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Spain – From child to mother: 20,000 children give birth every day in developing countries

May 11, 2015 · 


Published 08/05/2015

mother with a child(ANS – Madrid) – Some 13 million girls under the age of 18 become pregnant every year worldwide, according to data from the United Nations Population Fund, and almost 95% of them live in developing countries. “Most of these minors do not become mothers by choice. Many are forced into marriage, others are raped and all have in common the lack of resources, education and information,” says Ana Muñoz, spokesperson for the Salesian Mission Office in Madrid. To coincide with “Mother’s Day” which is being celebrated about now in many countries, the Salesian Mission Office has launched a campaign called Cuidemos de Ellas (let’s take care of them).

“Now that we are preparing to celebrate Mother’s Day we want also to remember the children who leave their childhood behind to become mothers,” added Ana Muñoz as she explained the meaning of the Cuidemos de Ellas campaign.” The campaign concerns precisely these young girls.

In many parts of the world the Salesians care for these young girls and their future children. For example, there are the projects like Querebebé, in the Dominican Republic, Casa Lunas in Uruguay, and Casa Mamma Margherita in the Democratic Republic of Congo. These girls are often stigmatized and rejected by their families and have to face the whole situation alone. The Salesians provide a safe place for them to stay, give them access to medical services, assist them during childbirth and help them in raising their children. They also give them education and vocational training to enable them to face the future. “My life makes sense again. Now I know how to take care of my son and fight for him,” says Melissa, aged16, who was cared for in theQuerebebé project.

Education reduces the risk of pregnancy for which these young girls are not prepared. “In Sierra Leone, for example, when the schools were closed for Ebola there was a sharp increase in the number of pregnant girls. This is now reduced by the fact that they are going to school because they are considered a bad example”, says the spokesperson from the Mission Office in Madrid. The Salesians in the country have already taken action to ensure that the girls can continue to receive their lessons, “even if it means that it will be at a different time, probably in the afternoon,” they say.

Cuidemos de ellasis a campaign in which each effort is multiplied by two.

More information about the campaign and some testimonies from child-mothers are available on the website of the Mission Office in Madrid.


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