The project „A mom is a mom“ was developed in 2005 with the aim of preventing risky behaviors of young people and providing psychological and social help and support for adolescent mothers, pregnant girls and their families. Pregnancy and birth have an immense impact on the lives of adolescent girls. They are faced with numerous problems; family’s rejection, terminating education, partner’s abandonment, difficulties in adjustment and acceptance of their new role as a mother. The program is striving to reduce vulnerability of expectant mothers and parents and strengthen them for active and responsible parental role takeover.
Project activities aim to:
- Provide psychological, legal or other form of help for adolescent mothers and pregnant girls in order to gain social and economic stability and empower them for the responsible parenthood
- Raising public awareness, and especially awareness of government authorities for the problems and needs of adolescent mothers and pregnant girls
- Educate experts working in the area of education, social welfare and health system about problems of adolescent mothers and pregnant girls as well as different forms of help and welfare.
- Educating parents about importance and ways of communication with their children when dealing with sexuality, love and relationships.
The issue of adolescent pregnancies and motherhood still remains unrecognized and the public is not informed enough about these issues. We believe that continuing activities can contribute to the prevention of risky sexual behavior of young people during their development and acceptance of their social role.
Within the program MOM IS MOM, three projects are being carried out.
Advisory center MOM IS MOM
Advisory center MOM IS MOM is intended for adolescent mothers, parents but also for their friends and members of family who want to support them. Through a variety of activities we are striving to assure necessary information, help and support while dealing with difficulties and preparation for independent life.
Advisory center is located in Ilica 73 in Zagreb. Business hours: weekdays 9am-3pm. Term is required to agree by phone number 01-2442-061.
Activities of Advisory center:
- Phone informing and consultation
- Psychological counseling
- Legal advice
- Small educational groups
- Support groups
Part of activities is being carried out within the Advisory center MOM IS MOM, in Zagreb, while the other part is being carried out along with Children's home Zagreb and House of love of Caritas Zagreb, as social welfare institutions that provide accommodation for adolescent mothers and children who need accommodation out of their own families.
Web portal for adolescent mothers and parents
Web portal for adolescent mothers and parents is intended for adolescent mothers, parents and adolescents who are facing questions and doubts about pregnancy and difficulties because of the risky sexual activities. Activities include informing and education through published articles and counseling adolescent parents by psychologists, social workers, lawyers and gynecologists. Activities of Web portal allow services of counseling and intenzive support to become available for all parts of Croatia.
Step for young mothers
Project Step for young mothers is being carried out with the goal of empowerment of young mothers in adverse situations for independent life and active participation in the community. The project is striving to educate and sensitize volunteers for offering peer support to young mothers and also to assure that young mothers who are getting out of a social welfare prepare themselves for independent life by increasing their activations and motivations. Project is based on a model of ensuring peer support to young mothers by voloneers, students of social work and it's being carried out together with Study centre of social work in Zagreb, Children's home Zagreb and House of love of CZN.
All services and activities are wholly free for users and their being carried out with the financial support of Ministry of Social Policy and Youth and the City of Zagreb.
„A mom is a mom“ project in the period 2005-2009
The implementation of „A mom is a mom“ project activities started at the end of the year 2005 in cooperation with the Maternity department of Children’s home Zagreb as well as Caritas home Savica.
By the end of 2005, a telephone line opened with the aim of providing help to adolescent pregnant girls, mothers and others who encounter with adolescent pregnancy. The opened phone line was named “Little phone” and was the first telephone line in Croatia intended for providing help to adolescent pregnant girls and mothers. At its beginnings, the phone line was opened three times a week, only to start working every working day 12-2 p.m.
During the years 2006 and 2007 implementation of activities continued in the Maternity department of Children’s home Zagreb as well as Caritas home Savica where pregnant girls and young mothers could get counseling and information. Moreover, activities like support groups and small educational groups are implemented with the aim to educate about sexually transmitted diseases, future unwanted pregnancies, responsible parenthood, child care and nurture. The activities are implemented by a team of experts: psychologists, social workers and gynecologists.
During that period, a booklet for adolescent pregnant girls and young mothers was published. Experts from the area of medicine, psychology and social welfare gave numerous advices and information on all relevant questions related to recognizing pregnancy signs, progress in pregnancy, and relationships with parents and partner as well as information on realizing social and health care rights.
Activities are implemented in Zagreb area. However, phone calls came from other regions in Croatia as well.
During the year 2007 a cooperation was established with following associations: Parents' and pregnant women club Split, Duga – Association intended for helping women and children from Zadar and Association for prevention of sexually transmitted diseases – Aktiva from Zagreb. Project activities were expanded to County of Zadar and Split – Dalmatia County. Activities oriented to the prevention of risky sexual behavior of young people started in addition to support activities.
Activities on the area of County of Zadar and Split – Dalmatia County are continuing to be implemented as „Together towards improvement“project financed by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports.
During the year 2008 due to the adaptation of premises, the Maternity department of the Children’s home Nazorova was closed. Pregnant adolescents and young mothers with children could only be placed in the Caritas house in Savica Šanci, Zagreb.
Moreover, additional difficulties appeared due to limited funding for project implementation. The implementation of activities was difficult, and some activities like support groups and small educational groups had to stop with their work.
During the period 2005-2008 the project was financed by the Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, and Ministry of the Family, Veterans' Affairs and Intergenerational Solidarity,
City Office for Social Protection and Persons with Disabilities Zagreb, The City Office for Education, Culture and Sport and various donations from the business sector (RBA, Tau-online, Zagreb holding and others)
In 2009 in the framework of the "Mom is a mom" project and in cooperation with UNICEF - Office for Croatia, 3 round tables were held. Round tables titled "Teenage pregnancy and motherhood: Open Your Eyes", in the City of Zagreb, Koprivnica-Križevci County and Karlovac County. Round tables were intended for professionals in the fields of education, social and health care that are faced or they may encounter problems related to juvenile pregnancy and parenthood, in their work.
Conclusions from round tables are aimed at experts, but also to the relevant institutions, the Office of the Ombudsman for Children, Ministry of Science, Education and Sports, Ministry of Family, Veterans and Intergenerational Solidarity and the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, in order to initiate concrete steps in the social and educational policy.