Amanda (not real name) was sexually assaulted and got pregnant during the two-year lockdown imposed to curb the spread of COVID-19. At the time, she was in primary seven.
“During the lockdown in 2021, I started feeling unwell but I wasn’t sure what it was. I felt unwell for quite some time and my father had to take me to the hospital to do tests. When we did the tests, I found out I was pregnant. I was scared and worried about what would happen to my education,” Amanda narrated.
“I had so many questions in mind for instance what would my parents think of me? Will they continue to support my education?”
Luckily for Amanda, her parents were very supportive. “Throughout my pregnancy, my parents were so supportive, they supported me with everything I needed. And I don’t take it for granted because I know how girls my age are treated in circumstances like mine.”
“I gave birth in July 2021 and stayed home with my baby, but because of the support of my parents, I was able to go back to school after 6 months from the time I delivered. They saw how much I wanted to finish school despite what happened.”
“My father also ensured that the man who assaulted me was sent to jail,” she notes.
Amanda’s situation has however not dimmed her light of making it in life. “Despite what I went through, I vowed not to let it make me a bitter person, especially towards my baby.”
When I returned back to school it wasn’t easy, all my former classmates were now in S1, but I didn’t let this demotivate me. Being a mother and a candidate is not easy, but because I am supported by both my parents I am managing to study well. During lunch time I go home to breastfeed the baby, and in the evening when I arrive they help me with the baby so that I have time to read and prepare for my exams.
I would like to encourage all the girls like me who got unexpectedly pregnant, don’t let the pregnancy stop your future. Go back to school despite the circumstances, it doesn’t matter if it is after 6 months or even 1-2 years. Go back and study so that you make a better life for you and your child.