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Out of the Shadows - shamed teen mums

Carol Allen Storey | Rwanda

“I became pregnant when I was 15 in a rush of passion with my boyfriend. I then thought about the fate of my life, I was not prepared for parenting, I lost hope. I told my boyfriend, he said he would support me, but soon after he vanished. I returned to my studies with the support of ‘Hope for Rwanda’ a local charity who has taught me to be a strong woman and built my confidence. Recently I became a mentor to other silly girls like me, who learn about the perils of being fooled by men when they request sexual favours and take no responsibility. When I complete my studies,
my aim is to become a journalist on radio and TV.”
It is late afternoon, Brian snuggles up to his Mum to take a snooze whilst she gently comforts him with a loving hand.

Florence, 19
Brian William, 3
Rwanda 2018

An epidemic of teen pregnancies is permeating the population in Rwanda. Vulnerable girls as young as 13 find themselves in this unwarranted circumstance. Many as a result of rape and others through ignorance of engaging in sexual activities without protection, nor any knowledge of the responsibility of motherhood. The fathers run away. They bring shame to the family, are isolated and abandoned. These emotionally damaged adolescents have assumed the awesome responsibility of being mothers when they are still children. The aim of this essay is to give voice to these damaged girls and attract wider support for them to live their lives with dignity. Hope for Rwanda, a local charity is providing support thorough counselling, legal aid and skills training.

This series was photographed throughout 2018 in Rwanda and is work in progress

Hope for Rwanda

Carol Allen-Storey

carol@castorey.com

+44 7710077290

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