Here’s something you can help with: the Running Doulas.
It sounds like some sort of comedy act (and in fact it may well turn out to be rather amusing to watch) but actually it’s two ladies doing something for a very good cause.
Firstly, you may not be conversant with the word “Doula”. Wikipedia can help here:
Doula is a word that has most closely become associated with a woman or man who provides non-medical support to other women and their families during labour and childbirth, and also the postpartum period.
In countries like South Africa, where the public health system is at best pretty awful, doulas are invaluable aides in the maternity wards. If you or someone you know has had a baby in a first world healthcare system or in the private healthcare system in SA you might want to compare your experience with this typical scenario:
The majority of mothers are young, unmarried, have had no antenatal education and are desperately poor. They return home after a traumatic and lonely birth experience, on public transport, within about 6 hours of giving birth. All too often, they return within a year to give birth to another child.
It’s no exaggeration. Spend any time on Portswood Road near the Somerset Hospital and you will see many young women waiting for a minibus taxi, looking tired and scared, awkwardly clutching a bundle of blanket. It’s a heartbreaking sight.
And much as you might like to, obviously you can’t help every single one of these mothers. But what you can do is make a difference to some of them, via these Running Doulas I was telling you about.
Doula Kim and Trainee Doula Melinda are running the Knysna half-marathon this weekend to raise funds for Maternity Packs, each one of which:
…goes a long way towards changing the birth experience of the young mother who is touched by the gesture and better prepared for her first few weeks of motherhood.
Each pack costs R150 (£13.50, $21.50) and you can see exactly what’s in one here.
Aside from the important reasons that they are doing it, it should be noted that the Knysna half-marathon (or the “Knysna Half” as it’s known to those of use who are in the know about writing about other people running long distances) is no ordinary run. It’s widely regarded as one of the most difficult and dangerous races on the local running calendar.
This is primarily because of the knee-sapping, cartilage-busting, mainly downhill route and the wild animals which still roam the ancient forests of that area; we’re talking elephants, zebras, wildebeest, griffins, dragons and unicorns.
Well, we’re talking elephants, anyway.
But I digress. Often.
You can help Melinda and Kim by supporting their run and donating to their important and worthy cause via this bank account :
Name: MA Rollinson
Bank: Standard Bank – Thibault Square branch
If you want to get in touch with Melinda about the run or with any other doula-related query, you can email her here or via twitter here.
And to show our support for the cause, 6000.co.za is putting our money where our mouth is and donating 2 packs.
Please spread the wealth by clicking a button below and sharing this on Facebook or Twitter.
We’ll let you know how they got on when we know how they got on. OK?