The journey starts at the beginning of January 2016 when Rosslyn arrives in Cape Town, Western Cape Province of South Africa. Rosslyn brings with her, her experience as an RN Midwife and Neonatal Intensive Care nursing, her passion to include fathers in Maternity care, and an evidence based parenting program called Bringing Baby Home. She is here to research if this father-inclusive program could help to rebuild healthy families and communities, and give infants a brighter future.
In 2016 the population is approximately 55 Million. 79.2% are African; 8.9% are “Coloured”; 8.9% are White, 2.6% are Indian or Asian; 0.2% are “other”.
Is this father-inclusive relationship program of value, in a population where 70% of African families have no father, and where crime rates are amongst the highest in the world? South Africa also has the highest rates of HIV-AIDS and TB in the world, and more than half the population live in poverty. Approximately 2853 infants are born into this situation every day.
On 21 January, 2016, Rosslyn attends a Western Cape Association for Infant Mental Health meeting, and connects with Psychiatrist – Psychoanalyst. Prof Astrid Berg. Astrid Berg has written a book on African culture: “Connecting with South Africa: Cultural communication and Understanding”. This is the start of Rosslyn’s interest and understanding of the strengths and beauty of African Culture.
After meeting with Sonke Gender Justice, who are involved with engaging Fathers in Parenting Programs, Ros holds the first trial training of 4 new Facilitators on 16 and 17 February, 2016. The aim is to get feedback from local professionals as to whether the program could be adapted for South Africa’s disadvantaged communities.
Rosslyn has been wondering if the Bringing Baby Home program could be adapted and delivered to Teenagers. Ros meets Eugene Abrahms,a youth Pastor from Gospel Mission Church HANOVER PARK, on the CAPE FLATS, who asks her if she would come and speak to his youth members.
On 20 February 2016 Approximately 40 (mostly teenagers) attend. Ros adapts delivery of the Gottman work in a fun interactive way, and introduces the concept of developing emotional intelligence in children. When Ros meets up with Eugene a week later for feedback on if the teens enjoyed the workshop, and for suggestions on improvements, Eugene says: don’t change anything, the teens were very excited and couldn’t stop talking about it!
25th February 2016 Ros’s African friend Itai, takes her to meet Mama Vivian from Iliso Care Society in Khayelitsha. Iliso Care Society is an NGO established by Mama Vivian, who, with the help of local volunteers, feeds healthy school lunches to children at the local schools. Mama Vivian announces the program cannot work in South Africa. Ros is shocked and after an hour after describing the vision for the program, Mama Vivian announces: ‘The program CAN work in South Africa.”
1st March 2016 Ros flies to NAIROBI KENYA, where she has been invited by Apostle Julius Suubi of Highway of Holiness Ministries, to come and address the issues of teenage pregnancy there, and train facilitators in the Bringing Baby Home Program.
The Pastors and Social workers who train as facilitators are very impressed with the program, and Apostle Suubi wants to establish Nairobi as a training centre for the program.
Jan 2017 to March 2017 Ros returns to Cape Town to build collaborations with Government organisations and NGO’s with common Goals. Ros meets with Tony Lawrence from Anglican Youth of Southern Africa, Kevin Johansson from Gravitree, (an organisation working with unemployed men and supporting them with creating their own organic gardens), and Gretha Venter a Doula, from The Zoe Project, working with mothers and babies at the Maternity Obstetric Unit at Retreat.
In March 2017, with the collaboration of New Somerset Hospital, Bishop Phinele Nyanga from UPPER ROOM MINISTERIES, the community of Khayelitsha Township, Ros creates a prenatal video addressing teenage pregnancy and to encourage fathers to engage with their children and strengthen the relationship with the Mother of his children. The video is called: Molo Tata (hello dad)
June 2017 Ros reconnects with Friends from the Episcopal Church, All Saints-by-the-Sea in Santa Barbara, California.
Ros had built strong ties with the Church before going to Seattle to become a Train-the-trainer in the Gottman Bringing Baby Home Program in 2014. All Saints is very interested in supporting her work in South Africa and has donated funds to help transform families in the Western Cape.
Photo in front of All Saints by the Sea, SANTA BARBARA, from left to right:
Ros Vroom, Rev Victoria Mouradian and Sally Wilcox
Friends Grace Yoon and Sally Wilcox who have supported Ros’s application for Mission funds for South Africa. Sally and Grace have worked tirelessly to support the funding application which is successful!!
Encouraged by the support from All Saints-by-the-Sea, Ros approaches SANTA BARBARA FOUNDATION
to act as fiscal sponsor so that funds donated in the USA can be processed through a 501c3