Aeranwon - Supporting Independent Mothers

by Director HAN Sang Soon, Aeranwon, 19/06/2010

A local newspaper recently published an option column that raised the issue of an increase in teenage mothers if the government provided assistance to single mothers. Around the same time, a patient in the same room as a friend I was visiting commented, on hearing about my work, that if the government helps out single mothers it will only encourage more unmarried women to get pregnant. Wanting to find out for myself how true this might be, I conducted an informal survey by asking women, including a reporter who wanted to write a story about Aeranwon, if she would choose to be a single mother if the government was prepared to fully support her financially. Each of them answered 'No way".

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I'm constantly struck also by the way in which society labels the woman a sinner, without mentioning the responsibility and role of the birth father. Through the story of one young woman who came to us at Aeranwon, I'd like to help people see the human face of these mothers.

The girl's mother had run away from a violent alcoholic husband leaving her daughter to take care of her young siblings and her father. Because of her family situation, the girl was obliged to leave school after middle school. She managed to get a job in a small store where she was eventually befriended by a college student. Their relationship grew and she was very happy. Here was someone who love her and would take care of her - something she had yet to experience. When she became pregnant, her lover convinced her not to have the child as he was still a student and not yet able to financially support a child. However, when she became pregnant the second time, she decided she wanted to have the baby. When the father threatened to leave her if she did not have an abortion or give the baby up for adoption, she realised he did not truly love her. And so, she came to Aeranwon. After giving birth to her son, she lived in our Mother and Baby Home while she completed her high school qualifications and obtained a professional license in the field of her choice. Knowing how often children of violent parents can also become abusive, she also enrolled in Aeranwon's Parenting Education Program.

Mother and son are doing well, but still face many challenges because of social attitudes in our country. The only difference between single and other ‘mothers’ is their marital status. Both carry the baby in their womb, suffer pain as they bring their child into the world, love and want only the best for their son or daughter. If we respect their right to have and raise a baby without considering their marital status, there will be no prejudice against single mothers and their children will have a much better chance to become productive, contributing members of society. Also there shouldn't be any age discrimination.  The age of a mother shouldn't be an issue.  We have to accept all the mothers as they are. 

I truly wish people respected all single mothers who give a birth to omega replica their child in spite of the social prejudice on them, and facilitate raising all the babies no matter to whom they were born.

Note: Aeranwon provides support for independent mothers while they are expecting their baby and on an ongoing basis after the birth if the mother decides to raise the child on her own.
Some of the proceeds from the Canada Day/Independence Day BBQ Cruise will be donated to Aeranwon on behalf of the American Women's Club.

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