Best of Systers, Community Voices

Pass It On Award Empowers Young Teenage Mothers in Zimbabwe

Tariro Adelaide Mateko is from Zimbabwe and is the recipient of the 2013 Systers Anita Borg Pass It On Award for “Empowering Young Teenage Mothers through Computer Appreciation Skills.”

Tariro works as a volunteer for a community-based organization that focuses on community development and outreach to improve the lives of people in Zimbabwe.

“Teenage pregnancy is a harsh reality that has taken away many of the young girls’ ambitions and dreams and more so taken away her chance to further her academics in formal school. Girls are forced to drop out of school and face community and family expulsion in the event that the boy responsible for the pregnancy denies responsibility, as well as emotional stress, single handed child rearing, poverty, unemployment and a high health risk posed by child bearing at a young age. These young teenage mothers face a lot of difficulties in trying to get their lives back on track. Confidence at most is lost, and many are traumatized by the different experiences they have gone through. It is however my belief that with love, care and support these lives can be turned around for the better.” – Tariro

Tariro works as a volunteer with Nhaka Afrikan Worldview Trust (NAW ), her partner for this project. The partnership allowed for marketing (word of mouth and visits to various villages), enabling her to recruit 40 teenage mothers into the program. The project was as a one of a kind computer skills project designed to target teenage mothers who dropped out of school and/or have no technical computer skills. Twenty teenage mothers were identified from the four corners of the community to go through a month-long computer appreciation course, after which they took exams and practical exams. This was coupled with a session with a local speaker who motivated the participants to learn and use their new skills as a platform to get their lives back on track.

Tariro PIO project

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Attn: Systers Pass It On Awards
1501 Page Mill Road, MS 1105
Palo Alto, CA 94304

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