Mercy’s parents are farmers who struggle to make ends meet. The eldest of six siblings, Mercy often went to bed hungry because the youngest had to eat first. She began the relationship hoping to ease the financial strains on her family.
But instead, Mercy became pregnant.
“I got pregnant just a few months into the relationship, and when I told the man about my condition, he denied being responsible and immediately ran away to Mozambique,” she says.
Having to shoulder another responsibility, she dropped out of school and took up menial jobs on neighbouring farms to make ends meet.
Today, with the support of the UN Joint Programme on Adolescent Girls (JPAG), Mercy, 14, is back in school.
Charting a new course for the future
By providing funding for scholarships and a range of activities, JPAG empowers girls to continue their educations and to take part in skills-training and community-development initiatives. It also increases awareness of their needs in the community and improves their access to sexual and reproductive health services.
Read article published by UNFPA.