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Nairobi’s Private School Opens for Teenage Mothers and Babies

Kenya’s first private school for pregnant teenagers, teen mothers and their babies, opened its doors earlier this month. The students at Serene Haven either got pregnant or gave birth during last year’s COVID-19 lockdown, when Kenya’s teenage pregnancies surged by about 40%. In the school’s Nyeri Central sub-district alone, Children’s Officer Paul Ndungu said the jump in teen pregnancies has been shocking. Kenyan officials blame students not being in schools, which were allowed to re-open this month for the first time since March. Founder and director of Serene Haven Lizz Muriuki was a teen mother herself. She said their goal is to ensure teens get an education without stigma.  Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, Kenya was struggling to reduce teen pregnancy. According to Save the Children’s 2019 Global Childhood Report, Kenya has the third highest teen pregnancy rate in East Africa after Tanzania and Uganda.