Changemaker: Ngode Mokube
Project Hope was born out compassion for the plight of teenage girls in Cameroon who fall pregnant and become mothers whilst still at school. These girls are almost always expelled from school on the pretext that allowing them to remain in school will corrupt the morals of their peers. Thus their studies are disrupted and few ever return to school after giving birth. Also there is no dedicated support available to schoolgirls who are either pregnant or are mothers. To change this situation, Project Hope decided to train volunteers to work with the girls and create a support network for the girls. Lastly Project Hope worked with families to encourage them to accept and support their daughters in their situation._
Project Hope will provide individual support to pregnant school girls and mothers to ensure that they have a more academically and socially conducive environment. Volunteers will work directly with girls in these situations, identify their problems, advocate for them before school authorities, mentor and inspire them and provide them with support and inspiration so that they will overcome the odds of their situation and forge ahead resolutely with their studies. Project Hope will also form the girls into a community where they will share their problems with each, reach out to each other in times of need and provide mutual comfort and solace to each other. The girls will also go out to schools and the media to sensitive students and the public about changing negative attitudes to teenage pregnancy.
Project Hope will keep girls in school who otherwise would have dropped out. It will also build their confidence and morale and give them practical resources to help tackle their problems. The support group and network will be a big booster to the girls to enable them understand that they are not alone. By reaching out to other school children and to the public, seeing the girls succeeding in spite of their situation will change public opinion and mentalities. We will reach over 200 people directly and over 2000 indirectly. As a result of our project girl school enrolment and retention in school will be strengthened, the girls affected will be protected from possible delinquency and the girls affected will be the greatest ambassadors going forward. We hope to influence the government to come up with a compassionate policy towards school girls who are pregnant or are mothers.