4 October 2021
School with a Difference - School for Families
Can you imagine a school where there is a class for mums and dads to learn alongside their children? For them to understand what their child is learning, but also to learn how they can best support and encourage them.
The kind of learning which helps parents like Marina, who have experienced much trauma in their own lives, to reconnect and give their children the best start in life.
I am so grateful not only for what you have done for my son, but also for me. Here we have grown together. The idea of joint mum and child work is absolutely brilliant; it brings me and my son so close.
- Marina, Early Learning Centre attendee.
The kind of vital learning which ministry partner, Beginning of Life, is providing each week in Moldova.
A downward cycle
Moldova is the poorest country in Europe and for many, life is full of difficulties. The average monthly salary in Moldova is just £200 and few job opportunities exist within the country, leading to mass migration. Something which has a huge impact on children, as many are left behind without parental care or proper education. Those still living with parents, or a single parent, can experience domestic abuse and neglect.
Such neglect often comes from a cycle of abuse, with parents not having good role models in their own parents, suffering trauma and never seeing a good example of how to care for children. Many simply don’t know how to help, encourage or support their children.
Without any external intervention, this downward cycle of ruined relationships continues to be passed from one generation to the next.
Breaking the cycle
Through its long-term work with vulnerable, traumatised and disempowered parents in Moldova, Beginning of Life is able to break this downward cycle and make a real difference in the lives of families.
Through their Early Learning Centre, single mums are taught how to relate to and care for their children, developing vital behaviours such as the need to encourage and express their love for their children. Marina, mum of one, shares a taster of what she has learnt and the transformation this has brought to many areas of her life:
"During the classes, it helped me as a mother to “reboot” and to reassess my relationship with my child, as well as with relatives and people around me. It was a true reboot in every sense! Helping my boy with different tasks, I was wondering what he can do and how he loves me despite my anger and emotional explosions. Here I found many answers to my questions in terms of upbringing and family relationships. Thank you very much for your invaluable, huge contribution to our life."
Praise God that, in the first six months of 2021, 55 single mums, just like Marina, (and 66 children) were trained and supported holistically through the Early Learning Centre.
Fellow mother, Irina shares:
“…taking part in this programme I found how to speak with my girl. And she listens to me.”
What a great testimony to the impact of the programme on the relationship between mother and daughter!
Overcoming trauma together
Beginning of Life also runs a School for Parents, supporting parents who have suffered various forms of trauma because of a dysfunctional upbringing. Through the School for Parents, parents are able to learn from others in similar situations, heal in group therapy sessions and have the opportunity to mix and socialise with other parents.
In the first 6 months of 2021, there were 87 on the programme and this autumn there are even more, with around 180 enrolled. With Covid-19 restrictions continuing to impact Moldova, this group is meeting in a local park. They are not sure how long this will be possible for, but if necessary, they will meet online. However, this brings the added challenge that not everyone has access to the internet.
In my visits to Moldova to see the work of Beginning of Life, it has been fantastic to witness the impact of these programmes. I don’t speak Russian or Romanian, but one can see the impact just through the smiles on the faces of parents and children, and in the way they behave towards each other. A real impact on lives which have been badly traumatised by the events they’ve experienced. Please do continue to pray for all on the programmes.
Prayer and Praise
Give thanks to God for Beginning of Life’s Early Learning Centre and School for Parents, and the impact they are having on traumatised lives and relationships between parents and children. Praise God that even with the restrictions of Covid-19, many have still been able to benefit from these programmes.
Give thanks that many of those attending Beginning of Life’s programmes come because of personal recommendation from those who’ve been helped.
Please pray for the Beginning of Life team as they begin a new academic year, with many people signing up to be part of the education programme and as they face a further period of having to work with restrictions caused by the pandemic. Announcements on these are being made by the Moldovan government at the beginning of October - pray that they will not impact Beginning of Life’s work significantly.
By Alan Butler, WorldShare’s CEO