Young moms urged to take a stand

2019-07-09 06:00
Young mothers with Ntombesizwe Basso the founder of Intyatyambo Yesizwe TeenMom during the expo.   PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Young mothers with Ntombesizwe Basso the founder of Intyatyambo Yesizwe TeenMom during the expo. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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Pregnant women and young mothers gathered at the Mitchell’s Plain Town Centre Library to learn and share their experiences during a Teen Moms Career Expo on Friday 28 June.

The expo was organised by newly launched Intyatyambo Yesizwe TeenMom, a community organisation that works towards the alleviation of poverty by motivating young girls who fall pregnant to go back to school to be in a better position to take care of themselves and their babies.

The event was attended by representatives from various organisations including the job placement group Harambee, the Department of Social Development, motivational speakers and Ikamva Labantu.

Founder Ntombesizwe Basso said they run workshops and empowerment sessions for the girls.

After welcoming everyone, Basso addressed the girls and told them that they still matter. She told them that having babies at a younger age should no deter them from following their dreams. “I want to tell you that your baby should not abort your future,” Basso said.

She told them her wish is for them to not depend on social grant money but to wake up and do something about their lives. “I want you to end up contributing to the economy positively,” she encouraged them.

Despite its infancy stage, the organisation already has some challenges. These include premises and financial support.

But that does not stop Basso from dreaming big. She wishes to expand the organisation to more Cape Flats areas.

“My future plans include having clubs in their townships because some of them (girls) come from Philippi, Khayelitsha and Mitchell’s Plain,” she explained.

Basso said having clubs in different areas would mean that members do not have to travel to Mitchell’s Plain.

Octavia Peterson from the Department of Social Development told the gathering about different programmes they run to help the community.

Peterson advised mothers to visit local branches to enquire about the programmes.

Ikamva Labantu coordinator Phumla Ndaba said she was glad to be a part of the event to talk to all the “naive and young” mothers.

Her message for them was about choices people make in life and the impact they have later on in life.

“You must have a role model from the same area you come from. Ask them how they did it when that person is successful,” Ndaba said, urging the young women to find local role models they can look up to, who pulled through despite the challenges they may have faced.

Ikamva Labantu is a registered non-profit organisation that works with the community’s seniors and children (after school). They do community empowerment and upliftment initiatives.

Young mothers Zimkhitha Mazibongo (21), from Khayelitsha and Astrit Du Plessis (20) and Claudia Jomkers (21) from Mitchell’s Plain said they felt great about being part of the event and that it gave them a platform to share their experiences about their pregnancy and how they found out about it, they said.

Mazibongo, who is a mother to a six-month-old baby, said her wish is to go back to school.

She said attending the event meant getting information on how to apply for funding as she no longer has parents.

“I am also here to get more motivation and more information because I feel like I need it,” she said.

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