Now aged 17, Kevinne lives in Couffo, Benin. When she was 14 she fell in love. When her parents found out they did not react as she hoped. Instead, they sent her away to marry an older man who had three wives. Kevinne says:
I didn’t know I was being given away for marriage. It was a market day. My uncle took me to another village on a motorbike and dumped me at a man’s house. I didn’t know him. He was 25, I was 16. I was forced to marry him
One month into her marriage, Kevinne realised she’d missed her period and was pregnant. She tried to remain strong, but when she refused to do as her husband told her, he turned violent.
He was so angry when I wouldn’t give in to what he asked, he would beat me. He even knocked out my tooth, so I had to escape for me and my baby. I didn’t love him. What was I supposed to do?
Kevinne has since returned home, but it hasn’t been easy.
“I cry all the time. I know it will be difficult to get married again. I am embarrassed, but I want a better future for me and my baby.”
With the support of Plan International, Kevinne has been taught about the risks of teenage pregnancy and she is using her new knowledge to educate others. She’s also taken control of her own destiny proving that there is life beyond being a teenage mother.
With the help of Plan International I am now training to become a hairdresser. I want to make my own income and build a life for me and my children. In the future I want to graduate and open my own salon.