The Dream Team Project
Launched in 2016, each year the Dream Team project supports about 200 pregnant girls aged 11-18, with pre and post-natal education, a safe birth, access to surgical intervention if necessary, a feeding programme (70% will be chronically malnourished) and continued access to education. Many of these girls face social and economic problems and the Aberdeen Women’s Centre provides support to re-integrate them to their communities post birth.
On top of access to first-rate health care, these young women participate in a range of activities focused on social awareness, literacy and numeracy and health education, all taught by our on-site teaching staff.
Main goal: to transform their lives through education and empowerment at the most vulnerable moments in their lives, both economically and emotionally, through rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence.
A number will also engage in a range of skills training including handicrafts, needlework, soap making, doormat design and production and cloth weaving.
We take a holistic approach to the wellbeing of our Dream Team transforming their health through access to safe birthing, whilst enabling continued education. We empower these young women economically and emotionally, rebuilding their self-esteem and confidence at a time of great vulnerability.
The achievements we have made to improve the lives of our teenage mothers in 2018 is a direct result of the commitment of our dedicated donors, for which we are sincerely grateful.
Making dreams a reality
The Dream Team girls participate in a range of activities led by our on-site tutors. The skills taught are targeted to give the girls the best chance of income generation and include:
- Literacy and numeracy classes focused on counting and writing of numbers, simple maths; alphabet, word building, matching of words, spelling, reading and writing; identification of colours and shapes
- Income generating skills – soap making, tailoring, arts and crafts
- Health education
Counselling service is a platform that provides the best possible psychosocial care for teenage girls that are apprehensive about misunderstandings with their communities. In Centre counselling services offer support to participants to manage:
- Anger Management
- Mood Disorders
- Family dynamics
- Health education sessions are held twice a week for both pregnant and lactating teenagers. With the expertise of midwives of the centre and family planning nurses, the girls are given accurate, culturally-sensitive information on gestation, baby-care, breastfeeding, hygiene and family planning.
- Because they are in an open and safe environment, the girls thrive, asking many questions about their bodies and emotions as they progress through their pregnancies.
- We also offer information on vaccinations and infant care.
- Arts and crafts, our Dream Team girls attend arts and crafts classes. This is an income-generating skills empowerment for both pregnant and lactating teenage girls/mothers. Art is also used as a platform for providing counselling for teenage girls struggling with life issues.
- Training hostel to provide a safe home for pregnant teenagers and new mothers to give birth safely and have proper postnatal care. Teenagers from rural areas or others whose families are unhappy about their pregnancies are often faced with sleeping on nearby beaches or in the street, leaving them vulnerable to violence, tropical weather and disease through mosquitoes.
The centre has secured a house and refurbished it, so it now provides not only hostel accommodation but a safe environment where residents can gain more skills training to ensure a sustainable future for themselves and their babies.
Dream girls stories
We heard of Zainab before our trip to Sierra Leone in September 2016. She was 15 years old and 37 weeks pregnant. She lives in one of the districts of Port Loko with her partner’s family. Six weeks later, when we arrived in Sierra Leone, Zainab had yet to go into labour, and had not […]
We came across Jakia when we visited the Kroo Bay slum in Sierra Leone Freetown. Jakia came running to us because she had heard that a midwife from the Aberdeen Women’s Centre was visiting. Jakia was five months pregnant, having lost her first two precious children. Kroo is often described as the worst place in […]
Zainab was brought to the Aberdeen Women’s Centre for fistula repair surgery by Aberdeen Women’s Centre outreach nurses, from her remote village in Moyamba District. She had been suffering with fistula for a couple of years. She explained to us when she went into labour her family was unable to take her to hospital and […]