Culture at the service of life

Project Name: Culture at the service of life
Project period: One year (January 1 – December 31, 2013)

This project is designed to assist teenage pregnant girls, their parents and the men
responsible for these pregnancies and their families. Abortion is on the increase
because of the rejection and stigma attached to having a child outside marriage.
Unborn children suffer and die because customary laws make it impossible for the
teenage mothers to keep the pregnancy. Some families have been forced to leave
communities because their father or grandfather was born by a teenage girl out of
wedlock in the community. This is a serious problem in many Igbo communities.
Anyone belonging to this group is discriminated against by the entire community.
The stigma and consequences of allowing a child born outside of marriage to stay in
one’s family could be tragic. Repugnant and discriminatory practices against teenage
mothers lead to abortion and abandonment of the child conceived outside of
wedlock. The teenage mothers are in very serious and difficult situation and
therefore need support and empowerment in their crisis situation.

The main objective of this project is to assist 23 teenage mothers who have been
rejected by their families in Ahiazu community where children born out of wedlock
suffer discriminatory practices because of cultural views of the people and customary
laws. Through a series of seminars, meetings, workshop and dialogue with families,
traditional rulers and community leaders, this project aims to bring a change of
attitude for the good of these teenage mothers and their babies. It is also meant to
engage the whole community in dialogue to build the knowledge and capacity
needed for a reorientation of cultural values that are discriminatory to teenage
pregnant girls and their families.