In the past few years, we’ve all understood in a deeper way what it means to feel socially isolated from one another. But for some families, especially young mothers with a new baby, social isolation is all they have ever known.
We believe that any young mother who wants to parent her baby should be supported to do so. However, many of the teen mothers who “graduate” from our Pregnant Girls Services lack the extended family or community support needed to raise their child. If they are alone and in crisis, they may be forced to separate from their child, placing them into the care system.
At Mother’s Choice we embrace, equip, and empower young girls facing teen crisis pregnancy, but over the years we kept seeing young moms take their babies home to situations where they were unsupported and overwhelmed, resulting in children being referred back to Mother’s Choice residential and foster care.
We continually saw this vicious, generational cycle of trauma, loss, and family separation. We knew that we couldn’t be the only ones – there had to be another way.
At Mother’s Choice, we have great hope that crisis can be turned into opportunity. We believe it takes a village to raise a child, but sometimes we need help to build that village around us.
In 2015, our CEO Alia Eyres won a fellowship from the Macquarie Group Foundation, and together with our team we began to meet leaders from Hong Kong and around world, specifically to learn about models of family strengthening that provide holistic, meaningful impact to families and their children.
While researching, we learned about Safe Families for Children, an international non-profit who connect vulnerable families with compassionate community volunteers, creating safety nets to keep children safe and families together. We immediately connected with the concept – since the start of Mother’s Choice, we have been a volunteer driven organisation, we have passionate and dedicated community around us, who with a little structure and support, could deeply impact the lives of young mothers and their children, by building relationship and providing practical support, just as we do with our own families and friends.
A few months later we connected with Dr. David Anderson, the founder and executive director of Safe Families, and he and his team generously poured out their knowledge onto us, sharing not only their strategy and professional expertise, but their wisdom, love, and compassion, too. We were so moved by the by the beauty and simplicity of their model, and the power of relationship to change life stories.
Although we were so excited to bring the idea to Hong Kong, it wasn’t the right time for Mother’s Choice.
However, we didn’t give up on this dream! Six years after first hearing about it, we launched Safe Families right here in Hong Kong in 2021. In our pilot year, we connected five moms and their babies with friends in the community.
Now, we are building our local volunteer pool of incredible Safe Families volunteers who see the courage and resilience of young moms, and we are so encouraged to witness a growing community who are motivated by love and are modelling powerful kindness, friendship, and hospitality. Safe Families volunteers come from all walks and stages of life, we believe that every volunteer has something unique to bring to impact the life stories of future generations of moms and children.
Find out what Safe Families achieved in our pilot year – and consider joining us for an Information Session to learn more.