Beschermde Wieg Foundation has a board, a team of managers and a group of volunteers who almost all volunteer for the foundation.
Five years ago we were at the start of perhaps the biggest challenge of my life. Beschermde Wieg Foundation was established and opened its arms to the most vulnerable target group in our country. Pregnant women who recently gave birth to care-giving women who, for whatever reason, had to remain anonymous and could not, did not dare to, or wanted to care for their child. For fear of their fate and that of their (unborn) child, we did something that no other organization did before our existence. Provide anonymous help, with the aim of getting these women in the picture at an early stage, so that pregnancy checks, safe birth and aftercare became possible.
Beschermde Wieg; an unique and much-discussed concept, with which we wanted to make a loving fist to protect the rights of vulnerable mothers and the lives of their newborn babies. Accessible, professional, without judgment and with strength.
From its inception, I have been working for the Beschermde Wieg Foundation, where I help women who, due to a variety of circumstances, cannot, want not or dare not rely on regular assistance. Time and time again it touches me that I can help women who find it difficult to share their story, because they have lost faith in others for whatever reason.
I spoke to women who had really made all the preparations for a lonely birth and had a shopping bag and a blanket ready to leave their child on the street. I am always grateful that the women find the courage to make contact. Together with the mothers and, if necessary, our cooperation partners from the Youth Protection and the Child Protection Board, it is a big challenge to find an alternative to anonymously giving up their baby. We do everything in our power to safeguard pedigree data and not to break the contact between mother and child. We carefully examine what it takes for mothers to take care of their child and go far in support if there is room for it.
I know that there are currently women who hide their belly and cannot sleep at night with great concern about the impending lonely birth and the possible consequences of discovering their pregnancy. I feel an enormous drive to reach these women and to be there for them.
The moment foundlings are found, then we should not look away, then we should talk to each other about it. Because that means that the Dutch healthcare system is unable to reach a specific target group in need for whatever reason. Only by talking, we come to insights and solutions.
The Beschermde Wieg Foundation has entered into this discussion, it did not go without a hitch. Five years later we can speak of a great result: more than 1150 women called the emergency line. Were 4 to 6 foundlings a year found 5 years ago, this year the counter is 0. Minister Sander Dekker has seen these wonderful results and has acted accordingly, with the intention of financially supporting the foundation for three years. You can read more about this in this plan.
Initiator Barbara Mulder and operational director Kitty Nusteling have asked me to further professionalize the organization together and to grow with the ultimate goal that there will be a nationally rolled out organization in three years, which can count on ongoing support from the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. All care-avoiding pregnant women in need who are afraid to ask for help, find our foundation.
In 10 years' time, no one can imagine that there was a time in the Netherlands when the newspaper could read several times a year that a foundling had been found, most of whom were dead.
I participate, you too?
Beschermde Wieg foundation will not get any subsidy, but that’s no reason not to go ahead. A desperate mother and her child have nothing while we're waiting for financial security.
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