By providing women with safe and healthy ways to control their fertility, Tupange—which means “to plan” in Swahili—is helping increase women’s educational and economic opportunities.
Ann Mitu’s story is typical of many Kenyan young women and illustrates Tupange’s impact. At 19, before she even received her school results, Mitu discovered she was pregnant. At the time, she had only heard of emergency contraceptives and had little understanding of sexual health. Instead of progressing to university as she had planned, she faced an uncertain future.
With no support from her parents and few other options, she moved in with the father of her child. Mitu’s life was thrown into upheaval again after her partner passed away and she became a single mother. But with Tupange’s help, Mitu was able to learn more about contraceptive options and take control of her life once again.
After Mitu’s positive experience with Tupange, she was inspired to start a project called Young Mothers Africa, which provides support, information, and community to young women who become pregnant unintentionally. “When she gets young mothers who are pregnant, she escorts them to the clinic and she makes sure she hands these sensitive young ladies to us so that we may do individual counseling,” said Tupange nurse Pamela Obuya.
Mitu encourages the women to stay independent by continuing their education or learning a trade. Her goal is to see a generation of Kenyan women with fewer teen pregnancies, and a generation of mothers who are self-confident and empowered. “If we have young mothers who are empowered, we have so many women who will be leaders of tomorrow,” she said.