Agape Trust Project Plan for Young Mothers
How It Started
Many children in the Polish institutional orphanage system are second or third generation social orphans. Supporting the young women who have recently left the orphanage to cope with a life in normal society can stop this dysfunctional cycle and save the next generation from an emotionally damaging institutional childhood.
The Agape Trust vision started in 2007. After 30 years of absence from the country of my birth I was called by the Lord to return to Poland, where together with my husband we joined the ministry of the Baptist Church in Elblag, in the north of Poland.
The Church started a ministry almost 15 years ago that was directed to children in the state-run orphanage in Marwica some 28 km away from the church. We were told that the church members had been praying for some time that the Lord would send someone to help with this ministry.
We then moved into a small town called Paslek, 10 km away from the orphanage and during the course of the last 9 years we came into contact with the children in that institution. We have during this time been able to recognise which children need most help. The group that is most vulnerable are the girls that get pregnant and give birth to their babies soon after they turn 18 and have to move out of the orphanage and survive as best they can in society.
Since they have spent all or most of their life in an orphanage they are usually not well prepared for the challenges outside of the institution. Many of the girls get into relationships with abusive boyfriends. When their world becomes dangerous for their babies the welfare authorities are very quick to place most of them in institutional orphanages. The children become the victims of a social system, which is not geared to protect their rights to a family and does not invest in better care solutions than an institutional life.
Needless to say the extended family of the young mother is seldom interested in taking the child, neither would they be allowed to by the authorities, since most of these families have a long history of alcohol, drugs and/or abuse. In order to break the destructive circle somebody needs to give a good loving home to these mothers with their young children.
In the beginning of this year the authorities intended to take two baby girls away from their young mothers, two sisters age 20 and 21, after they had been unable to pay their rents and ended up on the street. They had nowhere to go since their own family lived in conditions not suitable for children. Their mother, always drunk, swore at them, told them how worthless they were and threw them out.
The young women are usually good mothers given support.
Separating them from their children is a double tragedy. Firstly the children suffer serious emotional damages (they are likely develop attachment disorder, which might prevent any healthy relationship in future). Then there is the likelihood the young mothers might become too devastated to pick up the pieces of their lives and carry on. They have suffered from lack of self-esteem from years of being put down; losing their infants would be a blow they might not recover from.
We know, that given love and protection for the time needed to build healthy self-worth and self confidence in themselves the young women will be able to finish school, learn a profession and start a job, providing a better life for their children.
The young women we have helped were grateful for the offered help and came to live with us. During the time they stay with us they are encouraged emotionally as well as trained in necessary life skills in order to prepare them for an independent life. We encourage their spiritual awareness and help them in their seeking for or walking with God.
Plans for the Future
Since we know there are many other girls that might end up in a similar situation we have a vision to expand this ministry and therefore purchased a 2.5 ha (6 acres) property where we built a little cottage. The plan is to also build a bigger house where 4-6 girls can live with their children and looking a little further into the future one or two more cottages can be built.
The property has a lot of potential to become almost self-sufficient, there is space for growing vegetables and fruit trees and it is situated next to nature reserve with walking/riding trail along the north border. Some tourist attraction could provide employment possibilities in the future.
We are concentrating on helping teenage mothers to raise their children in a family home environment and so prevent their children from being placed into the orphanage system.
If you would like to help this mission we welcome you to please donate towards helping these young mothers.
Any donation goes 100% to the cause as all overheads are covered.
As we are based in Poland, the original Agape Trust is now registered in Poland as Fundacja Dzieci w Rodzinie (Children in the Family Foundation).
The new name reflects our focus.
Jesus said: “Whoever receives one little child like this
in My name, receives Me.” Matthew 18:5