According to the National Library of Medicine, in 2021, Nigeria’s adolescent pregnancy rate was 106 per 1000 and showed an increasing trend.
As outlined by the World Health Organization, adolescent pregnancy encompasses pregnancies in women aged 10–19 years. To account for the notable differences between, for instance, a 12- or 13-year-old girl and a young woman of 19, some authors distinguish between adolescents aged 15–19 years and younger adolescents aged 10–14 years.
Adolescent pregnancy is a global public health concern that affects both developed and developing countries. Reducing adolescent pregnancy is central to achieving sustainable development goals.
The high rate of adolescent pregnancy in Nigeria has been attributed to various factors, including early onset of menarche among females, early initiation of sexual activity, early marriage, low socioeconomic status, economic insecurity, ineffective use of contraception, low educational and career aspirations, residence in a single-parent home, poor family relationships, and deterioration of traditional African values.
Undoubtedly, this has increased the rate of girls out of school, which exacerbates poverty and population issues in the nation.
In Nigeria, girls make up 60% of the over 10 million out of school children children in Nigeria who are out of school, 60 of them are girls according to United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
This issue inspired Clarion Oyeronke, a young lady, to assemble a team of young individuals dedicated to the comprehensive empowerment of teenagers.
“Last year, I initiated a program to assist teenagers in personal development, providing them with the right knowledge about their bodies and sexuality,” she said.
Driven by a passion for empowering adolescents, TEENS ARISE INITIATIVE, her non-profit organization emerged from the pioneering concept “Female Speaks.” They are into developing teenage girls to curb teenage pregnancy through education and empowerment not to be vulnerable.
Clarion, while speaking about what prompted her to start her initiative, said, “Contributing my quota to the change we desire and for the development of our nation and beyond.”
“Our non-profit organisation is guided by the unwavering principles of compassion, education, and community,” she said about the values the nonprofit upholds.
The non-profit champions a comprehensive approach to adolescent development, encompassing a wide range but specifically addressing teenage pregnancy, teen marriage awareness and puberty concerns counseling. And so far they have impacted 50 girls across communities in Lagos state.
They also dedicate their efforts to empowering teenagers with essential knowledge, resources, and support, empowering them to navigate the complexities of adolescence with confidence and resilience.
To achieve their mission, Clarion and her team members carry out educational programs, community outreach, campaigns, seminars, and partnerships with like-minded organizations, schools, and institutions.
She said: “At Teens Arise initiative, we are dedicated to nurturing confident, informed, and empowered teenagers who will go on to become leaders and change-makers in their communities.”
She and her team members are consciously working towards helping many girls avoid being burdened by their teenage mistakes.