Following a presentation we delivered to the UNICEF Baby Friendly conference in Bournemouth, we were approached by DeBakermat, a Flanders-based charity dedicated to supporting vulnerable young mothers.
A few months later the project leads flew in to visit us at our Manchester offices and kickstarted what has turned into a enduring and fulfilling long-distance relationship, sustained by Collaborative Change principles.
Given the distance and the modest budgets involved, we developed a ‘remote consultancy’ model that allows us to build capacity with the DeBakermat team through live delivery of a project. Using our Collaborative Change tool kits, combined with regular skype meetings and workshops, we collaboratively developed a holistic breastfeeding initiation intervention in Leuven, a large city in the province of Vlaams-Brabant.
Based on the success of the initial project our partners at DeBakermat have now received funding to scale the model up and apply the same methodology throughout the entire Flanders territory. We are now busy gathering and analysing data, highlighting priority localities and mapping networks in each of the 5 provinces.
From here we will carry out discussion groups and depth interviews with vulnerable mothers and their families in priority localities and then use these to recruit for more focused co-creation workshops to collaborate directly on prototype solutions.
For so many reasons, this has turned out to be one of our most fulfilling Collaborative Change projects. Not only as it been an absolutely pleasure to work with the team at DeBakermat, but we feel there couldn’t be any better illustration of the effectiveness of the Collaborative Change approach and the robustness of its principles. To be instrumentally involved in a project that builds behaviour change capacity and delivers an intervention to empower young mums—all in the context of a small charity budget and a long-distance relationship—is something that we are extremely proud of.
Watch this space for further news on the Flanders-wide roll out.