Twelve young mothers of Salt Spring and adjoining communities in St. James benefited from a maternity outreach initiative hosted by the Salt Spring Community Outreach Programme for Empowerment (SSCOPE) International Limited on August 21.
The mothers, some expectant, received supplies valued approximately $100,000, which included boxes of diapers, baby oil, baby bottles, wipes, baby powder, articles of clothing, and maternity pads.
Some of the items were handed over to the recipients at the Salt Spring Seventh-day Adventist Church while the SSCOPE team ventured to the neighbouring Montego Hills community to make donations to another group of mothers.
Speaking with JIS News, local President of SSCOPE, Rochelle Cawley, said the initiative was aimed at assisting young mothers who have been feeling the economic pinch of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Ms. Cawley said the organisation will continue to rally support for those who are less fortunate, during this challenging period.
“We realised that nobody was thinking about the mothers; so we [decided] to do a maternity outreach. We asked other members of the community [who] may not be part of SSCOPE but work closely with us, and also through other community-based organizations, and we came up with 12 names… 12 mothers whose situations would be considered worthy of receiving this assistance,” she said.
Ms. Cawley pointed out that the beneficiaries were overwhelmed with joy upon receiving the supplies for their babies.
“They were so appreciative. Some of them were shy and some were a bit bolder in expressing themselves, and by the time we got to [the community of] ‘Repasture’ and they saw us, some of us were moved to tears [by their reaction],” she shared.
Ms. Cawley added that the maternity outreach is part of ongoing efforts by SCCOPE to remove the stigma attached to the Salt Spring Community, through outreach programmes.
“Other groups in Salt Spring are trying to bring back unity through sports, and they have asked to us to assist with some training materials. Most of our fundraising is done overseas within the ‘Salt Spring Diaspora’… and they reach out to everybody to assist with the different outreach programmes,” she explains.
“We have a lot of other things that we want to get off the ground because mentorship is a big part of what we want to do in the community,” Ms. Cawley added.
SSCOPE is a Community Capacity Building initiative led by an international group of Salt Spring citizens that aims to improve community resiliency and empower children, youth and families to achieve excellence.
The organisation was launched locally in August 2019 and has members in Canada, the United States and England.