Online Documentary Tells Stories of Adolescent Mothers From Bulgaria

A frame from the documentary “Who Are Those Mothers” by Irena Daskalova.

The Bulgarian Family Planning Association (BFPA), a non-governmental organization focused on health and sex education, has published on YouTube the award-winning documentary “Who Are Those Mothers” about the lives of five women who gave birth when they were underage.

The 30-minute film from 2011 is in Bulgarian language with English subtitles, enabling a wider reach. After all, teen pregnancy and child marriage are worldwide issues.

BFPA said the filmmakers kindly permitted them to make the documentary available on YouTube. The film's description reads:

G. is 15 years old. She is pregnant in the fourth month… with her second child. She gave birth to her first son when she was only fourteen. She is one of the approximately 5,000 girls every year in Bulgaria who “marry” and bear children between age 13 and 18. Regardless of their reasoning, these are all “children-mothers”, who are raising their own children. Often, they are given no chance of making their life choice themselves and they are left in the closed loop of illiteracy, un-employment, and poverty. And their children and their children’s children will most probably re-enact the same model for they couldn’t know that life would offer other opportunities. Who are those mothers?

In March 2012, the documentary won an award at the 5th Roma Life-Central European Documentary Festival. UNFPA – United Nations Population Fund has screened the film at its events.

The director, Irena Daskalova, went on to make several more films. BFPA continues to conduct education activities on sexual and reproductive health and rights.

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