A key component of our Maternal-Child Health Project is the educational support that mothers receive from participation in monthly health and wellness workshops. While these workshops were put on hold during the months of March-August, in September we were able to reinstate them under careful safety protocols such as mask wearing, hand washing, and socially-distanced outdoor seating.
Our Maternal Child Health Project Coordinator Rebeca explained that after many months without in-person connection, “the women are glad to have a safe place to come and speak!”
The twenty mother-child pairs currently participating in this project are grouped into three groups based on the age of their children (Group 1: birth-1 year, Group 2: ages 1-3, and Group 3: ages 3-5). Over the past two months, Group 1 attended workshops on hygiene and illness prevention as well as early childhood development. Group 2 spent time discussing the basics of good nutrition and common colds and respiratory illness. Group 3 participated in workshops about menstrual hygiene, and just this week, about the brand new topic of “inclusion.”
Rebeca was excited to share the news of this new workshop topic, explaining her desire to empower mothers with the knowledge to build more inclusive communities. In discussing “inclusion,” Rebeca and the mothers reflected on the misunderstandings that many people hold about individuals with physical and intellectual disabilities. They spoke about the value and contributions of every individual, and as Rebeca described it “planted the seeds” for further conversations about this important topic. Rebeca was proud of how the workshop went, explaining that although this is not a commonly discussed topic, the women were open to learning more, and committed to speaking to their own children and family members about inclusion as well!
While these workshops are definitely a time to learn more about important health and wellness topics, they are also an opportunity for women to connect with and empower one another. With limited safe opportunities for community building, the connection piece of these workshops is more important now than ever before.
Rebeca makes sure to leave space at the beginning and end of each workshop for women to speak candidly with one another. She explained that recently, these conversations have offered women the freedom to discuss their fears related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Building safe and supportive spaces for women has always been a goal of the Maternal-Child Health Project, and we are especially glad to be doing so during these extremely challenging times!
Can you help us continue supporting the women and children of our Maternal Child Health Project throughout the hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic?