When you hear the words teen mother, it usually conjures up a certain image. Deborah is smashing this stereotype and now helping other disadvantaged people. As part of our #1PayDayAway campaign we wanted to raise funds to help some of our most vulnerable – and Deborah knows the hardships of homelessness firsthand.
Deborah Somorin is a 24-year old trainee accountant. Last year she graduated with a master’s degree and now works for PWC, a prestigious accountancy firm.
She also has an amazing story of how becoming a mother at 15, made her more determined than ever to provide a better life for her and her son. Now she’s giving back and helping others achieve what she has.
Tell us about Empower The Family
Empower The Family ( formerly The Hope Ireland Project ) is a place where parents can go live and feel safe. Where there is childcare available and where parents could complete their studies. The accommodation will be similar to normal student accommodation with each family having their own mini apartment. It will also have a creche downstairs, Karen Clince of Tigers Childcare has come on board to provide childcare for the project. The goal is to launch by September 2020.
What gave you the push to help?
If I don’t do this, who will? Friends are still living in this situation, if rent goes up another couple hundred euro, I will be back in this situation. It can happen so easily. That’s why I told my story, it was really in the hopes that something that would come out of it. More support for people who want to go into education. When I was in DCU there were 4 young single moms there alone and we all had the same struggles, accommodation and childcare. This is a barrier to other young moms engaging in third level education and therefore being able to stand on their own feet.
Do you think the information is clear about students access to funding?
Definitely something needs to be done to make things clearer. Someone needs to sit down and think about if they were a young single mum, wanting to go into education, what information is actually out there. Because then they will see where the gaps are, in terms of what information is available. Especially proper information about accommodation, where am I going to live? There’s a housing crisis right now and a huge stigma around social welfare payments. Childcare alone is a grand a month. People need to know where to find these resources to help them.
Why did you start telling your story?
Focus Ireland approached me to tell my story. I jumped at the chance and spoke at an event. I managed to €8,000 alone just from speaking. How could I not help?
Please show your support for the project by signing the petition which will be included as part of Deborah’s proposal and business plan which she is presenting at a conference happening next week.