February 9, 2007

Kenya’s Mtondia teen mum village ‘cursed’


KENYA – Mtondia, a small village in Kilifi district on the Kenyan coast is now considered a cursed village as so many of its young girls are either pregnant or have children.

Many have sad stories of how they became mothers at such tender ages.{{more}}

“I was 10-years-old when I got my first child – I was raped by some young men in our village,” says 13-year-old Mahenzo.

“Then two years later while I was going to a local disco, I was raped and that’s how I got my second child.”

Fifteen-year-old Janet Menza, meanwhile, says she was enticed into a love affair by an older man.

“I was in class eight when I got involved with the man; our relationship went on smoothly with him until I became pregnant,” she told the BBC.

“That is when he disappeared from the village and left me with the baby.”

Mahenzo, Janet and about 800 other under-age mothers recently gathered in an open field to meet Health Minister Charity Ngilu to discuss their plight.

Those who attended the public meeting with two or more of their children were as young as 16.