Project addresses teenage pregnancy

The National, Wednesday July 13th, 2016

A project initiated by the Safe Motherhood Alliance (SMALL) PNG is helping to address discrimination against young women who fall victim to teenage pregnancy.
The Blooming Teens Project was launched last year by SMALL to help people understand that teenage pregnancy was not just a girl problem, but also a community problem.
The project emphasises that girls are at high risk of complications and need special care such as good nutrition, supervised delivery and a safe environment.
Through the project, 12 pregnant women had their abdomens plaster cast. They each had a story to tell about their pregnancy.
Most of their stories were of the anguish, pain, discrimination, abuse and stigma they had faced during their pregnancy.
Local artists then used those stories to paint on their belly casts, retelling the story of the unborn baby and the mother through art .Some of these casts were exhibited at the PNG Human Rights Film Festival and the International Youth Day Medical Symposium.
“The communities must find a way for young men and women to be educated on respectful relationships and on reproductive decision-making,” Lavinia Mul, a spokesperson from SMALL said.