As conflicts continue to intensify throughout the region, primarily in Somalia and DR Congo, Heshima Kenya has received an increased number of cases involving girls and young women who have experienced sexual assault and as a result have become pregnant. Other girls arrive with infants and toddlers who are frequently malnourished or suffer from other illnesses.
Currently, Heshima Kenya is supporting over 70 infants and toddlers of young mothers in our programs, including children who have serious disabilities. The presence of this childcare program enables mothers to attend their education courses on site while also attending to their children throughout the day.
While Heshima Kenya’s programs focus on the needs of young women and girls, it is also vital to support the development and emotional needs of their children. The deep psychological wounds experienced by these girls equally impact their children who can suffer from neglect and lack the primary resources to develop socially, emotionally, and intellectually.
Without the support of their own families and community, young mothers are in need of a necessary support system to help them develop their confidence and knowledge as parents.
In response to the increasing need of children entering our programs, Heshima Kenya has developed an on-site childcare program at our education site. The program compliments our parenting curriculum that teaches new and expectant mothers about topics such as child nutrition and development, breastfeeding, and hygiene.