Maimouna (25), Stella (33) and Wissal (23) are currently participating in a tailor made integration programme for low literate mothers. In addition to the social orientation classes, they are provided with parenting support and they learn their first words in Dutch. And their children? They simply tag along!
What do the mommies think of that? What have they learned so far? How do they see the future?
“I am from Guinea and I am in the integration programme together with my daughter. At first she cried a lot and I was the only one who could comfort her. But because of the contact with the other mothers and children, she also became more independent: I feel comfortable letting her play on her own now. The integration program has taught me a lot already. For example, I now know how to sort my waste. bon also helped me find a day care centre for my daughter. While she is at the shelter, I can hopefully take a course myself.”
“Four years ago, I came to Belgium from Morocco. My husband and I do not have any relatives here and hence are mainly dependent on ourselves. I am very happy to participate in the integration programme with my son. The contact with the other mothers gives me more self-confidence: I now realise that I am not the only one without a diploma. What interests me most? The tips we get about parenting. I feel more secure as a mom and now dare to send my son to day care, something I didn't do with my two older children. I would like to obtain my secondary education diploma in the future.”
“I am a Congolese mother of three. I find it very convenient that I can take my youngest of a year and a half with me to class. I now feel much more independent: for example, we went to the train station in group and our teacher showed us how to buy a ticket, how to decipher the information on the time table and the platforms. I am also learning my first words in Dutch. Since my oldest daughter is now attending a Dutch-language school, it is important that I understand the language. How do I see the future? I want to learn to write better so I can study to be a childcare worker."