Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Birthing Project USA

Recently I happened upon this super cool organization called Birthing Project USA. "The Underground Railroad for New Life." It's mission is to encourage better birth outcomes in the African-American community. To support mothers and soon-to-be-mothers (teen mothers in particular, it looks like). Did you know that African American mothers are twice as likely as non-African American mothers to lose a baby in infancy? No one is exactly sure why, but it's speculated that it's at least partly due to the fact that "African Americans, more than any other group, have a significant amount of accumulated life-long stress, which impacts their general health and that of their babies." (First 5la)

The factors that cause this stress, I would be willing to bet, are also linked to the reasons so many African American children later end up living in foster care instead of in their biological family homes. I'm amazed with the courage of people like Trisha (see my previous post), who are struggling under an inept welfare system in this economy and yet still manage to provide for their kids.

It seems to me that small non-profit organizations like Birthing Project have a better impact overall than large federal programs like welfare. They are more individual. Maybe we're afraid that if welfare goes way, those programs won't have the resources that big tax-funded federal programs will, and therefore some people will fall through the cracks. But don't they anyway?

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