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Providing refuge for teenage mothers

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Young mother holding her child

While many of Mustard Seed Communities’ homes around the world provide residential care for children and adults with disabilities who have been abandoned, that is not the only residential care that Mustard Seed Communities provides. Mary’s Child, an apostolate for teenage mothers in crisis, is located in Kingston, Jamaica, not far from where MSC first began over forty years ago.  

Mary’s Child is one of the only residential facilities of its kind in Jamaica. The girls who come to Mary’s Child are first-time mothers and are referred to MSC by social workers, police, schools, or health authorities. Each of the girls suffer from the trauma of abuse.

The home, which opened in 1992, has impacted the lives of over one thousand mothers and children. The young mothers are supported in a family-like atmosphere where many of them learn what it is to be part of a functioning family for the first time. 

In addition to providing a haven for the young women to transition safely into motherhood, Mary's Child also imparts life skills that are essential after their departure from MSC. The length of time that the young women stay at Mary’s Child is determined by their specific circumstances. The average stay is six months to a year.   

Mary’s Child offers training for educational, professional, and personal development including computer courses, home economic classes, and informational lectures on parenting skills. Each mother is also immersed in opportunities for spiritual growth, practicing daily morning meditation, midday rosary, and weekly Mass.

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