Since La Casa de la Madre y el Niño was founded to date we have given protection to around 3,000 women in the maternity shelter. This program receives and serves mothers with unwanted pregnancies or pregnancies in conflict, who have considered the option of giving up their babies for adoption.
The women can enter the program under two options of care services: boarding or outside living. As boarders they have to possibility of living at La Casa during their pregnancy and in the post-partum period, to care for themselves and their babies. They are taken care of by an interdisciplinary team formed by a nutritionist, a psychologist, a social worker, the nursing team at La Casa and a support gynecologist. We also work closely with the hospitals in the area to provide overall health care.
The mothers participate in non-formal education workshops, such as: beauty care, embroidering, cooking, computer learning and management, work training, spiritual guidance, English, reading comprehension, sewing, chocolate making, yoga and Lamaze training for birth.
To ensure the exercise of their rights as citizens, the mothers are encouraged to join the national health system and the ICBF system, with which we work very closely. Some of these mothers arrive with one of two children younger than 5 years old, who are included in the program for children under temporary care and they participate in all the activities at La Casa. For the women with the option of outside living, they continue living with their families and come in for all the appointments with the professional team.
The services provided are free of charge. Those entering the program come in after a thorough information about all the options and taking into consideration the problems they are facing. They come in freely and willingly, and they can leave whenever they wish to do so.
The main benefits for these mothers is that all their basic needs at this time are satisfied, in order to come out of the vulnerability situation in which they find themselves. This in a safe, trusted and confidential environment, where they receive the information and care they need to make a conscious and free decision, to protect both the mental and physical health of the baby they are expecting as well as their own. It is a process enabling them to learn and grow as individuals, as women and as mothers. They are in contact with other women under the same circumstances thus giving a meaning to their own experience.