June 3, 2016

Combating teen pregnancy in Nicaragua

Written by Plan International USA

This post originally appeared on Plan International’s website. Reposted with permission.

Spiraling levels of poverty and sexual violence have left Nicaragua with the highest rate of teenage pregnancy in Latin America. Now, with the support of Plan International’s Girl Power Project, young people are finding their voice and educating their parents and peers on the risks of teen pregnancy.

“It was the talk of my community,” says 16-year-old Silma as she looks down at her battered wooden desk, in her darkened classroom, in Nicaragua.

“I had just turned 14 when I fell pregnant. I’d been going out with my boyfriend for a year. He was 18. I knew vaguely how to protect myself, but he didn’t like using condoms. We had unprotected sex and I became pregnant. My mother grew suspicious around the sixth month. I took a test, which confirmed it. When I told my boyfriend, he disappeared. I never saw him again.”

Silma stayed in school up until she gave birth, but afterwards she had to leave to look after her baby.

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