Salvation Army Parenting Program Empowers New Mom

Mother and son smiling
by British Columbia
Categories: Blog, Community, Newswire, Stories

At 18, Jessica learned she was pregnant and was nervous about everything. She had grown up without a mom’s love, nurturing and support, and didn’t know whether she would have the skills to be a good mother. The Salvation Army’s parenting programs helped her with advice, emotional support and ways of coping with the challenges of motherhood.

“My mom was a drug addict, emotionally distant, and left the family when I was four years old,” says Jessica. “I never had motherly words of wisdom. When I came to The Salvation Army’s Bethany Hope Centre I was uptight, young and didn’t know how to change a diaper, feed a baby or live with one.

“They took me by the hand and led me in the right direction.”

Bethany Hope offers a variety of supports for new parents that include nutrition, high-school education, food services, socialization and health education.

“My first course at Bethany Hope was a cooking class for pregnant women―Buns in the Oven,” says Jessica. “We cooked, ate together and learned about nutrition, pregnancy and babies in an atmosphere where no one was judged. I graduated from the class and received a certificate. It felt good to achieve something that wasn’t just for me, but for my son.”

Jessica and Niyko, age 15 months, spend a lot of time at the centre. While Niyko attends the day care program Jessica is completing her high school credits through the learning coach program. She wants to go to college and study photography. They also participate in a drop-in for moms and tots where parents share ways of coping and children socialize.

“The Salvation Army has increased my confidence and self-esteem,” says Jessica. “They taught me valuable skills that helped me overcome the fears of parenting and introduced me to new and supportive friends.

“I owe a lot to this place.”

For more information on Bethany Hope and its programs, click here.