23 April 2012

Save the Children - Build it for Babies Campaign.

Today sees the launch of a something incredible - a Save the Children 'Virtual Clinic' - where you can literally take a look around and choose something small (or large) to purchase - from a brick towards the actual building -  to items of equiment - like a stethoscope or weighing scales, a member of staff and even a well or electricity for it, then add your name to their Wall of Fame for doing so!

They want to build seven real ones, just like this one, at a cost of appox. £150 000 for each, to save the lives of too many babies who perish in their present conditions at an unimaginably appalling rate.

They have made an appeal through the very poweful and influential Love all Blogs entrepreneur Annie Mammasaurus Spratt, who, in turn, invited Bloggers to attend a conference in London last week, to see what we can do to help raise awareness and funds towards what seems like a very realistic, reasonable and feasible target.

After showing us a film of one of their dedicated helpers driving through days and nights in the more remote parts of Africa to get a sort of peanut protein to starving babies out there, they then focused on the outer areas of Bangladesh where they aim to build these Clincs.

Buy a brick for £5

This particular campaign is called Build it for Babies and part of this has spawned into Blog it for Babies, which took place in the pub directly after we left the conference, with Annie, naturally, at the helm, as we, all of us mothers, were so moved to help these poor women whose babies do not survive much past their first few days.

We learned  from Eva Keogan (@nixdminx), first hand, about the 'triangle of filth' that pervades where they live - their toilet 'facilities' near the same river in which they wash themselves as well as their cooking pots. Diarrhoea is rife. Entire families live in a shack and - being too far away from anywhere more hygienic  - this is where their children might be born, yet tragically, but  unsurprisingly, are 'lost.'

Some will attempt what might be a six hour journey to their nearest hospital - but it might be like this...

Save the Children.

 ...in an upturned chicken coop, where her whole family will eventually join a great deal of many other desperate families in an overcrowded and dire quest to save her baby.

It transpires - because I asked them to clarify this awful matter of the word 'lost' -  that most mothers' babies die. Some have 'lost' two, three or four children. One woman Save the Children representative Scott Clarkson met considers herself 'the worst mother' because six of her babies have died.

He told us that children lose their lives after they are born - 50% of them will do so within in the first 28 days of their lives, 50% of those in the first week and many in the first 24 hours.

This is the reason that they have so many children - to allow for their death rate.  Eva Keogan who works in social Media and has used her Nixdminx blog to brilliant effect to help, since being deeply affected by her visit to the area, had tears in her eyes while she also relayed how a local lady had tried to give them her baby to bring home to the West.

She said those who are lucky enough to make it to their their fifth birthday (having escaped pneumonia and other prevalent, deadly diseases) are the equivalent size of our two year olds.

At the time of the conference, one of the clinics that Save the Children has already built to provide care for such women and their babies, has brought down to a big fat 0% the number of them dying.

What can we do?  We can help by supporting their cause to provide a safe and sterile environment in which to bring children into the world, with a health care worker available 24 / 7.  Can we do all we find possible towards providing these other mums medication and education about breastfeeding, nutrition and hygeine?

Take a look at this amazing Virtual Clinic - and if you can do it without your heart bleeding you're a stronger person than I am.  

You can join Mammasaurus’ Blog it for Babies campaign which, next week, stretches to her travelling around the country a bit in order to further raise awareness and funds.  I am lending her my car and anyone who lends any sort of support to this appeal - not just financial - will make it on to a Wall of Fame in our eyes! 

There is now already a #Bake it for Babies book idea with wings being created in the blogsphere . Recipes are being invited and a signature cake incorporating 'a light peanut butter sponge' (to keep within the Save the Children theme!), has just been invented and won the taste trials courtesy of the lovely Jenny from Cheetahs in my Shoes.

There is a plethora of Bloggers Birth Stories abounding - as a way of highlighting the contrast between our comparatively privileged conditions and frequent life saving scenarios vs. their shocking ones. Perhaps you could add yours HERE.  It all helps.

Or go to the Save the Children page giving social media addresses and tips - asking for 30 seconds - 15 minutes of your time, plus see and hear the talks I mention above.

Please do all you can to prevent any more 'lost' souls.

Thank you.

Save the Children.