Helping young women be good mothers

Caritas Hong Kong is a social service agency that is attentive to the needs and aspirations of the underprivileged, the last, the least and the lost within the community. Starting in the 2018-2020 Biennium, Caritas partnered with the Zonta Club of Kowloon for its project, Holistic Development of Young Mothers, which benefits young pregnant women living in Tsuen Wan and Kwai Chung District.

With a US$4,973 grant from Zonta International, Caritas and the Zonta Club of Kowloon launched Holistic Development of Young Mothers II. The project's major objectives are to improve the young mothers' self-understanding and promote self-confidence, enhance their parental skills through a self-help play group run by experienced teenage mothers who are willing to contribute, and further enhance their career aspirations through actual vocational training practice and scholarship.

The program included the following activities:

  • A Personality Dimension Workshop, which consisted of four separate sessions, assisted 10 teenage mothers to enhance their self-understanding and relationship with others. Participants expressed

    that the skills learned from workshop were useful to deal with relationship issues with their husband/boyfriend.

  • Seven young mothers received a scholarship to attend a Messy Play Tutor Training Course. They learned about the simple skill to build parent-child bonding, such as making some sensory simulation by using simple and safe tools (e.g., blanket, sand, leaf, baby food, etc.). These training activities made them feel more capable as mothers.
  • 20 young mothers attended a sex education workshop to teach them how to relate to the opposite sex and to avoid sexual violence and abuse. They also learned how to talk with their children on topics regarding sexuality.

Among 37 participants, 80% achieved self-understanding and felt more confident in dealing with relationship issues, 80% attained better childcare knowledge and parenting skills, and 75% gained a more in-depth knowledge on issues relevant to sexuality.

Christy, 23, dropped out of school when she was 15. She became addicted to drugs, married a drug addict and found herself pregnant. Deciding to turn her life around, Christy enrolled in prenatal classes and attended the Messy Play Tutor Training Course with her baby, thanks to the scholarship provided by Caritas.

"Getting more childcare and parenting skills, I feel more confident of being a mother. Planning to join further training courses, I would like to be a playgroup tutor in future," Christy said. "Besides, I am happy to come across many friends in the training. I like to share my childcare experience with those mothers and form a mothers' group to emotionally support each other."

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