UK Moms Rediscover Fresh Air
Cold temperatures do not stop Scandinavian and Icelandic moms from leaving their babies to nap outdoors. Photograph: Reykjavik pram party. Reykjavik Daily Blog
Sat Feb 24 - The Telegraph reported that a growing number of daycare centres in the United Kingdom encourage outdoor naps for their babies and children, even in cold weather. The health benefits of time spent outdoors, warmly cocooned, outweigh any concern about the cold. Crime, rain and the proximity of animals would seem to be the only reason to deny babies the health benefits of fresh air.
And it is not just the daycare centres. A recent survey that found 3 out of 4 British children spend less time outside than prison inmates, has raised awareness and given new mothers the impetus to turn back the clock and rediscover the virtues of outdoor living. The Telegraph quoted Hannah Rosalie, an experienced childcare worker, who practiced it herself when her baby was just 6 weeks old. "I instinctively felt like it was a good thing to do. I was influenced by the Danish Forest School method. I think they’ve got it right in the way they do childcare. It’s very outdoors, very healthy, it’s very real" she said.
Read the full article here.
March Is Field Testing Month
Signage on Jane Street for foot traffic that did not exist in the cold weather.
Sat Feb 24 - Mother-and-Child will start "field testing" store layout, computer systems, inventory controls, and store dynamics (read: crowding) next week when it reduces store hours to just eight per week and reintroduces canvassing for new members. The store will be open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:00p to 5:00p. Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays the store will remain closed and work hours will be spent distributing business cards and canvassing for new members on public transit and on the street.
"So far, we have seen that one woman brings four others" said Br Jorge who has organized the project. "She is responsible for up to three friends and, one of the friends, then brings the fourth mom." Indeed, only one in seventeen women has come to know of the store and join Mother-and-Child because of street signage.
"We want to reach out to more of the new and expectant mothers in the neighbourhood, especially those under 29 years of age" he said. Statistics Canada shows that younger mothers have the tendency to be single, under-educated, and under-employed. Mother-and-Child is a ministry of the Capuchins of Central Canada that is part of a new and growing pro-life response in the city of Toronto.
God Bless Canada, God Bless the Church, God Bless you!
In one of the coldest days in January, a newly arrived Nigerian refugee and mother walked a block and a half in order to find a baby stroller.
“Hi, I got this card...” She showed a Mother-and-Child business card. “I am here for a baby stroller.”
The back of the card read: “Coming this January”. It was Tuesday January 2, and Muslimat braved -29 °C (in the wind) in order to come for a stroller.
That was her name, Muslimat. She was Nigerian seeking refuge in Canada. The government housed her in a hotel, around the corner, along with other Nigerian refugee families. She occupied a regular room on the third floor: her, a ten month old baby boy, and her husband.
“Mother-and-Child does not sell anything” we explained. “You take what you need.”
She sorted through the 6-12M clothing bin while her attendant went for a stroller.
I can just take this?” she asked in disbelief.
“Yes” we replied.
“God bless Canada! God bless the Catholic Church! God bless the people of Canada!” She spoke with exuberance but kept her composure.
Muslimat took warm baby clothing, the reconditioned stroller, said thank-yous and goodbye, and left... That is, she almost left!
“I am so excited” she exclaimed as she turned. “I almost forgot my bag!” The thirty year old woman gave us a glimpse of the teenager she once was.
Mother-and-Child is not about religion. We are about people. The outreach is motivated by faith. We do faith, we do not preach it. Some people say we live the faith.
Unfortunately, empty shelves come with the ministry. Donations are always welcome. At present we have two pregnant women, and a mother of a 20 month old child waiting for strollers. This week it is our job to find three suitable strollers, and recondition them before we present them to their new owners. Dignity is job one.
Field Testing Delayed till March
Reconditioned strollers are passed forward, free of cost, to member mothers.
Jan 28 - Mother-and-Child has pushed back field testing with the general public till Monday March 5th. The issue is sourcing. "We are still working out quirks in our 'supply' line" explained Br Jorge who spearheads the new outreach from the Capuchin Franciscan Friars in Toronto.
Mother-and-Child is a made in Canada concept that brings a ministry of gently used baby strollers and clothing (0-18M) into church buildings, cutting back on operating costs and introducing mothers in need of support to established faith communities.