BIGs – Empowering mothers with breastfeeding.
The best start a baby can have in life is breast milk, yet many parents are unaware of its potentially life-saving benefits. In 2016, 4.2 million babies did not live to see their first birthday. In developing countries, one million of these infants could have been saved if mothers had enough information and support to optimally breastfeed.
With screenings of the moving documentary Milk, featuring breastfeeding stories from all over the world, docimpact is engaging mothers in areas with low breastfeeding and high infant mortality rates.
Although breastfeeding in Kenya is on the rise, Bungoma County still ranks high on the infant mortality index. Almost half the region’s population is under the age of 15, with many young women lacking the support they need to approach motherhood with self-determination.
Our screenings and participatory workshops engage mothers with the topics of nutrition and family planning, give them access to health and nutrition specialists and the opportunity to share their problems and experiences. During the workshops the mothers formed breastfeeding information groups (BIGs) to receive continued support and information.
Each BIG has eight to twelve mothers and meets once a month. It is led by a local community health worker that docimpact provides with extra training, a monthly salary and continued support. Thanks to the BIGs, mothers in the remotest parts of the county are now receiving expert advice on maternal welfare, as well as access to a micro-financing scheme.
docimpact is supporting 40 BIGs – 500 mothers and 48 community health workers, with a reach of 4,800 households in Western Kenya.
Since 2003, the non-profit organisation Karibuni-Kenya has been dedicated to empowering communities to improve the well-being of women and children through education, health, nutrition & food security initiatives. Karibuni-Kenya has a board of management that provides oversight and guidance and a technical team including village level volunteers that implements activities. Karibuni-Kenya has built and handed over a girl’s secondary school, several water projects and trained primary health care workers in Western Kenya.
Through an intimate and artistic lens, Milk brings a universal perspective on the politics, commercialisation and controversies surrounding birth and infant feeding over the canvas of stunningly beautiful visuals and poignant voices from around the globe. Inspiring, informative, provocative and sensitive, Milk celebrates bringing a new life into this world with a strong call to action and reflection.