An organisation based in Nairobi, Vijana Amani Pamoja (VAP), was awarded for supporting pregnant adolescent girls and young women in Nairobi.
The group won the 2020 Beyond Sport Global Awards in the Reduced Inequalities category. Beyond Sports Foundation is a humanitarian organisation that works towards transforming lives.
NBA Hall of Famer Dikembe Mutombo, who is also a renowned Humanitarian and Philanthropist made the announcement on Beyond Sports' social media sites.
Enouce Ndeche, the Executive Director of VAP, stated that their work was necessitated by the fact that a majority of young girls live in marginalised and unsafe settings.
"It means a lot for our work to be recognised, it means that the job that we do on a daily basis and the time we spend with our participants is not done in vain. The changes we are making in our communities are also recognised," he stated.
He disclosed that the organisation's mission was to turn the tide, protecting girls, and helping to ‘Secure Futures’ for young mothers. They also engage with young people from the program to nurturing them to be peer role models and mentors for the community.
"The program uses a girl-centric model to create a safe space that focuses on life skill education, parenting, support and income-generating activities," he explained.
Ndeche added that the adolescent girls, who live in overcrowded urban areas with run-down housing and high levels of poverty, face considerable risks affecting their education, health and well-being.
Already at risk for teenage pregnancy, he noted that they are also vulnerable to forced marriage, unprotected sex and rape, HIV and other health issues.
He explained that the pregnancies contribute to a high school drop-out rate, as the girls are frequently forced to halt their education.
"This makes life even more precarious as they have fewer skills and job opportunities to enable them to provide for their new families," he stated.
He added that the situation was worsened by the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over three months of lockdown during the pandemic, 152,000 Kenyan teenage girls became pregnant - a 40% increase of the country's monthly average.
"The pandemic lockdown measures have also increased gender-based violence considerably, making it harder for survivors to report abuse and seek help," he stated.
President Uhuru Kenyatta in July 2, broke his silence over the alarming number of teenage pregnancy cases in the country.
While addressing the National Government Administration Officers (NGAOs) at KICC, the Head of State noted that chiefs would be answerable on how school-going children were being defiled under their watch.
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