.- More than 30 organizations serving maternity and early childhood needs in Chile have come together to form an alliance to better meet the needs of women and children.
Known as the Collaborative Network for Early Childhood Care, the non-profit network includes a total of 33 organizations, including Catholic and other faith-based groups.
The alliance was established June 9 during an online meeting that included donors; representatives of different public, private and civil society organizations; and Chile Crece Contigo,” a national government program aimed at breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty.
The agreement is intended to guide and strengthen collaboration between local organizations to meet the needs of mothers experiencing crisis or at-risk pregnancies, and to care for children, beginning in utero and up to four years of age.
The different organizations composing the new network have specific areas of focus, including at-risk pregnancy, adoption, children with Down syndrome, and children with a fatal diagnosis. They also offer support for women mourning the loss of an unborn child and provide guidance for teenage mothers and fathers.
In 2018, seven organizations that today are part of the new network collaborated with the town of Puente Alto in metro Santiago in support of their program for teenage parents.
From there, a system began to develop to provide all necessary services to the mother and unborn child. When the public health system cannot meet all the needs, these cases are referred to civil society organizations.
After a few months of working with this pilot program and observing the benefits of cooperation between government agencies and civil society organizations, the effort was extended to 20 towns, and more than 30 organizations in the country banded together to formally create the network.
Among the network’s latest efforts was coordinating the distribution of 58,000 donated diapers among the related organizations.
This article was originally published by our sister agency, ACI Prensa. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.
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