This is my first time writing on the Patchwork blog, so let me briefly introduce myself before we get into how we can help new parents. My name is Melisa, I am 23 years old, and I have just graduated from the University of Southampton where I studied Marketing. I was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and moved to the UK at the age of 6. I love all types of music, honestly, anything I can dance to! However, my favourite genres have to be Afrobeats and South African House music. Also, I love watching movies or TV series with a cheeky cuppa, sweet or butter popcorn and ice-cream.
“It take a village to raise a child” – what does it really mean?
From my experience of being at Patchwork thus far, it reminds me of an African proverb that states ‘it takes a village to raise a child’. This means that the community aids in the process of a child’s growth. That might be through teaching, sharing experiences or lending new parents a hand. It emphasises the importance of the family, whether immediate or extended, and the community around you to help and support you in crucial moments. It perfectly captures the African culture as a whole and how it thrives from the influence and help of the local community.
Growing up in a Pentecostal Church when a dedication ceremony was being performed, (a Christian tradition that dedicates the infant to God and welcomes the baby into the church), the Pastor would ask the congregation to vow and accept responsibility to teach and train the child [in the ways of the Lord]. Thus, the meaning of this proverb can be expanded to imply that a community can work together for the benefit of one main goal. The purpose of Patchwork aligns with this; to help and support our loved ones, ease the stress of milestone events and grant them experiences that bring them joy.
Celebrating the birth of a new baby? Use Patchwork to ask your village for help
As new parents, you need as much help as possible. The beauty of Patchwork is that because it is a digital platform, your family do not need to be close by to be able to lend a helping hand. So even if family and friends are overseas or unable to meet up in real life, your ‘village’ can feel close and show their love from a distance. Setting up a Patchwork template is a super-easy way to ask your ‘village’ for precisely what you want and need for a new-born. Whether that is asking for cash contributions, gifts, time or skills. Patchwork can be used for organising a baby shower, decorating the nursery or even asking family and friends to bring food after giving birth. Whatever your need is, Patchwork can help support new parents.
The village supports you for life – and so does Patchwork!
It’s not just about support and help for new parents and babies. The African proverb is really an approach to life. It’s about the community coming together to support and celebrate each other throughout life. And this is what Patchwork is all about too. It can help with all occasions – whether you’re celebrating a special milestone or coming together to support someone in need.
For example; as your little one grows, you can use Patchwork to ask friends and family to help fund a much-wanted gift or experience. It may be something that is out of reach for one person but can be shared by many. When everyone clubs together, larger items like a bike for example, or a course of swimming lessons, becomes affordable. It’s also more rewarding for family and friends to know they are sharing in helping you reach a goal or realise a dream. Rather than buying a gift that might go unused or just clutter up the cupboards!
What other occasions can Patchwork help us celebrate?
As they get older, friends and family can help them with other milestones. For example, driving lessons for a 17th birthday, helping with savings for their Gap Year travel, or helping to plan for and fund a big birthday party. Patchwork is unique because unlike other crowdfunding sites, you’re not limited to just asking for cash. Perhaps a relative is happy to take them out to practice in their car? Or lending them a backpack or some guidebooks for their Gap Year travels. Or even to bake an amazing cake for their party. With the “village” coming together in this way – anything is possible. Everyone can put their talents and skills to good use, so that money isn’t a barrier to being involved.
And of course, Patchwork is there for when families join together through marriage to make an even bigger village. Whatever it is that the couple need can be asked for with Patchwork, in a way that’s personal, meaningful and waste-free. A deposit for their first home or help doing up the kitchen? The honeymoon they’ve been dreaming of? Or just everybody’s help with making the day a huge success.
If you’d like to ask your village for help and support, you can browse our selection of readymade templates. And setting up a patchwork page takes just minutes. Or if you’re feeling creative you can start your own page from scratch. You can add your own images and text to make it really personal.