Empowering Local Health Systems with Wings of Hope
Why are Child.org partnering with Wings of Hope?
Wings of Hope is a home for vulnerable pregnant teenage girls. At the end of last year, we recognised the valuable role our expertise could play in supporting the centre and the antenatal care they provide. As well as supporting the girls by distributing our Baby Boxes - which provide information and tools for new mums - we wanted to train the Wings of Hope staff on delivering pregnancy support groups.
Why? Having already run three-year’s worth of these groups in Meru, Kenya, we’ve seen how effective they are in supporting mums to better look after themselves and their newborns. Working with Wings of Hope so that they can deliver these sessions themselves means creating a secure system within which these vulnerable girls and their newborns can flourish.
What happened at our training session?
Last month, our Kenyan team - Marti, Cherio, Chege, Lucy N and Omoko - delivered a maternal health session at Wings of Hope. Chege, our Project Officer based in Meru county, led the group (which included girls from the centre and members of staff) in a participatory session about prenatal (before birth) and postnatal (after delivery) health. Chege talked through some common pregnancy experiences and highlighted the danger signs for which immediate medical attention should be sought. The girls and staff were strongly encouraged to speak up and share their own experiences.
The team’s highlights
The team were particularly happy to witness how openly the girls participated in the session, asking lots of questions about the areas of maternal health which concerned them. Both Chege and Lucy describe how this level of openness meant they were able to address existing pregnancy myths and misconceptions. For example, the belief that cabbage was unhealthy to consume during pregnancy or that newborn babies should be cleaned with saliva as part of post birth cord-care.
“The way the girls asked questions, their patience and interaction showed their thirst to know more about maternal and child health and how important sessions like these are.” - Chege
Why did we involve the Wing of Hope staff in these sessions?
At Child.org we want to deliver projects which are sustainable in the long-term, which is why we involved Wings of Hope staff in this session. By empowering and teaching staff how to run pregnancy support sessions, the centre can in turn better support the girls in their care without requiring external assistance. Our first training session at Wings of Hope is another step closer to championing local health systems and providing more women and newborns with the healthcare they need.
What can you do?
As well as delivering the training, the team also delivered 10 Baby Boxes to the centre which will provide new mums with life-saving tools such as a mosquito net for their newborn, as well as an incentive to seek postnatal care. To help Child.org reach more women like those at Wings of Hope, you can buy a Baby Box for £26 or donate here to help fund the cost of training sessions (click 'donate' in the top-right corner).