Mater Domini Home Nurtures Women In Crisis Pregnancies
Mater Domini Home in Cape Town is in need of donations and funding to continue to provide a safe and nurturing environment to women in crisis pregnancies and to protect unborn children.
“A restructuring process and working on a turnaround strategy over the past year have proven to be very challenging, due to the lack of funds to continue to provide relevant services,” said Bernadette Ross, chair of Mater Domini.
The home has still been able to fulfil its mission, with no paid staff and a few volunteers.
Situated in Claremont, Mater Domini, a registered non-profit organisation and public benefit organisation, operates within Cape Town archdiocese, with Archbishop Stephen Brislin as their patron.
The home embraces a Catholic ethos and encourages mothers to give birth to their babies, and aims to provide hope and opportunity for mothers to continue to care for their babies, and offers support and help when mothers decide on adoption.
Ms Ross said Mater Domini Home does not discriminate against residents and will help any woman regardless of race, creed, and marital or economic status.
“Most of the women who find themselves under our care have been through turbulent times. They suffer not only financial poverty but by and large emotional and spiritual poverty as well. We try to respond as Jesus calls us to when he says: ‘Whatever you do unto the least of these, you do unto me,’” Ms Ross said.
The philosophy is based on victim support theories and offers women the opportunity to escape violence and brutality; live in a socially acceptable and family context, with the opportunity to recover from their trauma; empower themselves; grow their resilience and confidence; and build skills to enable them to reestablish independent living.
“Many of the women we assist do not have the basic skills required to advance in a career or even care for their babies adequately, and we run various programmes at Mater Domini so they leave with the relevant competence to work on improving their prospects and those of their children,” Ms Ross explained.
These include cooking and cleaning, CV-writing skills, ante- and postnatal care, spiritual development, individual and group counselling sessions, nutrition education, life skills, daycare, safe accommodation, and birth support through a dedicated doula or care worker.
Mater Domini is, however, in need of donations both in cash and in kind, and volunteers who can help with things like fundraising, accounts, cleaning and maintenance.
Another venture the home is hoping to start up is its own branded linen range, which will help bring in much-needed funds.
Mater Domini is urgently looking for someone with embroidery experience who can work on an embroidery machine donated to the home, and offer their services and time to help get this project off the ground.
Mater Domini Home has been operating since September 2007.
The original premises in Pinelands could accommodate eight women but was generally filled with as many as 19 women and children residents at one time.
The home’s first baby was born in November 2007, and Mater Domini has assisted a multitude of women and children at the home.
“With more countries legalising abortion, it may seem that we are losing the battle in fighting for the sanctity of human life, but we are not giving up,” Ms Ross said.
To help, contact Mater Domini Home on 021 671-6008 or 079 891-6749.