With her two-year-old crawling on the table, her kid brother coloring underneath, her grandmother yelling to help her in the kitchen and her infant daughter crying for milk, Rosemary just breathes. She has to take some time to sit amongst the chaos.
Rosemary is 15 years old and cares for her own two children, her siblings, cousins, neighbor children and her grandmother everyday.
Rosemary was 13 when she had her first child. Her mother was 13 when she had her first child. Her grandmother was 12 when she had her first child.
In the Dominican Republic, teenage pregnancy rates are among the highest in the world. Many people don’t see it as a problem because it is so common, but most agree it needs a solution. Generations of young girls are dropping out of school and working low-paying jobs. They are taking care of the children they have while they are still children.
Rosemary says she was the first in her group of friends to become pregnant. So now she doesn’t have time to be a typical 15-year-old girl. She wishes she could still sing with the other girls and roam carefree around the neighborhood all day. She knows it will be a long time before she has the freedom to be a kid again.