01 Dec '17

‘Buddy at the cradle’

door Gerard Hautekeur
Socially vulnerable families will soon be able to count on the support of a student ‘buddy’ thanks to the Buddy aan de wieg project to be launched in December by the Huis van het Kind in Asse and the Erasmus School of Higher Education in Brussels.

Student midwives will offer guidance to vulnerable women during their pregnancy and for 12 months after childbirth. ‘Pregnant women from socially and economically disadvantaged backgrounds often express reservations about professional carers, whereas the students are roughly the same age as these women and easier to consider as an equal.

A buddy’s first task is to build a relationship of trust with the women by joining them in various activities, such as going for walks, cooking, shopping and chatting. They help draw these vulnerable people out of their isolation, accompany them during their prenatal appointments, offer any additional information they may need and take care of their psychosocial requirements.

The students will eventually be able to provide a bridge to professional carers, social facilities and welfare organisations and enjoy learning a great deal themselves during the entire process.’

Read more in Dutch