband was expected to sleep on his return.”

Namusabi was now forced to look up for organizations that could not only help me in my condition but also take me on. 

Fortunately she got in touch with a teen mothers’ home Hope for Women in Crisis in Namugongo Kyaliwajala where Jackline stayed and later on gave birth.

The stay which was supposed to carry on even with a scholarship, a back to school campaign for the teenage mother was cut short by some personal issues about the proprietor’s health and could no longer care for the teenage mother as promised.

At this point, Namusabi and Florence resorted to tracing for Jackline’s family so they would try reconciliations which never worked.

Namusabi then got in touch with a NGO that considered taking Jackline and her then one week old baby.

Touch the Slum Organization in Namuwongo is where we found Jackline for Her Story Project that seeks to analyze the negative impact of teenage pregnancies as a form of violence on women, as Uganda joins the rest of the world to mark the 16 days against Gender Based Violence.

Jackline narrates that Touch the Slum, suggested that she be transferred to Namuwongo from which she lives a fairly better life.

Jackline (not real names) is among the teenage mothers who graduated in the Fashions and design profession at Touch the Slum recently, having spent one year and six days there.

The true identity of Jackline has been hide for protection of her humanity but for any case DaParrot management is ready to help you reach her through Touch the Slum 

In nexf Her Story Project, we Bring You the Story of Joan who was forced into sexual affairs by her ‘boyfriend

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