Our children and young people our currently enjoying the summer holidays and spending time with their friends before school starts back in September. During the school holidays the monthly support meeting with maternal assistants also takes a break. Some of our foster children have been able to spend some time during the holidays in the Romanian mountains where they have enjoyed spending time together.
We currently support eight mother and baby pairs in our Maternity Project and our pleased that we have seen a number of young families ‘graduate’ from this project already in 2016 and become independent. It is our goal to offer short term support to new families to help them provide for themselves in the long term. A number of young mothers currently in this project became pregnant at the age of 15. One of these is Maria (pseudonym).
Maria had a very tough childhood. Her father, an aggressive alcoholic, abandoned her mother who became very ill. After Maria finished the 8th grade, she chose to go to evening classes (part time) at a high-school, to be able to look after her mother who was suffering from severe depression. During the day she cared for her mother and helped in the home while in the evening she attended school. They had to keep moving from one rented apartment to the next as their family home had been lost after her parents’ divorce.
Maria got involved with a group of rebellious teenagers at school. She was flattered by the attention that she received from one of the boys in the group who started to date. When she found out that she was pregnant he broke up with her. Maria decided to keep the baby.
Just before he was born Maria and her mother found a studio to live in on the outskirts of Bucharest. After giving birth Maria has gone back to school and is planning to complete her high school education. Alongside support from her mother she is learning budgeting parenting skills from our team.
Maria attends our IT training course with other young mothers from our Maternity Project as well as our older foster children and is enjoying making new friends. She openly talks to the teenagers in our foster project about her life and urges them to think carefully about the friends that they make at school in the hope that they will be able to resist negative peer pressure.