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quickly ended up with a beautiful

sculpture of a mother with her baby, made by Corry Ammerlaan – van Niekerk. It was a beautiful sculpture, but definitely out of our budget. Semiha Denktas, program manager of Ready for a Child and advisor of the foundation: “We asked for the price of the sculpture anyway. After we explained why we wanted to buy it, the director of Artihove, Aad van Dijk, offered to donate the sculpture to the Birth Center. That was really great! But it didn’t end there. Aad van Dijk also offered to discuss cooperation in funding acquisition.”

What does the cooperation entail? Daniëlle: “Birth Center Sophia is a very special initiative. It offers all women that do not want or cannot deliver at home, but have no medical option to stay in a hospital, a safe and calm area with a homey atmosphere. The Birth Center offers a solution for women who are in a lesser position. Everybody wants to give their child a good start. To support the Birth Center financially, Artihove created a consumer action initiative. Part of the profit of the sculpture will profit Birth Center Sophia. We will work out a marketing plan together.”

Deborah: “We use the experience and contacts of both parties in this cooperation. Artihove has ini- tiated many successful funding acquisition pro- jects. Especially the knowledge and experience of Aad van Dijk and Corry Ammerlaan – van Niekerk come in handy with every new project. Apart from that, I admit that my personal in- terest for the well-being of the children plays a part. I’m pregnant myself now and have been running a foundation for less privileged children in Cameroon for the last 8 years. We want to get as much exposure as possible with this sculpture and generate as much money as possible for the Birth Center.”

The sculpture symbolizes mother love, tenderness and amazement for new life. Were you, Daniëlle and Semiha, allowed to contribute in the development process?

Right to a good start The primary goal of the sculpture designed by Corry Ammerlaan – van Niekerk at the request of Artihove, is to generate as much money as possible for Birth Center Sophia. Here women can give birth in a quiet environment and surrounded by care.

Daniëlle: “Of course! We were involved in the development process from the start. Apart from the warmth and love of a mother with her baby that the sculpture was supposed to represent, we thought it was very important that it was a ‘dressed’ mother and child. The artist then started by drawing a few sketches. We were very excited about those. Actually we only asked if the mother could have a little more breast and hip.”

Which material did artist Corry Ammer- laan - van Niekerk use?

Deborah: “It was poured in a bronze alloy, also called bronzed art ally. It was possible to have the sculpture put on a granite socle for a small extra amount with a text plate with, for example, name and birth date of the child. It is a very nice gift and at the same time a permanent birth memorial.” Daniëlle, Semiha: “But it is not only suited for young mothers or as a birth present, people will see it as a nice symbol. Companies can use it of course as a gift to their staff. More and more companies are showing their social involvement with Christmas presents.

Safe start Semiha: “Arriving too late into the care of an obstetrician is one of the causes that babies have a less than good start. To give a baby a good start, women must adapt their lifestyles and think about the chances they can offer their future baby, before they get pregnant. The obstetrician and doctors offer for this purpose the so called child wish consultations. A regular check with the ob- stetrician delivers an important contribution

Eyes in | 15 Eyes in

to positive birth results. It sounds logical but ethnic minority groups and less privileged groups do not always get to the obstetrician in time. Also unfavorable circumstances such as marginal housing and poor hygiene during the delivery and the first maternity days have a negative effect on a good start. To offer these women a safe and calm environment during the delivery and the first days after the birth, Birth Center Sophia has been open since October.”

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