NRL News

Australian Pregnancy Help Organization Teaches Family and Life Skills, Empowers Families

by | Aug 6, 2019

By Sarah Bowler

*Pseudonyms have been used to preserve privacy

(AUSTRALIA) Savannah* found herself in a detention center after fleeing conflict in her own country and then immigrated to Australia. With no family or support networks, she came to Diamond Women’s Support seeking help to navigate parenthood successfully.

Another client, Jasmine,* faced harassment from her partner, who wanted her to terminate her unexpected pregnancy. Thanks to support from her Diamond mentor and counselors, “Jasmine” found the fortitude to persevere and is now thriving with her little girl.

For 13 years, Diamond Women’s Support has provided resources and encouragement around the clock for women and families facing unplanned pregnancies.

“I saw a gap in the market and felt like that there was no real ‘safe space’ for women to go when faced with an unplanned pregnancy,” said Founder and CEO Jennifer Gurry. “There seemed to be a hotline but no place where they could go and navigate their options, find genuine hope and support that extended over 12 months.”

While Diamond’s services include a 24/7 hotline, clients may also receive continued help through a variety of avenues, such as counseling, mentoring programs, support groups, classes, pregnancy tests, doulas, social support, etc.

“What started as an options counseling service has now expanded […] to ensure the woman and her family get ALL the care they need,” said Gurry.

Two programs—Diamond Empowerment program and Mum2Mum—offer classes in two key areas. The first focuses on developing useful work-based skills. The second teaches parenting and life skills while offering support from mentors. Topics have included everything from breastfeeding to baby massages to budgeting.

“All of our topics are well received—I think more from our delivery method than the topic itself, but we have loved how well they have embraced things that they were able to take home and practically have a go at themselves,” said Gurry.

Though the types of services most frequently used vary by area, Diamond has noticed a trend.

“Our counseling and mentor services are the most utilized across the state, which we believe highlights the common need for connection and acceptance for all our clients,” said Gurry.

Diamond’s services, through its three offices and three hubs, also help moms connect with other moms whom they might otherwise have met and often sparks an in-depth and supportive friendship.

“Friendships that are formed that will allow these women to conquer what lays ahead of them in relationship,” said Gurry. “We have seen women move from being deeply anxious and quiet in the room to more outspoken and confident. We have seen the risk of losing their child to the department of family and children be mitigated by a growing and strengthening mother.”

Sometimes Diamond’s work goes unnoticed by their community at large, but those who do take note are often amazed at the positive outcomes.

Earlier this summer, Suzan Hourani of Sawt El Ghad Australia—a popular Arabic radio station—interviewed Gurry and Diamond’s National Communications Coordinator, Rose Pender.

The interview began with Gurry describing how Diamond started and what their work looks like.

“We started with a website and a telephone hotline for girls to call to ask questions,” Gurry told Hourani. “And basically, we found that we could become, and that’s how we’ve evolved, as that village or that family for that woman. So, we could provide her with all her options […] and champion her into parenting.”

Sometimes that holistic support means being the first person to visit at the hospital, to bring flowers, or simply to come over to hold the baby while mom showers.

“Wow! You are angels,” commented Hourani after hearing that all of Diamond’s services are free.

When asked what makes their pregnancy help organization so different from others, Gurry responded, “I think it is the fact that we don’t just care about the mom or just care about the baby, we care about the whole family unit.”

Gurry’s goal is to see women championed. “I feel like no woman should ever feel pitted against her unborn. We want women to go ‘you know what, regardless of my circumstances, because of organizations like Diamond I have this strength, I have the capacity and the capability to be a good mom.’ And we want to fuel that flame of hope within every woman,” Gurry told Hourani.

Going forward, Gurry shared with Pregnancy Help News some of her future hopes for Diamond.

“We would love Diamond to be planted in all major cities across Australia and the Asia Pacific. We are committed to providing best practice and excellence across all our services.”

People can support Diamond through what Gurry calls “The Three P’s”:

  • Prayer — “Pray for us. We are on the frontlines and are stretched in every area, so we need your prayers.”
  • Partnership — “We are a grassroots organization in a culture where local churches and community groups don’t see us as significant or see us as too political, so financial partnerships are key to our ongoing sustainability and every growing need.”
  • Participation — “Follow us on social media, share/like/comment and if you have skills you can help us with— get in touch! There are so many skills, like graphic design, strategic growth, and connections we would love!”

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Editor’s note. This appeared at Pregnancy Help News and is reposted with permission.

Tags: Australia