A few weeks ago I was reading through some tweets and came across something that grabbed my attention: a blogging conference being headed by Save the Children and Google. And it was in London! Right. I was going to go.
As a new blogger I have been looking for ways to improve my writing skills and most importantly how to improve my blog on the whole. I thought I would go along to see what it was all about.
I was not prepared for what I saw!!
On Saturday 14th April 2012, the event mostly concentrated on Save the Children’s Build it for Babies campaign. Build it for Babies brought mums and dads (mostly mums) together for the day to brainstorm ideas on how we bloggers can do a huge shout out to raise awareness about the campaign. At #BLOGUP2012 I sat in awe, mouth open most of the time, as I witnessed the heart wrenching pleas of mothers in Bangladesh. For most of the day, and I don’t think I was alone in this, my whole body ached to run home and give my beautiful, healthy daughter a huge kiss and a hug.
I sat and listened to the speakers recount their tales of mothers who had given birth in the most horrid conditions, lost multiple children and basically spent their lives nursing their sick children to their death. At times it was hard to concentrate on what was being said as I my eye was drawn to the No Child Born To Die notice.
Stories were told about Shejali, who had given birth in total to 6 children,3 of which had already died. Shejali is currently 7months pregnant. Another mother had lost 3 children and her 4th was ill and requiring medical assistance that just isn’t there.
Most women in Rwanda don’t name their baby for the first 8 days of its life simply because it is unknown if the child will survive. Particularly in rural areas where disease is rife, babies are known to die within the first few hours of life. nutrition is also a catalyst in this. The women don’t have healthy diets throughout pregnancy, living mainly off beans and not much else. This creates stunted growth and development in babies and nearly all never recover from this if they do survive.
Looking at the picture of where Shejali was going to give birth made me shudder. I immediately thought of my own birthing experience, as did most other women in the room. As much as we complain and abate the NHS for its lack of this and lack of that, the truth is, we lack for nothing in comparison. We are so so lucky to have the health care, the support, the cleanliness, the attention that we have throughout pregnancy, birth and afterwards and that is why I am getting involved by blogging for babies!!
I could not imagine working in the fields for up to 15hours a day whilst pregnant with twins. I could not imagine being in the throes of labour and having to walk oe be carried by my fellow villagers for miles before I could get help – and that’s if I made it in time! This, dear readers, is the reality for these women. How lucky and fortunate are you feeling right now?
So thank Heaven above that Save the Children are campaigning with Build it for Babies. The objective is to build 7 birthing clinics complete with equipment and trained staff whose salaries will be paid for the first year. These clinics are a lifeline not just for the mothers but for the babies who have no choice but to be born into this world. These clinics are a ray of hope, that sickness and death will no longer be a worry. That these mothers will be awarded the luxury of kissing their child as we are every breathing day.
The new clinics in Baniachong and Ajmiriganj will reach:
- 21,500 women of child-bearing age with family planning services
- 3,000 pregnant women with antenatal care
- 2,190 newborn babies with postnatal care, breastfeeding support for their mothers and antibiotics when they become ill
- 2,218 infants aged up to one year, by helping their mothers to breastfeed and wean them safely and reducing the chance of life-threatening diseases such as diarrhoea and the risk of malnutrition
- 43,600 people in the area with information on how to stay healthy and where to get help if they do become ill.
If you want to know more or find out how you can get involved, pay the Save the Children website a visit here.
ACTIONS YOU CAN TAKE IN:
30 seconds – follow STC on social media
5 minutes – take a campaign action
15 minutes or longer – blog it for babies!
Help raise awareness and build momentum for the campaign online – starting on the 23 April. You could tell the story of your birth, or the birth of your child through the social channels you love to use. This is not,I repeat, NOT just for mummy/daddy/parent bloggers. It doesn’t matter what blogging category you fall in to – travel/photography/cooking/crafting – if you have a child and this post has resonated with you… write a post and link it back to Build it for Babies.. it’s that simple.
Thank you so much for reading this post! Do follow in the coming weeks when I, amongst many other blogging mothers, will be supporting this cause.