A Mississauga-based agency supporting parenting youth in the region is seeing an increase in the number of young women who are pregnant.
“The numbers of pregnant youth at Vita Centre has been increasing,” said Maria Reolin, executive director of Vita Centre. “It doesn't mean that the trend is increasing. It could be because of the awareness about our services, it could be because of the growing population in the Peel region.”
Vita Centre, a charitable organization dedicated to providing community support to pregnant and parenting women, is celebrating 25 years of helping young mothers and children in the cities of Brampton, Mississauga and the Town of Caledon.
In Peel, the centre promotes awareness and understanding of the impact of unplanned pregnancy on families.
It offers various programs and services for youth-in-crisis between the ages of 15 and 29 with children under the age of six.
Reolin said the organization begins crisis counselling to a pregnant youth when her family refuses to support her and she is not able to make a decision on whether to keep the child.
“It’s a very difficult decision to make, especially when you are young, alone and without education and work… it’s a very confusing moment in somebody’s life. That’s the time when we come into the picture. We tell them we are here for you,” said Reolin.
The agency’s support includes a number of programs, from having a baby to going through the first year of parenting.
Vita Centre currently supports more than 800 youth every year and offers parenting education, nutrition education, help with finishing high school, as well as necessary life and coping skills.
“Our doors are open for all cultures and faiths,” said Reolin. “Anybody who finds herself in a situation, we are here to support.”
Reolin urged residents to register as a member and help youth in crisis.
“On the 25th anniversary, we are celebrating people who come to us… our clients. A way of celebrating them is making a commitment of serving more. We are looking for members to support us. We need support from the community,” said Reolin.
Visit www.vitamanor.org for more information.