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Asha's story

Asha is an 18 year old young mother living in Mtwara, Tanzania. She discovered she was pregnant in the school holiday and didn’t return to school.

"I met Ali at a video hall, he approached me. Ali used to work at the video hall. I went back there a number of times after our first meeting to talk with him. After a bit we went to one of his friend’s houses so we could be private.
 
It was only after a month that I got pregnant. I missed a period and told my mother. She knew it was probably pregnancy, but we waited. Then I started to show and I didn’t want to return to school’.
 
When I first got contractions I went to the local dispensary, which is very close. They told me I wasn’t ready yet and said I should wait at home. When I got back home I knew the baby was almost here, and so my mother helped me deliver. I wasn’t afraid, and it happened quickly. There were no complications, but I did tear a bit, that has all healed now. After the delivery I went to the clinic, and got vaccinations for the baby.
 
I don’t feel good about missing school but I cannot go at the moment as I have to take care of Acramu, my son. I know mother’s milk is best so I want to breastfeed him. My mother and father can’t help take care of him at the moment.
 
Participating in the ‘Sauti Ya Vijana’ film as ‘Rehema’s voice gave me awareness about things, I realised I was like the girl in the film, I got pregnant young. It did make me feel scared too, like I had done something wrong, and I thought – if only I knew about this before it was too late. I did not know a lot about contraceptives. I feel sorry for others in my situation, because it’s not good to miss out on school. And looking after a baby is hard. When I think about young girls giving birth that also makes me feel worried.
 
I would like to be educated, or to have a skill I can use for income and have a good life.