Today's post is going to be on a more serious note and good kind of seriousness, I promise. I found the title online and it is supposed to be derived from an African proverb. It resonates with what I am about to discuss next, so read it carefully one more time.
I have always “flirted” with the idea of being engaged in a cause or fight for something other than myself. With age, and “some” life experience, the desire seems to grow even stronger. As a human, I feel that at one point in your life, with gained wisdom and maturity, you need to fight or stand for at least one thing bigger than yourself. I truly believe that it is necessary especially if you are religious or/and somewhat spiritual because it takes you out of your comfort zone and it is super powerful.
I will admit that in my early twenties, I didn’t really feel strong about anything and always wondered when I saw people gathering to manifest about something; I was like “They do have time!” I didn’t understand why and how.
Like most times in life, change occurs and you involve. I am sure that if some of you had to rewind to your young days, you’d probably be wondering what was wrong with you then. It is all good, no need to be embarrassed, we all went through that.
Very cliché but after having my daughter and going through to some hardships as a single mother, it all came together, I finally started “feeling” and I knew that sooner or later I would get involve with: mothers, babies, Cameroon, Africa and/or USA. Cameroon because it is my country of birth and the USA because it is my country of adoption that has made my American Dream come true and it is the land of my daughter.
Not long ago, I came across this wonderful organization called “ Life for African Mothers” (http://lifeforafricanmothers.org). It is a charity created in 2006 by a lovely lady called Angela Gorman. I am not sure if some of you are aware of the fact that the maternity and infant mortality rates are extremely high in Sub Saharan African due to lack of basic medication and adequate nurse/midwife training programs. Life for African mothers provides medications to treat eclampsia and post partum haemorrhage and support hospitals and health centers across Africa. They also facilitate midwifery-training programs in several countries to help update qualified midwives to enhance their clinical skills in caring for mother and baby. Unfortunately, on top of the lack of medication, there is also a lack of education and most pregnant women unlike in the USA do not go for regular check ups during their pregnancy. Consequently, any abnormalities are not detected in the early stages of the pregnancy and by the time they go to the hospitals, it is too late to safe the baby and/or the mommy.
I grew up in Cameroon therefore, most of the information I gathered during my discussion with Angela wasn’t really surprising. A while back if some of you recall, there was a horrible video of a woman dying in front of a hospital while giving birth that went viral on social media. This incident occurred in Douala the economic capital of Cameroon. The woman was denied medical assistance because she had no money. She died and so did her babies.
Pregnant women back home do not have the minimum required medical assistance during pregnancy, childbirth and after giving birth. I do not think that certain difficulties that a new mother could face such as post partum depression is recognized in Cameroon, no mother would ever bring that up that after giving birth: fear to be ridiculed or shame perhaps both. It is even more surprising that maternity care improvement is not part of most African countries' policies or agendas, SHAME; I am sure objectives are being thrown here and there but no follow up as usual.
Today I have found something worth fighting for, and I am glad I did because I just added one more “ To Do” to my life’s purpose list. After discussing with Mrs. Angela Gorman and going in depth on the work of Life for African Mothers ( in Cameroon especially). I made a decision to make a donation of 15% of the yearly Mila Christina Cashmere for Babies net sales. My clothing line is still in the start up stage, I believe there is nothing as too small when it comes to helping. I would like to think of it as: if I am able to save at least 1 mother's life and/ or her baby’s, for me that would be a lifetime accomplishment. And I am happy to brag about this, because, I feel good!
One more proverb from Malawi before ending and you can meditate on this one: “Mother is God number two.”
PS: Take the time to watch this BBC Panorama documentary ‘Dead Mums Don’t Cry’ which sums up what is going on in some African Countries. The documentary was filmed years back and it is still relevant today.