Kalafhi Medical Centre partnered with a local non-governmental organization (NGO), Inspired Horizons Association, on Thursday to aid young mothers and their children with medical services.
According to the agreement, Kalafhi will assist Young Mothers with baby weighing services, free vaccination and immunization, free consultation and P300 allowance for medication per annum. It also states that the one-year deal might be extended upon a written mutual agreement of both parties. The partnership is only open to the current 30 young mothers who are benefiting from the programme and shall not be extended to any new members that would join the NGO during the agreed time frame.
The initiative aims to support the pregnancy and motherhood of young females between the ages of 15 and 25 to co-create safe spaces for meaningful participation of Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW) representatives in Botswana’s local and national policy and decision-making platforms. Kaene Disepo is the founder of Inspired Horizons. Inspired Horizons Association health and advocacy officer, Thatayaone Makabanyana said the organisation was formed after realizing that adolescent girls and young women’s voices were silent and had less representation in leadership even though they faced challenges such as social exclusion, economic challenges and sexual violence. She said many local young mothers, more especially those in marginalized rural areas, were not prioritized.
“Our objectives include gathering relevant information and stories from young mothers about their lived experiences to inform age-tailored, gender-responsive policies and youth-friendly services. We also aim to co-create safe spaces for meaningful participation by Adolescent Girls and Young Women (AGYW), in national development agenda settings and advocacy through strengthened referral and multi-sectoral linkages,” Makabanyana pointed out.
She added that they intend to promote social and behavioural change communication addressing cultural and gender norms including gender-based violence, intergenerational and transactional sex and other risky behaviours.
She also said they aim to promote accessibility of relevant 21st-century skills development and economic empowerment programmes for AGYW. Young Mothers Support Programme supports expectant mothers or mothers who are between 15 and 25 years.