UK mother and baby support network, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ has launched a national fundraising campaign in aid of the DEC Ukraine Humanitarian Appeal run by The British Red Cross Society.
In light of displaced families, bombed maternity wards and tragic loss of life due to the ongoing Ukrainian crisis, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ Founder Justina Perry has encouraged mums and babies, mums-to-be and franchisees across her UK network of pregnancy, mother and baby classes to stand in solidarity with Ukrainian parents.
Since 3rd March, the 31 ‘MamaBabyBliss’ franchisees supporting 500 mothers each a year, plus 100 salons and prenatal therapists have encouraged over 250 mums and babies to attend both in-person and virtual classes dressed in blue and yellow to fundraise. An initial £250 target was exceeded within a week and now the current total stands at £2,000 including Gift Aid.
Pregnancy, Mother & Baby Expert Justina Perry explains:
“This war has affected so many innocent people. Ukrainian men and fathers are staying to fight for their country. Women and babies are having to flee or live in the most awful circumstances. We have seen images of babies being born in the basement of a maternity hospital because above ground is too unsafe, mothers fleeing with their young babies and maternity hospital was blown up. In the UK we are so lucky that we don’t have a war in our country, but we can all easily imagine what that fear and devastation must feel like for families, mothers and babies. We chose to support the Red Cross because they are able to reach the main areas of disaster and devastation quickly and effectively. This is our way of being able to give something back.”
The campaign is particularly close to home for ‘MamaBabyBliss’ member Marina Breeson, who moved from Kyiv in 2014 after falling for her British husband Richard and having two children, Nick and Kristina.
Explaining why fundraising efforts are so critical, she says:
“There hasn’t been a day I haven’t been in tears. I’m going mad here. I can’t work, I can’t function. I feel I can’t even focus on my own children properly, as I feel so guilty that we are here and my friends and their kids are in a war zone having lost everything.”
“I have a lot of friends and extended family in Ukraine and I’m worried sick about them. I am absolutely devastated and heartbroken to see the news especially about affected children and broken families. Most of my friends have children who had to say good-bye to their daddies not knowing if/when they going to see them again.”
With international parental support coming in from as far as UK families on holiday in Cyprus, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ now seeks to extend fundraising efforts beyond its own network to any parent and child nationwide.
In a further bid to stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukrainian mothers in the run up to Mother’s Day, ‘MamaBabyBliss’ will be live streaming a 45-minute online “Shine a Light for Mamas and Babies of Ukraine” class on 31st March at 11am on Facebook and Instagram. Parents can enjoy 30 minutes of gentle yoga moves and songs suitable for children of 10 weeks and over, followed by 15 minutes of relaxation and breathing exercises for mums, dads and grandparents. Candles will be lit in dedication to those lives that have been lost in the war to date.
Suggested minimum donation of £5 but any value would be gratefully received.
To get involved, share your blue and yellow dressing up photos tag in @MamaBabyBliss and use the #MumsforUkraineMums hashtag to show support.
To take part in the “Shine a Light for Mamas and Babies of Ukraine”, visit ‘@MamaBabyBliss’ on Facebook or Instagram on 31st March at 11am.