Every Monday, we hold a Mums & Babies Day for women seeking asylum and with refugee status. They’re either pregnant or with a child under three years. In January 2016, there were 20 signed-up. Now there are 65 women on the register plus their little ones. Luckily, so far not everyone has turned up at once! This week, we served over 30 hot lunches…
I teach the Therapeutic Yoga class and help to facilitate the group with Lucy from The Helen Bamber Foundation and Jill from Birth Companions (two charities we run this group in partnership with).
This week, Lila from Congo DRC* received her refugee status, after 4.5 years of waiting. It was emotional news and it means that she can finally start working, after having studied hard during the time she has been seeking asylum. In her country of origin, she had been at university before having to flee for her life. New mum Precious* from Eritrea brought in her two month old baby who is gorgeous. Ten mums were in the Therapeutic Yoga Class this week, reporting benefits from back pain feeling better to feeling positive and confident.
“Coming here is like seeing family,” said Hiwot*. “I have no one, then come here and have someone to tell. Yoga is so good. Makes big difference to everything. Thank you so much.”
Most mums travel on average 1.5 hours each way to come. The group really is like a big family and we’re now offering: Therapeutic Yoga, Hot Lunch (cooked by one of the women), English Class, a clinical psychologist, essentials such as nappies, baby clothes and sanitary towels, help filling in forms and with accessing critical services such as healthcare and housing support, welfare advice and of course CHILDCARE! All for free and we refund the cost of their travel.
This would be impossible without the support of people like you. Huge thanks again.
Love Emily xx
We’ve got a ‘crowdfunder’ campaign coming-up… Watch this space!
Did you see the feature in the guardian about our work? Read it here.
* = names changed to protect identities