vineri, 22 februarie 2008

A Project I Can Love!

Weather: sunny today, few clouds. Early morning the sky was overcast, but it is blue now. Yesterday was also mostly sunny, and we saw a lot of people out including skateboarders!

Health: Still fighting colds. This particular variety goes into our lungs and makes us cough like starving seals for a few weeks. Dennis is mostly well now, I'm at the tail end.

A few days ago, I went to Bucovina Ladies Society and they were very excited. They had an idea for a project that they want me to help with. So far, I've been trying to help them set up a shelter for victims of domestic violence. As you can imagine, there are tons of obstacles to such a project, not the least of which was the reluctance of the BLS director to set up a women's support group that she considered might be controversial. So, I've done a lot of research about domestic violence, and had not found really good funding sources. I was glad to hear they had another project idea.

The idea is to start childbirth classes in Suceava County. Right now, about 40% of births here are done by Caesarian. Most women have NO prenatal care at all. They show up at the hospital, they're in pain, they're scared. The doctor gives options, which includes Caesarian which they describe as "painless." The women "choose" to have the Caesarian. According to a newspaper article here, there is some debate about whether the women are choosing or the doctors are choosing. The doctors get more money for a Caesarian, so most people agree that they are motivated to encourage the procedure.

Well, anyway, an definite need is for women to receive some sort of information about childbirth, specifically about natural childbirth. Lamaze has an office in Romania and has trained people to be Lamaze teachers. There are also other childbirth class options that are not so heavy on the medical stuff. Lamaze, as some of you may know, trains a coach to be with the woman during labor and delivery. I was told that the hospital here does not allow ANYONE into the hospital EVER. So much for the coach idea!

As I talked with the BLS people, I realized that this may actually be the seed of the support groups that they were interested in. If women come to BLS for childbirth info, and feel a sense of trust with the BLS agency, they may come back when they're having trouble in their family.

Childbirth classes are definitely a place to discuss good parenting practices, signs of abuse, care for every family member. AND, they stress involvement of BOTH parents. Excellent!

So I'm pretty excited today. I feel confident I can get funding for this project because the need is so obvious and the group so ready to meet it. Also, I think once we get it started, they'll be able to continue the childbirth classes with fees or other grants. So, it's also sustainable.

I hope this works for Bucovina Ladies.

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