Children need their mothers in order to grow healthy and to gain values that they need for their whole Life. But mothers need support and empowerment too.Our Mo2Mo project provides a network for mamas to share, chat with mentors and peers and learn about family care, while exchanging our second-hand item-boxes and having a listening session with our compassionate mama-mentees. We advocate mother's role in the society by breaking barriers to support and reducing stigma towards vulnerable mothers.
Coimbra Region- Portugal
There is judgement and stigma that vulnerable mothers face on daily bases reflecting on economical status, relationship status, opportunities they can provide for their children and for themselves. Stigma for mothers with low-income, single, survivors of rape, violence or human trafficking is reflecting on how these mothers are seen in society level, and how these mothers and their children are treated by others.Coimbra has a population of 106000 and as a major city in Portugal, can be set an example where society recognises the value of all mothers and assigns particular support for vulnerable mothers trying to generate income, provide needs for children and often deal with trauma or abuse in a way that promotes social inclusion and equal access to opportunities
For mothers who need empowerment from other mothers. We are aiming to target at least 150 mothers and at least 200 children, with the ultimate goal of having these mothers as lasting members of our Mo2Mo network and global family of mothers. We will also train at least 20 mothers to become volunteer 'mamamentors'. The Mo2Mo network is ideally having at least 500 global members after the pilot year. Lastly, we are committed to serve the future-generation of mothers through advocating and mitigating structural stigma towards vulnerable mothers and creating pathways to ensure no mother would feel socially excluded in the future. With advocacy and digital awareness raising we ensure no mother is left alone to feel helpless, less valued or not good enough in Portugal (target 10,000 individuals)
Our solution is to create a circle of giving and receiving applying for physical- and emotional support for vulnerable mothers while actively advocating policy level changes to see& hear& support mothers in Portugal, aiming for permanent positive changes in the society.
The project works through the following four actions:
1) Collecting, combining and distributing age-appropriate item packages for children & families. These are delivered in exchange to receive back the out-grown items. All items are second-hand, including clothing, toys, books and other essential items.
2) Mama-mentoring is a way to listen with compassion, allowing vulnerable mothers to be heard and communicate their struggles to another mother. These ‘mamamentors’ are trained volunteers who are not therapists, but mothers who care about wellbeing of other mothers.
3) Networking through global network is a free channel for all vulnerable mothers to join in, and for supporting/mentoring/ advising mothers to join by paying a small membership fee. This network allows mothers to share, chat, learn and receive guidance from each other and from the supporting mama-members.
4) Advocacy work to reduce stigma and prejudice towards vulnerable mothers and their children through a regional campaign in Coimbra with municipality, nurseries, social workers and health sector organisations (whom we have MoU)
After 12 months, we have hoped to elevate at least 150 mothers out of mental & physical struggle and isolation, while providing items for at least 200 of their children. Additionally we hope to have at least 1000 Mo2Mo network members, at least 20 trained mama mentor volunteers and at least 50 medical/ educational/ inspiration learning resources developed. Our goal is that after the 12 months, at least 90% of the supported mothers would stay in the network and that according to the end-project survey, at least 90% of them would report a significant positive impact our our project towards them and their children.
Mothers often feel alone, and that we are not good enough or that we are bad mothers. Society around mothers is very judging and focuses on children, but not on the mothers (particularly in Portugal, where maternity & childcare is excellent, but as soon as the baby is born, mothers are forgotten and left to figure things out on their own). We engage local decision makers to improve their support structures, direct aid& support towards vulnerable mothers, engage societies to change perceptions through awareness raising & community outreach campaigns and put pressure on Portugal to have a critical look into the gaps (compared to other EU countries) we have in terms of providing support and opportunities to include vulnerable mothers better into society and reducing structural stigma.
CEO of Romi's Way is a non-profit sector management expert with over 14 years of running programmes for children, refugees and for victims of human right violations around the world for some of the best repeatable NGOs in the world. She knows how successful projects are planned and implanted, while having the expertise to monitor and evaluate progress and results and to ensure real impact is measured and published transparently. She works with other education & child protection experts (volunteers) who have an excellent connection and understanding of the sector in Portugal - and all are proud mothers and women who know what an adventure motherhood and how challenging it can be.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
Budget for 12 months:
communication costs €360
packaging materials for the items €750
Mothers network online platform (establishment & maintenance) €2,500
logistics (item collection & deliveries) €1,800
Local Project Coordinator (part-time 40%) € 5600
Programme and Operations manager (part time 60% ) €18,700
Total all: € 34,976
We love networking, sharing and bouncing ideas with any stakeholders who want to bring balance to the world by inspiring change through examples. We are small but mighty NGO and we sincerely want to leave positive impact, so any feedback and guidance is warmly welcome by any members!