Becoming a mum for the first time fills you with an overwhelming joy, balanced with a fear that you’re out of your depth. Nothing quite prepares you for it.
Imagine then becoming a mum at 14.
Meet Cindy. She doesn’t have to imagine, this was her reality.
Cindy’s biggest fear didn’t come from childbirth or motherhood. She feared the abortion her family had planned for her.
Leaving her home, family and friends behind, Cindy faced an uncertain and lonely future. For girls of her age, pregnancy and childbirth is are the second biggest causes of death. Even if she survived giving birth, babies born to teenage girls are more likely to die in the first few weeks of life.
Thankfully Cindy had the support of Compassion’s Child Survival Programme. While she was still pregnant she was registered into a Child Survival project. Here she was provided with skilled antenatal, childbirth and postnatal care.
Cindy was able to carry her baby to full term and gave birth to a beautiful daughter.
“My daughter is the happiness of my home,” she explains. “At the project, they give us food. There are times when they bring fruits and fish and meat. When she needed vitamins they gave them to me right away.”
Cindy also has a support network so she never feels alone.
“When I have a problem, I go to my group and I can share with them, and we pray together. I go to church and I’m learning more how to take care of my girl. The Child Survival project for me is like a big family because it’s where we all meet and we have our kids and we are all there together. When we have activities in the project, we laugh, we pray, we are together. We do fun activities. We have fun, and I never had that with my own family.”