In Jogjakarta, Central Java as in many parts of the world, women who become pregnant and who lack family support may consider aborting the baby or become depressed. They may lack a safe place to live during their pregnancy and they may need education and skills to enable them to gain employment to provide for their needs and for their baby.
In 1988 they set up Karya Tasih, a project in Bantul to provide safe shelter for single mothers and their babies, who need support.
A team of sisters and lay Mission Partners. Sister Regina Nona Dowa is the sister in charge. A team of professional workers are involved with the women and babies: nurses, catechist, psychologist, handcrafting trainer.
Women are usually aged between 13 – 40 years. They are referred by hospital staff, parish priests, social workers, friends and relative of sisters, church activists.
During their stay at Karya Tasih the young women are offered a number of empowerment opportunities. They are taught about care for their baby, self care during the pre and post natal period, as well as a discernment process in planning for the future of the baby and herself. The women also receive skills training to assist them to be able to support themselves when they leave the shelter. Examples are handcrafts, cooking and opportunity for study.
Good Shepherd spirit and values can be seen expressed in the staff and participants in the project. Compassion, reconciliation, generosity in sharing and helping each other, care for people who are disadvantaged, respect for dignity of mothers and babies.
The mothers and babies stay at Karya Tasih for a period of 4 – 7 months, depending on the circumstances of each. Sometimes the mother and baby are eventually accepted by the family of the mother, sometimes the baby goes to an orphanage. The young woman has benefited from care and support and skills development.
3. Good Health & Well-being.
10. Reduced Inequalities.
Contributions from families and donors, proceeds from the sale of handcrafts.
Feedback from the young mothers
It is a challenge to retain permanent staff, including the psychologist.
We find difficulty in providing home schooling for women who need to continue their study in high school.