Blogging for HOPE

“There is something inside they can’t get to, they can’t touch, it’s yours”

“What are you talking about?”

“…Hope”

                                       Shawshank Redemption.

The idea of hope has always fascinated me. It is why I smile at strangers, it is why I sponsor a child through Compassion International and it is why I dream.

It has always been my dream to start a H.O.P.E. house. At first I thought this would stand for Health, Oppurtunity, Protection and Education but life has taken me on many surprise turns and today it stands more for the desire and search for a future good, difficult but not impossible to attain: one definition of Hope.

Poverty goes beyond the images we see of African children fly ridden and hungry it starts on our very doorsteps, in our own wealthy countries.  So often we hear of stories of young children reverting to crime and drugs, repeating a cycle that they were born into. What if we could give parents hope, specifically young mums hope that there could be a future full of good things for their children?

So this is the fence I am perching on. I am overlooking my area, where I am living right now and seeing where I can make a difference in the world I am living in. Where I can give Hope.

The matrix of my mind is centering around working with young mums from the earliest days of their parenting journeys, before the baby is even born. If a young pregnant woman meets often with a trained birth attendant (a doula) and speaks of their birth experience, what is going to happen to their bodies while they have their babies, what emotions they can expect during and after the birth of their child and the immediate first steps they can take to bond with the tiny being that is now their responsibility, would that make a difference to the early moments of their parenting and the childs life? I think it would…but that isn’t all that is needed to give hope of a better future.

A doula is with the woman through the biggest experience of their life. Leaving a trust that goes beyond words between the new mum and the doula. Making the doula an integral mentor and advisor for this new parent.

But the need for a mentor, an advisor or an attendant doesn’t end at birth. Continued meetings between doula and new mum need to occur, peer support from other young mums with a focussed learning on how they can best parent their child despite economic circumstances. Occasions for mum to bond with their baby and a learning environment to allow them to do that. Breaking a cycle of distant parenting or neglect that these young parents have lived through themselves.

Parenting isn’t easy and often doesn’t come naturally. It isn’t just for young parents that need help but that is where my heart desire lies. Encouraging mums to take responsibility for ther childrens outcome is a huge puzzle piece that is missing from our society. I know that other circumstances play a large role in the way a child develops but providing a loving, nurturing home from an early age that has clear expectations of being a successful and fruitful part of the community will lead a child a family along a positive journey. Teaching the importance of good nutrition, loving touch, play as well as encouraging healthy relationships between family members and breasfeeding a baby is what I forsee being a large part of a doula led organisation for young mums.

I think this is what gives hope to the future of a new born baby. This is what gives hope to a family.

If you give hope to a person, you give hope to a family, you give hope to a community, you give hope to a country, you give hope to the world!

This is how hope lives in my life….now I just need to have the faith to jump off the fence!

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