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National baby showers draw attention to child health crisis

Women across the country are raising awareness about preventable child deaths by hosting symbolic “baby showers.” Today’s blog story comes from Christina Bradic, our Women of Vision Advocacy Intern. Christina shares how hosting a baby shower can be an exciting work of advocacy!

Shortly after beginning working with Women of Vision, I saw in my inbox one morning a story that caught my attention, and to me, was really exciting.  Geraldine Ryerson-Cruz, who works for World Vision US in Washington D.C., spoke out for mothers everywhere- in a very dramatic way.  During the G8 summit in Paris, France, she showed up with a baby basket at the Sarkozy residence as the French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, and his wife, Carla Bruni, were expecting a child.  With the baby basket came a note- ‘Congratulations, your baby has won the geographical lottery.  Because your baby will be born in France she is 43 times more likely to celebrate her fifth birthday than a baby born this year in the former French colony, Chad.’

I loved this message. I loved the attention that it received from world leaders. I loved that it was a step towards impacting policy makers, which could in turn, impact policies and funding that affect mothers and children in the most stricken areas of the world.

Oftentimes we are asked to sign a petition, or email an ask to our congress people.  We may be familiar with the broad topic (Of course I don’t want children making my clothes!) but without a depth of knowledge, we often sign our name and move on to the next topic.  However, there are issues, such as child and maternal health that need a lot of continued attention.  For myself, I know that continued attention comes from vesting myself in the topic, most often, through educating myself and learning more.

Women of Vision from the Kitsap Peninsula of Washington State gathered for a Baby Shower for Every Mother. With their hands, they display the Million Mom's Challenge gesture.

Women of Vision baby showers are a fun, simple way to educate yourself and friends and speak out about child and maternal health.   They are held in your home, at a time that works well for you, and we encourage you to invite people beyond your women of vision circle.  Before your shower you will receive a kit with photos and stories you can share, baby shower games with an educational twist, information about fundraising and materials to put together an easy advocacy ask you can assemble in your living room. 

Chapters have been hosting showers around the country and when I speak to them afterwards, I can’t help but smile.  In these living rooms, such amazing things are happening.  Women are sharing their stories; they are educating themselves and feel empowered to speak out.  Angie Nolting, from the Kitsap Peninsula chapter in Washington state shared, “We went around the room and shared the odds of each of us being born…  I never knew how my own best friend and mentor would not even be here because of birthing complications.  It was humbling to know that something so out of my control, my place of birth, on this planet, made such a difference.”   Angie continued, “The evening was educational, spiritual and stirring and we couldn’t help but leave changed”

If you would like to host your own Baby Shower for Every Mother, please contact the Women of Vision Helpdesk at 1-877-968-4968 or womenofvision@worldvision.org.

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