Recently have had so many requests from young moms in Gauteng looking for a support group like ours. Michelle from Teen Mom Support KZNtweeted about it earlier tonight as well.
I admit I don’t know of any – have concentrated on Cape Town. When I started here, I enquired in all the places I could think of, to see if anybody was doing anything similar. Didn’t want to duplicate something that was already available.
There were many crisis pregnancy centres, some NGO’s offering structured parenting & life skills classes to teen parents in need, but nobody seemed to be doing what we do – i.e. a social, informal place for young moms to gather, speak, make friends, be heard and be taken seriously.
Most of what I saw available was aimed at parents needing professional counselling or intervention. What we do is bridge the gap – try and reach moms before they get to the stage of needing major help.
Not all teen moms DO need professional intervention. Just as not all 30-something moms do. Everybody’s needs are different – but I bet that no matter your age, marital status, education or bank balance, almost all of us moms could use a place where we’re free to be ourselves and where we’re understood and accepted as such.
I don’t know of anyone in Jhb/Pretoria / Gauteng in general who is doing something similar.
I’ve had a number of emails from young Joburg moms wanting to start something up, and am speaking to all of them to offer advice and ideas – but whether or not they’ll make it happen, only time will tell. In the meantime –
Does anyone out there have any ideas? Does anyone out there know of somebody we can speak to – a starting point to refer Joburg moms to?
EDIT – forgot to add this: Groups / organisations that only cater for teen moms in crisis are going to miss out on the “ordinary” moms – the ones I mentioned above who are okay, but could still use some TLC (and who couldn’t?).
They don’t see themselves as being “in need of help” and so won’t be inclined to join/approach the organisation. They’re missing out- perhaps – on that “safe place” – possibly putting themselves at risk of bigger problems – the ones the crisis centres and professionals deal with. We want to stop that before it happens.