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The team at Anglicare Northern Inland say a final thank-you to ABM, for all the financial and relational support provided through the “Hope for Life” program over the past two years. This support has enable the team to do amazing work, assisting pregnant teenagers and young mothers through holistic service delivery.
Since its beginnings in September 2015, the Service has provided assistance to 30 pregnant teenage Aboriginal young women living in North West NSW, in the townships and surrounding areas of Moree, Mungindi, Toomala, Wee Waa, Boggabilla, Inverell and Narrabri.
They work with a number of partners across those areas to ensure relevant and intensive services can be provided for the best possible outcome for mother and baby. The problems facing these young women are complex, often exacerbated by generational family dysfunction, low levels of education and income, and geographic isolation.
These complexities can be seen in Melonie’s Story*:
“Melonie is a 19 years old Aboriginal women who is pregnant with her second child. Melonie’s housing is very unsafe and precarious for her child and herself, and the Department of Family Services are involved because of the dangerous people Melonie lives with (they are high users of drugs and alcohol). Melonie has serious health problems – fluid and pressure on the brain and suspected Foetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder. She has destructive anger problems and will not attend health and other community services because of her anger and lack of control over her emotions. Our staff and partner agencies fear for her safety.
“Melonie has been very difficult to engage and other services have been unable to make any headway. Hope for Life have been able to engage with Melonie by meeting her where she is most comfortable. She is concerned about her 18 month old child and feels he needs to be around kids his own age – and through these aspirations Hope for Life staff have been able to encourage and engage with Melonie.
“We are supporting her to attend health services and to engage in a playgroup and also providing her with information about nutrition, the stages of her pregnancy and other information”, said Louise, Hope for Life Team Leader, “ensuring she is supported throughout her pregnancy. We have also supported her into safe and appropriate housing and helped her to disconnect from her unsafe lifestyle – Melonie wants better life outcomes for her son and her unborn child”.
*Not the client’s real name
ABM would also like to thank all of our supporters who contributed towards this project, both financially and through prayer. Your support has made a tangible and vital difference in the lives of young women like Melonie, and the children they care for, enabling destructive cycles of poverty and dysfunction to be broken.