Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Women, Infants and Children

I've been spending lots of my mornings in the WIC office lately. As part of my internship duties with the IRC, I drive refugee clients to the office (out in the middle of nowhere) and register them with the WIC program.

The WIC program is a "nutritional supplementation" program that gives pregnant women, infants and children (up to six) food packages every month. The food varies depending on whether the woman is nursing or pregnant or the age of the child. Don't get me started on the evils of the food that WIC includes---it's all politics and makes me mad! But it's a good and needed service for many women.

Anyways, the office is a great place for watching people. The waiting room is always filled with mothers and babies, most of whom are very cute. It's always chaotic and busy, and usually, we have to wait an hour before getting seen, even though we have an appointment.

Last week, there were teenagers from a group home signing up for the services. Some of these girls could be no older than 12. One girl must have been newly pregnant because she didn't have a baby with her, but she looked terrified. These poor girls looked so young. My heart broke for them for two reasons. Firstly, they are so young to have a baby. In my opinion, unplanned pregnancy is a tough situation no matter how old you are, but a 12 year-old just has it so much harder than even an 18 year-old. Secondly, these poor girls had no family support. They had no mother to show them love, despite her disappointment. I know that we all make mistakes and some are worst than others, but these girls need love and support more than anything right now---not being kicked out and living in a group home.

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