Hundreds come to Baby Bonding sessions

We’ve just returned from the beautiful region of Kisoro in Southern Uganda.  It is beautiful, the people are gentle and kind in the main, and I think I’ve left part of my heart there.  We are working with the church of Uganda, which is helpful because they are supportive and have much influence in the community.

We worked in three new areas outside Kisoro, and had groups of 80- 100 women in two hand massageareas, and 200 in a third! {The vicar had told us that 5 women might turn up there!}  Generally the women were attentive, some asked questions, and a good proportion came back to hear all or most of the teaching.  We held every session twice to accommodate latecomers.  However, we ran into difficulties one afternoon  when a torrential rainstorm beat down on the tin roof,  preventing the first 100 women and babies from leaving the church.  The noise was overwhelming and it because impossible to teach the second group!  On the last day we bought 360 bananas for the two groups, but even that was not enough. {We’ll try returning and working with smaller numbers next time.}

We were delighted when women wanted to form groups to continue practising baby bonding in two of the new areas.  The two Vicars encouraged this, and our facilitator, Jackline, hopes to follow them up too.  We also revisited some places where we had worked before and saw some signs of changed behaviour and heard tales of women telling others.

The biggest challenge seems to be that beating is the only form of discipline used with children, and babies are slapped almost from birth whenever the mothers are frustrated.  Of course that causes the baby a huge problem when the mother is trying to bond with him/her.  To change the culture in this respect is a huge challenge.  We need to return and support this fragile beginning.