Teen single mom equips young girls with Sisterhood

2019-09-05 06:01
The founder of the Sisterhood organisation, Ziyanda Kiliman, hopes to educate teenagers on safe sex and pregnancy prevention.               Photo: Razaan Plaatjies

The founder of the Sisterhood organisation, Ziyanda Kiliman, hopes to educate teenagers on safe sex and pregnancy prevention. Photo: Razaan Plaatjies

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A YOUNG Thornhill woman, who became a single mom after she fell pregnant at the tender age of 13, is using her experience to equip other young girls with the life skills to avoid making the same mistake.

The now 22-year old Ziyanda Kilimani is the founder of Sisterhood, an organisation aimed at educating teenagers.

The organisation was registered as a non-profit entity last year July.

“I fell pregnant at the age of 13. The father of my child left me to look after the baby and I became a single teen mother,” said Kilimani who is currently unemployed.

She wants girls to know that there are ways of preventing pregnancy such as using a condom or the pill.

Sisterhood focuses on two different age groups: a younger group with which she has less detailed talks and a teenage group with which she speaks more bluntly.

“I fell pregnant because my mother never spoke to me about sex, as it was not common in my culture,” said Kilimani. “Now we have to speak openly with young girls. We cannot leave them alone.”

Apart from doing outreach campaigns at schools in Thornhill, Loerie and Longmore, she also provides sanitaryware to learners in order to stop them from getting a ‘sugar daddy’ to provide them with these basic needs.

Even it if means that she has to take money out of her own pocket to contribute to the organisation’s various needs.

Sisterhood has a #drivingbyubuntu campaign, which encourages young people to give back to the community.

“We give food parcels and blankets to disadvantaged households,” said Kilimani.

There is also a soup kitchen every Saturday for children in the community and surrounding areas. According to Kilimani, who needs a mentor to assist her, it is not easy to run an organisation. “I am still new at this, so I make mistakes and fail at times.”

Her hope for the organisation is that the Department of Health and Social Development will assist her in growing the programme and reaching more residents across the Kouga region.

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