- A Cape Town-based NGO called The Zoe Project is doing wonders for community upliftment by offering support to expectant mommies and their babies
- Established in 1998 by counsellor, Tracey Aitken, the organisation aims to empower mothers and help them make positive choices that would benefit both them and their little ones
- The organisation offers antenatal classes, counselling for moms, skills development programmes, prepares care packs for clinics, and trains birthing companions, with some volunteers also caring for newborn babies in the clinic nurseries
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A non-profit organisation (NGO) in Cape Town called The Zoe Project is uplifting local communities by empowering and supporting expectant mothers and helping them make positive choices that are beneficial for them and their babies.
The organisation currently operates in five local maternity clinics in the Cape communities of Retreat, Hanover Park, Gugulethu, Mitchell’s Plain, and Mowbray. In addition to antenatal classes, skills development training, counselling, and support, the establishment also provides mom and baby care packs to these clinics to distribute to mommies in need.
The Zoe Project was founded in 1998 by counsellor, Tracey Aitken, with the organisation aiming to empower, uplift and nurture expectant mothers through various programmes that they offer.
Tracey spoke to Briefly News about the NGO’s purpose, the various initiatives, programmes, and forms of support they offer, and where she hopes the establishment will be in the next two years.
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“[I started the NGO] about 20 years ago. I was a volunteer [counsellor] with no intention to form an NGO but saw a need to make up baby packs for moms in need. Other ladies saw what I was doing and wanted to get on board. We have snowballed to about 70 volunteers now and operate in five clinics.
“The name Zoe came about with my first counselling client choosing an adoption plan and naming the little girl Zoe, which means life. To this day, I am still in contact with the biological mom."
The Zoe projects supports moms before, during and after birth
The 58-year-old adds that the organisation has a referral process, with pregnant ladies able to receive counselling, group therapy, or antenatal classes before the baby is born. The NGO even offers support and antenatal classes specifically curated to teen moms to ensure that these young ladies feel supported.
The organisation also offers skills development programmes, teaching expectant moms to sew to enable them to earn an income and become independent.
Furthermore, The Zoe Project trains doulas, which are professional birthing companions, who support mommies throughout the birthing process.
“These doulas support the moms and help make their birthing experience amazing, and when you’ve got a birth experience that is good and healthy, you are able to bond with your baby and be a better mom,” she said.
The organisation also trains volunteers to work in the nurseries of the five clinics that they service, with these professionals helping nurses care for the newborn little ones.
Heartwarming photos show KZN gogos graduating from sewing school with hopes of generating their own income
“Some of these babies [in the nursery] are there because they’ve been fostered, or adopted, or the mom’s sick,” she said.
“There’s also the Kangaroo Mom Care, where the babies who are underweight, premature or ill are, with the moms needing to stay with them in hospital. The doulas would then go in and show these moms how to breastfeed and bond with their babies through skin-to-skin contact,” she adds.
Tracey further explains that the NGO’s volunteers also encourage and support moms who are in hospital with their babies and do fun activities and crafts with them.
“We also show them how to bath and care for their babies, so our educational element goes quite wide,” she said.
The Zoe Project chairperson hopes that the NGO will be able to sustain the work that it currently does and the programmes they run and hopefully get donors to help with funding.
“It would also be great to get more volunteers who stay with the organisation for a long time. I am so grateful to the volunteers for being part of this organisation because it actually saves lives,” she noted.
Mompreneur opens up about struggles of being working mom to four kids, says she’s putting her trust in God
In a related story by Briefly News, a businesswoman has taken to social media to speak about motherhood and the pressure of raising four kids while working.
The mompreneur shared her struggles about raising a premature newborn baby boy and three other kiddies while working full-time and recovering from a C-section. The lady explained that she is now putting her trust in God because giving up with four children is not an option.
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Source: Briefly News