Introducing the

Young Parents Empowering Program (YPEP)

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Background

Teenage pregnancy appears to be on the increase in Liberia as the current rate of teenage pregnancy is 31% . (Liberia RMNCAH investment Case 2016-2017) Hence, a lot of young people, including males and females, are becoming parents (mothers and fathers) without the requisite financial, psychological and parenting capacities to assume the role and responsibilities to be effective and responsible parents. This trend of parents in Liberia is not only affecting future leaders of the country, but also raises serious concerns about the care these young parents are providing to children born in these situations by these young parents. This is even more worrisome for young parents who are living in extreme or absolute poverty and perhaps having these children not as a choice, but due to other factors, including demands to survive, rape and engagement in risky sexual behaviors. These multiple factors could be contributing to the increase rate of abortion among young women. The current rate of teenage pregnancies ending in abortion is 30% (Liberia RMNCAH investment Case 2016-2017)

Hence, it is imperative to provide an opportunity for these young parents to build their capacity to become effective and responsible parents to ensure that they are providing adequate care for their children and mitigating the risk of abortion among young women these children living in unbearable conditions.

Shepherd's Heartbeat is partnering with the social work department to support the Young Parents Empowerment Program.

Who We Are:

It is against this background that the Social Work Department of the ELWA Hospital is initiating the Young Parents empowering Program (YPEP) to begin to engage teenage parents ages 13-21, especially teen mothers during the period of their pregnancy and after the children are born. This program will involve both the teenage mother and fathers to ensure that the capacity of both parents is enhanced to empower them to provide adequate care for their children.

Overall Goal:

The overall goal of the project is to identify the deficiencies of teen parents who are regular patients of the ELWA hospital; and address these deficiencies and gaps to improve the parenting skills of these teen parents through a One-year educational and concrete support program. The project intends to empower teenage parents by providing training resources to enable them to become responsible parents and mitigate unfavorable conditions for the children, thus giving these teen parents economic empowerment and providing a healthy environment for both parents and children.

  • Provide an understanding of the challenges and conditions that they may be hampering teenage parents from making healthy choices and becoming responsible parents for their children.

  • Create an opportunity for teenage parents to educate them and raise awareness about the deficiencies of their parenting skills and knowledge and enhance their involvement in the lives of their children, especially teenage fathers, considering the impact father-child relationship has on children.

  • Initiate an engagement that will lead to not only devising strategies to improve the quality of life for both teenage parents and their children, but also the capacities of relevant actors to effectively serve teenage parents to increase their participation in the society as responsible parents and citizens.

  • Create an opportunity to develop a collaborative partnership with other agencies and professionals to work together in discussing and designing strategies to addressing critical concerns of teenage pregnancy and teenage parents in Liberia, including heath, education and social needs.

Incentives

During the duration of the cohort cycle, the participants will be given some incentives at different stages of the cycle to be determined by the parents to serve as motivation and retention of participants. Upon successful completion of the one-year program, the participants will be awarded a Certificate of Completion.

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What We Need:

Presently the YPEP is in need of grants, cash and in-kind donations to sustain our program and ensure that we are providing needed services to the teen mothers. Therefore, we are appealing to humanitarian organizations and individuals for assistance to enable us to support the teen mothers in several ways, including providing transportation fares, breakfast and lunch for training sessions, purchasing needed baby and personal items, assisting with medical bills and following up with the participants in their communities.

Follow-up:

The continued engagement with participants will be key component of this program to ensure that we are addressing the needs of the participants and the children holistically. Hence, there will be consistent follow up and engagement with participants outside of the training sessions both in their home and communities to better understand the factors affecting their health and social conditions and hampering them from reaching their full potentials.

What We Do?

Special Objectives: The specific objectives are:

  1. To identify and recruit teenage parents ages 13-21, specifically those who are patients of the hospital, and enroll them in a cohort of 15-20 persons per cycle for a One-Year Training Program to be conducted by the Social Work Department of the ELWA Hospital through a collaborative approach with other potential partners.

  2. To conduct a training program for teenage parents, using different training modules, specifically for teenage parents, to enhance the parenting and social skills of the teenage parents aw well as improve their employment capacity through Technical and Vocational Training (TVET), thus empowering them economically and socially.

  3. To mobilize resources  and provide additional support to teenage parents who enroll in the YPEP to address their health and social needs of the parents and children while in the program and perhaps after successfully completion of the program.

  4. To enable teenage parents who enrolled and successfully complete the YPEP to use their improved parenting skills, economic and social capital to improve not only their quality of life, but also the quality of life of their children.

Expected Outcome(s):

The collaborative project will contribute to addressing the increase in teenage pregnancy and teenage parents by achieving the following outcomes:

  • Increase constructive engagement with teenage parents to understand the social and risky sexual behaviors of teenagers and other factors leading to the increase teenage pregnancy in Liberia.

Contact Us:

Liberia:

Social Work Department

ELWA Hospital

Paynesville, Liberia, West Africa

Mrs. Annette Toeegbaye, Director of YPEP

Social Work Department

tel: 0776-792-6011 / 0886-838-446

U.S.A.

Clarice Richards

125 Rickey Blvd.

PO Box 693

Bear, DE 19701

tel: 302-824-9531

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Contact

302-824-9531

Address

125 Rickey Blvd.
PO Box 693
Bear, DE 19701

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