Sasa Mama Teen Project


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Sasa Mama is a Swahili phrase for ‘now mother’- this is because the project is focused on equipping the mother, in time for birth and walk with her for the first few months of motherhood.

Many girls in Nairobi slums become pregnant, but have limited knowledge about how to care for a baby, and are often excluded from their homes. We will interview adolescent mothers to find out what harms their mental health during pregnancy, what effect this has on their behaviour, and how they try to cope. We will also work with them, and with health workers and community members, to build the toolkit to protect them from these stressors. This toolkit will include providing information and teaching problem-solving and confidence-building skills. We will test this approach on a sample of 150 adolescent girls who are pregnant or are new mothers using trained adolescent mentors with two delivery methods: organized two-hour meetings with up to ten participants in selected safe spaces; and five-person online discussion groups via the WhatsApp messenger application.

Led by Estelle Sidze of African Population and Health Research Centre in Kenya will work with adolescent mothers in Nairobi slums to develop a toolkit of information, skills, and coping mechanisms, to protect their mental health during pregnancy and early motherhood.

This is a Grants Challenge Exploration Award


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