Dominican Republic has one of the world’s highest frequencies of child marriage and teenage mothers. The first time we came here, we met a 18 year old girl who was expecting her third child and she gsve us the motivaton to start The Sofia Programs. One of the other girls you see on one of the pictures here, was 14 years old when she got married and shortly after she gave birth her son. They both lost theire opportunity for schooling and work.
The culture of this is so strong in the country, that it is difficult to convince the girls to use contraception and finish school before getting married and have children. The poorest girls here are fiksing this to be the most important goal to achieve in life – and certainly do not want birth control. They usually get up to 10 children and start at a very young age. Medical complications after pregnancy and birth in teens are the leading cause of death in the world in women from 15-19 years. And early pregnancy prevents schooling in the vast majority.
We were therefore very excited over today’s attendance at our little birth control. We included 35 young women in the program. We held a lecture and provided contraception for a year. They must collect the tablets at the pharmacy monthly and we will continue with regular meetings where they attend. We know that these girls will tell their friends about this opportunity and that the program is likely to expand month by month. Without you, this would not have been possible – thank you so much for all contributions.