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Why I want to help teenage mothers gest tragedy

Daisy Kosgey Mugira author of Dear Little Sister book and a foundation with the same title speaks about her desire to curb teen pregnancies

Tell us about yourself?

I was born and raised in Chepseon, Kericho county and married in Central Imenti, Meru county. I am 28 years old and founder of Dear Little Sister Foundation. I went to Chepseon Primary School, Londiani Girls’ High school and later joined The University of Nairobi where I graduated with a degree in Economics, Mathematics and Sociology. Currently, I am an assistant manager in a Multinational Bank in Kenya.

What is Dear Little Sister Foundation  all about?

Dear Little Sister is a foundation whose main objective is to nurture girls and find a solution to unplanned teenage pregnancies and forced early marriages through mentorship, accountability groups and rehabilitation of teenage mothers.

We also provide material support to enable girls pursue education and engage in constructive social and economic activities.

The idea  of starting Dear Little Sister Foundation came up in 2014 after graduating from college. We held our first event in October 2017.

What was the inspiration behind Dear Little Sister Book?

Dear Little Sister is a fictional story based on real life experiences.

During one of the mid-term breaks when I was in Form Four, my usually jubilant mother was unusually sad. She told me my sister was pregnant. I felt sorry for both my mother and sister because if someone had talked to her about the dangers of engaging in early sex, maybe things would have been different. I vowed never to make my mother cry by getting pregnant as a teenager. This is what motivated me to write the book as a way of reaching out not only to my little sisters, but to every ‘littlel sister’ out there. My intention was to urge them not to let teenage pregnancy steal that beautiful smile from their mothers. I started writing the book when I was in high school in 2008 and completed it in my first year in campus in 2011. However, it was published this year.

   

What do you hope to achieve by planning Dear Little Sister forums?

We plan forums every two months.  In between, we get invited to learning institutions to talk to students during mentorship forums. We do not have any sponsors and we rely on proceeds from the sale of Dear Little Sister and my own resources. We invite any person/organisation to partner with us and or buy copies of the book to help us achieve our mission and vision.  In mid-november after schools have closed we will hold a forum to challenge girls and boys to be responsible during the long holiday. Our theme will be Foregoing short-lived pleasure for a beautiful future.

What challenges do you face?

Our main challenge is finances since we don’t have any partners yet. We also have to balance between our work schedules and the foundation’s activities. We use the book sales to run our events but the low sales volume is a constraint. We encounter needy cases that require financial interventions amongst the girls and teenage mothers and this is really challenging us. However, we are exploring various avenues of fundraising.

Where do you want to see this foundation in five years?

Our short-term plan is to ensure there is at least a 40 per cent reduction in the number of girls dropping out of schools due to teenage pregnancies and related challenges in our current project areas.

We plan to assist teenage mothers pick up the broken pieces of their lives and help them trace their way back. We want them to achieve their dreams and become useful members of their families, communities, country and continent. 

You are a banker, wife and mother. How do you balance this?

When I am at home, I put aside the title of being an assistant manager and a director to Dear Little Sister Foundation and I assume my role as a mother and a wife. When I am at work, I give it my best because I have set targets to meet and I have to give value to my employer. During weekends and leave days, I do as much as I can for Dear Little Sister foundation in terms of attending forums and attending consultative meetings. I am lucky to have a supportive husband who always encourages me to keep going. Above all, God’s grace is sufficient.

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