The Mother and Child Project Raising Our Voices for Health and HopeCompiled by Hope for Healing Hands. Foreword by Kay Warren, Preface by Melinda gates is an eye opener about the injustice and the epidemic of child marriage and child birth which is common in third world and impoverished countries. This book contains a number of short, simple articles by a variety of authors and contributors. In this modern day, there is no shortage of campaigns, projects and missions ranging from autism awareness, AIDs benefits, and animal rights organizations. Yet buried beneath all the social propaganda to promote more popular awareness agendas, the young women in impoverished countries in Africa as well as India and many others, are often forgotten- and they have no voice or advocate. There are teenaged girls and even younger girls forced into early arranged marriage and childbirth. Without going into the psychological and emotional trauma, these girls must bear physical trauma and even death as their bodies are not ready for marriage and childbirth. These women and girls have no access to health care, much less prenatal care. Furthermore, if something goes wrong during labor, which is likely considering their young age, and the fact they themselves are not fully grown, then these girls may face hours and even days of painful, non productive labor, which often ends with maternal death and stillbirth. Even if the mother is "unfortunate" enough to survive- and I say "unfortunate" because who would want to survive in such impoverished and oppressed conditions- these women face permanent debilitating injury such as fistulas which result in ongoing infection as well as urinary and fecal incontinence. Furthermore, to add insult to injury, these women and girls are shamed and abandoned as a result and forced out of their homes to lead a life of begging on the streets. These girls are denied an education, autonomy, health care and simple methods of birth control.
This is an issue that not many Americans are made aware of as it has not gained much publicity. I recall years ago when I first researched this issue, there was very little presence on the internet and not too many resources available. Any information available was presented from the secular point of view, and the Christian voice remained silent. It is wonderful to se this book written with a biblical perspective on this issue. Many "traditional" religionists may simple choose to ignore this growing world problem. In fact many hypocrites may ignore it in their erroneous belief that birth control constitutes a sin. Such rigid critics choose to ignore the suffering of these women and girls, in order to maintain the charade of their own hypocrisy when it comes to the complexities of the suffering faced in the world.
This book is simple to read. For such an urgent issue, it is crucial that the message is not lost in excessive wordiness or theology. Each essay literally takes minutes to read and is easily understood. There is focus on the plight of individuals as well as the perspective from a general point of view. It is important that this book has been published to make the world aware of this inhuman condition that women and girls face. As a blogger for Booklook I received a copy of this book published by Zondervan for the purpose of writing this review.