Opportunity, they say, comes but once. People believe that there are few chances and that any of them which come your way, you have to grab them fast before they pass away. In our sub- Saharan Africa, many young girls engage in illicit sexual activities resulting in high rate of teenage pregnancy. Most of these victims do not achieve their purpose in life due to the misfortune (teenage pregnancy), and only 1% are able overcome this trauma in order to achieve their goals in life.
Many of these young mothers accept the fact that their prospects for greater opportunities have been shut down. They need to admit that the mistake has already been committed and that there is another chance for them to do something new with their lives. Another chance has been opened for them because of that misfortune. There is always another chance, but not everyone recognizes that chance. During an attachment (internship) I had with one of the biggest telecommunications in Ghana, I had the opportunity to travel to a town in the central region known as Elmina- a fishing area; I went there to market and sell their products. One of the saddest moments I encountered in that area is the story am about to share. As I was roaming the area to find customers, I came across three beautiful young ladies with age ranging from 16-18 years, and there was a baby too. I went to convince them to buy my products, but unfortunately for me none bought some.
I then asked them if they were in school. The first girl said she attends school, the second girl said she is not in school due to financial difficulty, and last girl then told me that she is not in school because she has a baby. I then asked the third girl if she would still like to go to school, she said yes when the baby crawls.
As we were talking and sharing ideas as to how to get to back to school, another girl joined us. I asked her if she is in school. She said no because she hates being in school- that was a lie. The first girl then nudged her to tell the truth. She then told me that she is not in school because she is pregnant (a girl of about 16 years). I think she was about three or four months pregnant. She is the sister to the young girl with the baby, so out of four girls I talked to, two were pre-mature mothers.
I asked them about their future job prospects. One said she wants to be a caterer with her own restaurant. The other three girls said they love to be nurses. From their speech I realized they have no plans to achieve their goals. I then shared a story of a senior lecturer in my university who was also a victim of their situation, but was able to achieve her dreams. They were encouraged and made a promise to me that they will do their best to overcome their limitation. These victims need to be encouraged and motivated to use their experience as a lesson to guard their path to success. Life is full of opportunities and until you realize it, you will never know.
- The fact that they have failed morally does not mean they are failures. “Failure gives you the opportunity to start over more intelligently”. When this kind of knowledge is imparted into their minds and into their hearts, young mothers will not live in abject poverty.
- This kind of knowledge will put them back on track and help them fulfill their purpose in life. If these teenagers were taught well, encouraged and not insulted, then the government wouldn’t have to spend millions of dollars to curb this kind of situation.
- Many potential leaders, doctors, bankers, footballers and corporate lawyers who are victims of teenage pregnancy are out there not knowing what to do with their lives. They do not even know the next step to take; since they are helpless, they try to do petty jobs like selling sachet water and other stuffs to keep them going. Due to the insufficient income derived from this petty job, they return to their former state of life in order to get more income to feed themselves and their families.
- These young girls need a little nurturing to make it in life. I believe that there is another chance created as a result of every mistake committed.
- Due to the early experience of hardship in life, they are more likely to succeed and strive to excel in their work.
Thanks to my coach Dr. Robert Osburn, Lecturer, University of Minnesota