It’s always exciting to be in the space of change! We grow everyday. As we journey with social workers on the ground, our perspective widens. Our initial work focusing on financial empowerment for youths gets many more layers of context as we hear more and more stories of the diverse circumstances of the youths. This helps us maintain relevancy of our program, and also challenges us to look beyond content to practical impact of what we do.
While our passion lies in building financial resilience and confidence for children and youths, particularly those who come from lower SES backgrounds, we have come to realise that there is a vicious cycle. Young working mothers who desire a better life for their children, and are actively taking steps to do so, face challenges in balancing work and care. Typical jobs for them demand long hours with low flexibility, which makes it hard for them to juggle the care of their children (in the absence of family/ community support or inexpensive childcare). Often, they choose then not to work, prioritising their children’s care which then causes the family to remain in a tight financial situation. If they choose to work, then young children are at risk left alone at home unsupervised.
It definitely requires more than the mother to break out of this cycle. There has been calls from Aware and Daughter of Tomorrow for more to be done to help this segment of society. Daughters of Tomorrow have came up with a “Women In Action” Community Childminding Program” to enable mothers to work.
As the African Proverb goes, “It takes a village to raise a child”, what can we do to help these mothers help themselves? Meiyi and I were discussing this and we would like to enable young working mothers with lower income to have more confidence and strength in making choices that promote their entire well-being (physical, mental and emotional). We believe that this will inspire their children and also build stronger family bonds.
The question we had was:
How do we increase financial empowerment for lower income mothers?
If you have ideas on this, comment below or join us in the upcoming hackathon where we will be featured as a change-maker!