“Zimbabwe is among countries in sub-Saharan Africa with a huge problem teenage pregnancy,” according to UNFPA Zimbabwe’s adolescent sexual reproductive health specialist. “The country has a high adolescent fertility rate of 108 per 1,000 among young women aged 15 to 19 years. This is against average fertility rate of 101 births per 1,000 young women aged between 15 and 19 in sub-Saharan Africa. Of course, this data, is from before COVID-19 pandemic and [before] lockdown measures were put in place. Emerging data indicates that there has been a significant increase in teenage pregnancy during the lockdown.”
Charltan is dedicated to making a lasting impact on these young women's lives through our campaigns and programs. The three core pillars around which our work at the Charltan is centered are EDUCATION, VOCATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING, AND PSYCHO-SOCIAL SUPPORT. Learn more about our initiatives and get involved yourself.
The Charltan education pillar focuses on providing access to education for adolescent mothers as well as prematurely married young women. Current subjects of focus include Mathematics, English, Combined Science, Heritage studies, Commerce, Shona, and Geography. Primary education is also a critical part of our operations as these women did not have access to primary education. This is the primary pillar for Charltan.
VOCATIONAL SKILLS TRAINING
Learn to Fish
Vocational training focuses on skills development in the following four main areas: Entrepreneurship, Financial literacy, Gardening and Nutrition, and Digital skills. These trainings are done over a four-week period and are usually inclusive of the most vulnerable of the group who have had no access to primary school education, do not feel ready to restart their basic education, but need to earn an income to provide for their children.
A Safe Space
The Charltan Safe House
The Safe House is our most vital program and the project in the most need of sustainable support. Please consider donating to this critical effort and we welcome volunteers willing to teach life skills as well. Currently, the day-to-day operation of the safe house is largely dependent on individual donor funding and in-kind donations.
The housing assistance program provides a safe space for the most traumatized of our clients. We provide these young women with housing and support for one year at our facility in Ruwa, Zimbabwe (outside of Harare). We provide education services and vocational training as well as counseling, sexual and reproductive health services, and child growth, maternity, and skills development.
The Charltan School Trust Safe House program was founded in October 2019 in partnership with Gospel artist Anne-Grace Manatsa. Its main aim is to address the abuse and homelessness of teen mothers. The safe house currently rents a property. Its average carrying capacity is 24 young women with bunk beds, but the current capacity is a maximum of 12 adolescent mothers and 12 children. Since 2019, the house has accommodated 72 young women. Some of the young women depart earlier than anticipated and others remain with us longer.
The Safe House currently partners with local organizations such as Pomona Farmers Market, Dharwizi Trust, and Msasa Rotary Club.