By Victoria Saffa
A Sierra Leonean philanthropist based in Holland, Zainab Turay, has established a new home for disadvantaged pregnant teenagers in the capital city, Freetown.
The home, which is named ‘Mabel’s Cottage’ and situated at No.32 Cockle Bay Road, off Aberdeen Road, in the west of the city, was established primarily to provide free care and services to pregnant teenage girls.
According to founder Ms. Turay, the main purpose of establishing the cottage is to help vulnerable pregnant teenagers, especially those who are homeless and disadvantaged.
She said the cottage will be providing food and shelter for each girl for 18 months, during which beneficiaries will be provided with livelihood skills training.
According to her, the rate of teenage pregnancy is on the increase, thus providing basic facilities could help reduce the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the country.
“Women generally are gullible; once being impregnated there is a greater tendency for them not to continue with their education. But if we bring them at Mabel’s Cottage, we will provide food, shelter, counselling and skills training and at the end of the day, if possible, we give them jobs,” she stated.
Ms. Turay added that her initiative would help reduce poverty and illiteracy in the country.
When asked if her initiative will not in fact give rise to an increase in teenage pregnancy since they have free shelter, the philanthropist noted that before admitting any inmate at the home, a proper enquiry will be done with her parents, and that only those who are disadvantaged will be admitted in the home.
She said the teenagers will be taken care of by an in-house midwife and that if there is a serious emergency which requires the service of specialist, a standby doctor would be engaged.