Maureen owino of rehema rescue centre- giving a second chance and a home to pregnant teens

“I grew up in one of Nairobi’s sprawling slums where teenage pregnancies were a common sight. This is what motivated me to establish Rehema house rescue Centre.

There were no organizations that were willing to holistically salvage and rescue the teenage mothers in crisis, as well as show them love that they so much desired.

Rather, these teenage mothers were condemned and seen as outcasts; people deemed them not to be fit or belong to the societies they once called home. Thus giving them no other option other than procuring an abortion or committing suicide.

I on the other side believed there was another option/alternative to these teenage mothers and the option was to provide a safe haven for holistic healing which will allow the girls keep their babies and deliver safely, a place where they will experience love and acceptance without condemnation. One cannot discourage teenage mothers from abortion without providing an alternative.

In 2010, Rehema house was established to provide the holistic aspects for these condemned girls. It was to provide them with another chance in life as well as their babies, a chance to live and a chance to dream.

I believe that teenage pregnancy in Kenya is a social problem that needs a social solution. Cases of early teenage pregnancy in Kenya have diverse effects not only to the individual but also to the community as a whole.

It is very saddening; think of how these girls become pregnant and what becomes of their life after this. It is much harder for the teenage mothers who are single, underage, unemployed and immature. If coming from a poor family it is even harder. Causes of teenage pregnancy in Kenya include; peer pressure, rape, cultural practices, broken families, poverty, lack of sexual awareness, abuse of alcohol and drugs, survival prostitution, force/pressure from parents etc.

Thought difficult, in my opinion, parents should find a way to help their children cope. Being a teenager and finding out you are pregnant, especially if the pregnancy is unexpected and unwanted, can put enormous stress on the teenage mother and her family. However, once it has happened there is no way to go back so the most important thing is to support the teenage mother and help her to make the wisest choice for her at this time.

Most parents not only worry about finances and shame but housing, space considerations as well as the time, energy and fatigue that it takes to take care of a new baby however the issues are short lived.

Parents should know that at this point what the teenage mothers need with all that is going on in their lives is being accepted and loved unconditionally. One may forget all the physical materials she received but will never forget how you made them feel when they needed you most. The way that teenage mother is handled at this point may make or break her. As much as parents will feel bad and betrayed and would wish to condemn I would wish they condemn but also lift them up but not always reminding them of the mistakes they did.

Running Rehema Rescue Center

mercykids

 

In running Rehema Rescue Center,I partner with a family from the USA who share the same burden as me of reaching out to poor teenage mothers from the streets and slums of Kenya. The family who live in America mobilize people to give with the help of supportive friends, family and blog readers. I on the other hand am in Kenya where the victims are; with the language, culture and the heart to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

I run two homes all based in Ngong at different places with the help of my husband and other staff . We are only located in Ngong, which is on the outskirts of Nairobi, but our girls are from different places all over Kenya.

Two things inspire me every day:

1.     The simple YES that I said to God, in relation to act justly, love mercy and walk humbly (Micah 6:8) I have seen wonders through it

2.     Seeing the little princes and princesses that would have been aborted brings me joy, hope and the strength to keep serving more and more.

What can individuals and corporates partner with us?

·       Give –finances and material donations

·       Pray

·       Share-online, newsletter, invite us to speak

·       Shop

·       Visit

·       Host a party

·       Volunteer

·       Mentor the teen mothers

Interested in connecting with Maureen and make a difference at Rehema House?  

Email: Maurine.owino@rehemahouse.co.ke or maurineowino@yahoo.com

Mobile number: 0704504508

Visit their website: www.mercyhousekenya.org

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