After participating in Familia’s Duo Family Training together, Veronika and Sonja decided to volunteer as Duo Mother & Baby Group facilitators. “When meeting all other pregnant ladies I thought it would be good to keep in touch, because we are in a similar situation”, Veronica remembers. “It was a lucky coincidence that we got to facilitate together, since we were in the same Duo Family Training.”
Veronika and Sonja are both intercultural mothers. Veronika is originally from Russia and Sonja’s husband is from Egypt. Both women gave birth to their first born child this year. “I got interested in getting to know other multicultural families because I know it’s challenging to be abroad and as a family it’s hard to be balanced when the other one is living in their own country and the other one is from abroad.” Sonja shares, “I think it’s important to meet other families in the same situation and struggling maybe with the same kinds of things so you don’t feel you’re alone.”
Familia's Duo Mother and Baby groups are facilitated by a pair of volunteers who are also mothers of intercultural baby families themselves. These groups are meant to be cozy and confidential meeting places for the mothers and babies of intercultural families where they can share their struggles and celebrate positive experiences. Duo Mother & Baby Groups meet for two months at a time for 6-8 weekly meetings.
"The people of course are the most important and the best part."
Veronika and Sonja have shared many good moments together and as a group. "I feel we had a good atmosphereas a group, but also got to know each other personally”, Sonja shares. “For example sometimes we went home just the two of us after the session and shared more personal things. The people of course are the most important and best part."
Even though the official meetings ended, Veronika and Sonja still stayed in touch with the group. “After the official sessions have ended the girls started to initiate different activities themselves. We went to a farm together to see animals”, Veronica shares, ”It was great to see that people bring something of themselves and are volunteering to organise activities.”
The Duo Mother & Baby Group’s structure brought reassurance to Veronica and Sonja as facilitators. “If someone wants to try to facilitate a group it’s a good way to practice because there are two people to share the tasks, two brains”, says Veronika. However, in the end it’s the group itself who makes the experience. Sonja shares: “It’s more like the group is creating the whole thing. We just give starting points and then it’s the whole group together directing it. And the kids enjoy it a lot!”
This week we are celebrating our volunteers by sharing their stories in the Duo Blog. We are currently looking for mothers to lead and participate in Duo Mother & Baby groups next year. If you are interested in the Duo Mother & Baby Group please fill in the volunteer application on our website or contact Familia’s volunteer coordinator, Camilla Bergman be email at camilla.bergman(at)familiary.fi.
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