Mums in our Happy Baby Project have survived some of the humanity’s worst atrocities, including years of repeated physical, sexual and psychological violence, and have endured long, dangerous journeys to seek safety in the UK. All they want is to give their children a better life. A life free from violence and abuse. Sadly, as asylum seekers and refugees, these young families have never before been so unkindly viewed.
Often forced to live in desperately poor conditions, sharing a tiny room with a single bed, isolated in an unfamiliar country and exposed to overwhelming negativity, these young families struggle with unbearable loneliness and despair. Ourmala delivers Happy Baby Project in partnership with the Helen Bamber Foundation and in collaboration with five other charities – Birth Companions, Foodcycle, JCore, My Bloody Period, PramDepo. Every week we have over 15 volunteers supporting the team.
The project was first started at the Helen Bamber Foundation in 2014 to help new and expectant mums through the most difficult of times. Starting as a small group of five scared and lonely women and children, in 2015 it moved to a bigger space and joined forces with Ourmala. We now welcome more than 70 mums and their children under the age of three every week.
Happy Baby Project offers a safe, happy place for the mums and children to meet and play. The importance of this cannot be underestimated, without family or friends to support them, Happy Baby Project is the only place for many mums struggling to confront and overcome their experiences of torture and human cruelty to feel safe and make new friendships.