By Elizabeth Nyaguyo
Young mothers in the Mtetengwe area in Beitbridge have expressed their gratitude to the National AIDS Council (NAC) for introducing a life-changing programme that transforms their lives.
The Sista to Sista programme was introduced in 2012 as a way to curb an increase in unwanted pregnancies and early child marriages among other social ills.
In an interview with Sly Media during a NAC media tour, Lessy Ndowu, said this initiative has helped her to know the dangers of having unprotected sex.
“I want to start by applauding NAC for a job well done. This programme has changed my life for good to the extent of me teaching others the dangers of having unprotected sex.
“I am happy that we are also learning things to do with self-empowerment as women that we should work for ourselves not just to count on someone’s money,” she said.
Amanda Moyo said that as a young mother who got pregnant at 17, she did not know that they are many ways to avoid these unwanted pregnancies, but now she is aware since she has joined the Sista to Sista programme.
“I was young when I got pregnant. Imagine having a child at form 3 it was because I have no idea but here at Sista to Sista, we have sessions where we learn all the dangers of having children at a tender age.
“Sista to Sista also helped me to realise my mistakes, and I am thinking of going back to school despite that I am a mother now,” she said.
Lorraine Gadzikwa said that she could not thank NAC enough for what they had done for her.
“NAC has changed my life for good I gave birth at 17 and unfortunately, the man who made me pregnant ran away and I suffered alone, but when I met my mentor here, everything changed.
“Now l am able to take care of my child by selling oranges but my wish is to start a big business that can sustain our livelihoods, she said
The mentor Christine Moyo she said this programme has been welcomed by the community even though at first parents were hard to convince.
“I am so happy, and all thanks to NAC for making this possible the community has welcomed the initiative even though at first they were hard to convince but with time they understood.
“We faced so many challenges especially from parents because they believed that we were teaching their children to have sex but the idea was that in as much as these children are having sex, they must make sure they are using condoms.
“What makes me more happy, is that when we started in 2012 there were more early marriages and more HIV positive cases but now these cases have decreased due to lessons we are giving them,” she added.
Sista to Sista programme contains people from the age group of 10 to 25 years.