An empowerment initiative supporting young pregnant women and mothers is benefitting from EU funds worth €100,000 to equip these vulnerable individuals with positive parenting skills.
This fresh injection of funds will help Y-Assist, a one-year residential programme launched by the Malta Trust Foundation in 2017, to revamp the service to holistically address the challenges both the mother and her children face in their struggle to cope during the first years.
Y-Assist was born from a gap in services, which showed that a nucleus of young mothers required supported accommodation to move out of abusive relationships and other risky situations.
Apart from providing a nurturing, safe space, this temporary accommodation would also provide the young women with personal life skills and positive parenting programme that would empower them to move on and lead an independent life, as well as transition to a dignified job opportunity or reintegrate into education.
Trust chair Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca said that thanks to the European Structural and Investment Funds, this initiative would be able to provide further insight to the programme and to tangibly enhance the assistance and opportunities at a critical time when these young mothers are facing social and financial difficulties.
“Maternal support services are crucial to underprivileged young women as this is the time to build the necessary foundations for life for the mother and children. Thanks to the collaboration of our partners, such as Life Charity UK, we can provide security to expectant and young mothers through temporary accommodation, access to critical psychosocial health services, and now life-changing opportunities,” Ms Coleiro Preca said.
Speaking at a press conference today, which was addressed by Parliamentary Secretary for European Funds Stefan Zrinzo Azzopardi, Ms Coleiro Preca said the money will go towards addressing the gap in skills, education and research.
Mr Zrinzo Azzopardi stressed the importance of such a programme that directly addresses the needs of young mothers and their vulnerable children.
This programme, he added, will benefit from a total investment of €125,000 — €100,000 of which is coming from the European Structural and Investment Funds — that will go into developing skills, as well as research to identify strengths and weaknesses of Y-Assist while drawing on lessons learnt to provide a more comprehensive service.
Through the expertise of Life Charity UK, the local Y-Assist team will also gain through its experiences, knowledge and invaluable counsel to provide vulnerable individuals with improved life-changing opportunities.