The next generation.

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At The Global Women’s Project it seems that we are currently taking it upon ourselves to create the next generation of change makers as two of our fabulous team members and one of our Board Directors are awaiting new arrivals!

As you know, since May 2015, we have been passionate about supporting pregnant women, new mothers and their newborns displaced by the devastating earthquakes in Nepal. There were between 125,000-200,000 pregnant Nepali women at the time of the earthquake with many being left without vital shelter and services during what can be one of the most vulnerable, scary, exciting and magical times of their life.

Knowing this has lead our own Sonali, Briony and Lauren to reflect on their impending motherhood and their wish for Nepali mothers and newborns. Each of them have also committed to supporting one Nepali mother and her newborn for two months as a gift to their new babies! LOVE! Find out how you can too, here.

Sonali Hedditch – Board Director and soon-to-be mumma of three gorgeous girls!  

image2“I am expecting my third daughter in early February. I know, so lucky! I always wanted 3 kids, from when I was young, and as a woman who works to empower women and girls globally, three daughters is an absolute blessing. I’m doing my best to let my girls pursue all their interests under the sun. If you were a fly on the wall in their playroom, you would see them play with electronics kits, baby dolls and prams, technic lego, kitchen and doctors sets, all the while dressed up in superhero and fairy costumes (often at the same time). The sky is the limit in terms of their play, their imaginations, and the opportunities they have to learn and explore.

Having already given birth twice, I am now very comfortable with the process. Although you can never predict what will happen, I know we have the best medical facilities possible here in Australia, and I also now have complete trust in my body to do what it needs to do. I’ve experienced both the private and public systems, and all I can say is that midwives are angels. The energy they bring every single day to assist women through the most intense moments of their life is just phenomenal. Giving birth in Australia, I also know my daughters have won the birth lottery. They are being born into a country that provides them with the platforms and opportunities to pursue all their aspirations in the best possible health.

When I think of women in Nepal who are due to give birth soon, or have recently entered motherhood, I just wish it was the same for them and their children. Sadly, that is not the case at all. Many mothers-to-be are malnourished, which often results in babies that are malnourished. Pregnant women give birth at home or in locations without any trained medical support or supplies. Our mission to provide better opportunities for Nepali women begins at birth, and I am so proud to be a Director of The Global Women’s Project, which has been providing Nepali mothers and their newborns with a safe birthing space since the earthquake earlier this year. What we have been providing Nepali mothers with is the basic support I almost take for granted, such as nutritious food and clean water. In addition to this, what we have been providing pregnant Nepali women with is the comfort that I also take for granted – the sense of safety and empowerment during birth. With this support from organisations like ours, I hope these mothers will be able to continue to empower their children and provide them with opportunities so that they too can pursue any aspiration they can possibly dream up.”

Briony Mackenzie, Executive Director and first time mumma! 

Briony and Lauren and their bumps!

Briony and Lauren and their bumps!

“My babe is due in mid December – I actually feel like it could come at any time now, so watch out world, you’ll have a new human really soon! I’ve had a lovely, but hectic, pregnancy as I was in Kathmandu and several weeks pregnant when the first earthquake hit and I’ve been in transit for pretty much the next six months before settling back in Australia.

I think the most important thing for any expectant mother is to feel safe, cared for, supported and in control of her birth choices. I feel so lucky to have had the luxury of intentionally creating the birth environment and support team I feel will give me the best opportunity of having the birth that I want. I believe (as does the research) that if a woman is heard, known and continuously supported by her caregivers throughout her pregnancy and has autonomy over how she chooses to birth, she will be in the best position to ensure a smooth birth, resulting in a healthy baby and newfound deep inner resources for motherhood.  
As I mentioned, I was actually in Nepal and part of The Global Women’s Project’s efforts to deliver assistance to those affected by the earthquakes. I met many pregnant women who had been displaced and I was absolutely devastated to think that these women were facing the prospect of having to give birth without support or shelter. I was several weeks pregnant at the time and being so heavily pregnant now, I can only imagine how they must have felt. That’s why I’m so passionate about supporting our grassroots partner organisation’s Shelter for Pregnant Women and New Mothers, which provides up to two months pre and post birth support for Nepali women and their newborns.”
If you’re as passionate as Briony is about ensuring that Nepali women receive the support and care that they need and deserve, you can cover the cost of this for one mother and her newborn baby for just $300 here.

And last, but certainly not least, our Partnerships & Operations Manager, Lauren Ryan who is adding another bub to her impossibly cute bunch! 

“As a mother of two children (with a third bundle of joy due in early Feb 2016), I’m incredibly grateful for the care that is available to both my children and I here in Australia. I could not begin to imagine what it would be like to be eight months pregnant or to be caring for a newborn and not have a roof over my head, food to eat, or access to any kind of medical care or comfort. 
Whether we choose to have a hospital or home birth, have extended family present or not, use pain relief or choose between disposal or reusable nappies the simple fact is that in Australia (in most cases) this is our choice and we as women and mothers are incredibly lucky to be afforded these options. Pregnant women and new mothers in Nepal often do not have those same opportunities to choose, and their choices have been even more limited since the earthquake. But it doesn’t have to be this way. 
Through the incredible care provided by the Women’s Foundation Nepal, pregnant women and newborns can have access to shelter, support, nutritional food, medical services and pre- and post-natal care for themselves and their newborn child.  In honour of my impending little baby, and the wonderful support that is given to my children and myself here in Australia, I am proud and grateful to be able to provide a woman and her baby in Nepal with these comforts and choices for what is a comparatively small price to pay: $300.  I encourage all of you to consider doing the same – whether it is on your own or as part of a broader fundraising effort. Together we can support Nepali women to empower themselves and their children.”

A sarita ChaulagainThank you to our fabulous three team members for sharing their stories and hopes for Nepali women as they give birth in the aftermath of the earthquakes.

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The Global Women’s Project believes every woman should be able to determine her own life. We give women across the developing world the tools they need to build better lives for themselves. The Global Women’s Project is a DGR accredited non-profit organisation based in Melbourne, Australia.

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