Letter from the founder:

I was age 17 when I found out I was pregnant. I lived in Cameroon at that time with my parents and siblings. I had just finished my secondary education and had started high school. I went through unthinkable mental, psychological and physical mistreatment. My only escape was the second chance I was given to go back and finish my education by my parents. Despite the low self-esteem and feeling of rejection I had perpetually carried inside after childbirth, I was aware that education was the only way out to self sustainability.I grabbed this last chance and went back to school. Leaving my son to grow up without his mother. I finished high school and went to the university. I later travelled abroad to further my education.The second chance i was given is a privilege denied to many cameroonian girls.

Every parent’s nightmare is that their teenage daughters may end up being pregnant before adulthood. In an attempt to discourage teenage pregnancy, pregnant teenagers are subjected to all kinds of physical and mental abuse. They are thrown out of school and marginalized by the society,

yet sex education remains a taboo. Teenage pregnancy, HIV Aids and illegal abortions are ruining the lives of the youth. In the main time a lot of parents bury their heads in the sand and some end up burying their daughters literally in the sand. Yes, I have lost friends to illegal abortions and yes I have lost a friend to HIV.

I lament for the unnecessary death of many young girls in Cameroon. I speak courageously for the girls of my country and for the girls all over the world who are denied the right to sexual health education due to ignorance based on cultural and religious prejudice. I emphasize that about 1 in 3 girls in Cameroon become mothers before their 18th birthday. I can’t stress the effect of this problem enough to the girls, their children and to our Cameroonian society as a whole.

Join me, join us, in the fight against teenage pregnancy and the effect of teenage pregnancy in Cameroon. BleekerFoundation is counting on you to make it happen.

Yours sincerely,

 

Cecilia Eben Bleeker
Founder and President of BleekerFoundation

    

Further reading: ADOLESCENT PREGNANCY: A review of the Evidence, UNFPA