On 9th January 2020, Blessing a 16-year-old girl delivered a beautiful baby girl. However, her story is one of sadness and shows the engrained misinformation around sexual and gender-based violence and the age of consent in Sierra Leone.
Blessing from the slum area of Dwarzak in Freetown was happily attending school and studying hard, living with her elderly Grandmother when she went to a party and met a boy. She didn’t consent to sex and ended up pregnant, something which she doesn’t consider to be rape.
One day, a group of AWC midwives went to the community to book patients and she was booked on to the AWC programme. She was 5 months pregnant. She started to attend Dream Girls classes and learnt a lot about health education and made a blanket for her baby.
On 9th January 2020, she went into labour but was very scared. She gave birth holding hands with the AWC Social Worker for moral support and gave birth naturally to a beautiful baby girl. She stayed in the hospital for a couple of days to be monitored before she was discharged to go and return back to live with her Grandmother.
“Thank you to Aberdeen Women’s Centre for the great attention that was paid to me. You have given me encouragement to come to class and let me deliver here for free. I want to go to school and train to be a Doctor, so I can one day work at AWC!”.