"My name is Tracey...and yesterday, my name was mentioned in the radio stations. But for the wrong reasons!!
"I was among the few candidates who sat for their final exams as teen mothers...having conceived two months before sitting for the exams!
"A few months ago, I was almost expelled from school after they discovered I was pregnant. It took the intervention of GEMINI to save me and to ensure I was still enrolled as a candidate for the final exams. I had to stay with Stella for the three months prior to the exams.
"I was offered a personal tutor and a part-time nurse to help me cope with my revision as well as be able to attend pre-natal clinic.
"Its been a long road but I hope the worst is over. As I look at my baby, named Ella (a tribute to Stella's great work), I know I'm still going to achieve my goal and become a social worker.
"On behalf of all the teen mum candidates who sat for their exams this month, I would like to request each of you to offer a special prayer so that when results are announced, we will be among the top candidates.
"I also wish to express my deep thanks for all your support...both moral and financial..we really appreciate and pray for each of you.
"Thanks so much...
"My name is Ndinda, a 23-year old mum of 2 beautiful kids. I'm one of GEMINI's previous beneficiaries, having dropped from high school after getting pregnant a few months before my final exams. I was tested during a routine check-up and was immediately expelled!
"The news was devastating to my parents. They also kicked me out of home and I went to live with my aunt, an unemployed mother of three. She assisted me acquire part-time employment in a kindergarten as a cook. The pay was miserable, the work burdening, especially to a 6-month pregnant lady like me!
"I was "discovered" by GEMINI when they came to visit the institution for the annual Day of the African Child celebrations. They assisted me to register for my exams and last year, I sat as a private candidate and scored 302 points out of a possible 500 points.
"I have also been enrolled in their tailoring course. A well-swisher has promised to purchase sewing machines for me when I complete my course in December. The future is really bright for me...!
"On behalf of other project beneficiaries, i would like to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of you that have continued to support us through prayers, donations and encouragement.
"We really operate under hostile conditions but all your support gives us new strength to see another day. We will be dedicating the coming months to celebrating the positive strides that all teen mums have gone through. And as 7 more teen mums prepare to sit for their exams this October, your support is needed more than ever...
"Please drop your comments, feedback and donations. We really, really appreciate..."
I want to take this opportunity to express my deepest appreciation for all your support, your feedback and your donations over the last 6 months. We received approximately US $1,180 between Jan and May. This doesn't seem like much but to us, it is the difference between life and death!
We have been able to access fertilizers, seeds and some raw materials for our projects. We have enrolled 3 new teen mums into our informal tailoring and bakery courses. We managed to conduct informal sensitization meetings for gender-based violence victims.
Again, thank you so much for your donations. I have attached a short summary of how we spend your money. We still have a long way to go, a lot still needs to be done and every penny is appreciated from the bottom of our hearts.
Kindly go through the attachment and as usual, we look forward to your comments.
Thanks so much and God bless!!
2-year old Dennis is lucky to be alive. Both his parents died a few years ago from HIV/Aids. Like tens of thousands of other children, Dennis is currently living with his 78-year old grandmother, Kanini. But even this safe haven is about to be shattered.
A fortnight ago, the government announced the persisting drought in Kenya as a national disaster. This means a lot of priority and effort will be put in ensuring vulnerable families do not succumb to the effect of the famine. Children born to teen mums are especially high at risk because most of their breadwinners are jobless.
But these government efforts alone will not be sufficient to save majority of families, especially those living in rural areas. The high cost of living, lack of adequate food, high fuel prices and decreasing job opportunities mean more families are at risk of being exposed to the drought.
Already, 4 people have been reported dead from the effects of the drought.
GEMINI seeks to raise resources to provide emergency food relief to the most vulnerable of families living in the high-risk area of Moi's Bridge. We will reach out to provide a safety net for grandmothers, teen mums and other elderly carers who are currently at the highest risk of succumbing from drought-related deaths.
We are kindly calling out on all our friends to chip in with whatever support you are able to. A special team will be providing medical care to the most vulnerable families in Kapkoi, Sabwani and Machinery areas, while at the same time develop long-term strategies for coping with the drought.
We take this opportunity to appreciate all of you who have been constantly behind us. We thank each one of you sincerely and we hope that your prayers, moral support and donations will continue flowing in to help us save lives.
I take this moment to thank each of you that has been behind our efforts to re-educate teen mothers. About a decade ago when I started this campaign, one of my campaign cries was to advocate for the readmission of teen mums into the education system.
I cajoled and pleaded and brainstormed with the policy-makers about the importance of readmitting young mothers into schools and encouraging them to secure a firm future for their children. A White Paper, supporting my position, was developed by local civic leaders but it lacked political thrust to be passed into a by-law that would allow schools to admit teen mums into their systems.
A few weeks ago, I attended a leaders educational forum where participants discussed the dwindling numbers of girls in education. I'm happy to report that after intense discussion, one of GEMINI's suggestions of readmitting teen mums back to school received a lot of support.
Leaders have promised to revisit the White paper and seek creative means of breaking the socio-political barriers that have previously prevented a steady increase in girls in schools. A further brainstorming meeting is due in July where several schoolheads have been invited to attend the session.
I take this opportunity to thank all of you that have been actively involved in supporting our efforts to provide a lifeline to deserving teen mums.
We still need your input, your encouragement, your donations, your questions...to ensure we achieve our goals.
Again, thanks so much for your support. Keep it coming!!
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