Food for My Child

TTT-Big-agribusiness Turning the Tables on the Food Crisis!

The US Food Sovereignty Alliance launched on World Food Day 2010. Since October, representatives from member organizations have been dialoguing with grassroots organizations, faith groups and coalitions — primarily in the United States but linked to the global movement for food sovereignty — to create an alliance for positive change. The Presbyterian Hunger Program has been an active member since the groups came together as the US Food Crisis Working Group, which formed in reaction to the 2008 global food crisis. PHP has been collaborating as the ad-hoc coalition formalizes and invites groups to join together to remake sustainable food economies everywhere so they serve people, both consumers and producers. Theologians from around the world were invited to reflect on the need to turn the tables on an often unjust food system and one of them, Sofia Oreland, despite the fact that she was due with her second child, responded. Here is her reflection…

Food for My Child

By Sofia Oreland
Sweden Theologian and Policy Advisor, Education and Mobilization, Church of Sweden

I gave birth to a child, Baby Brother (Lillebror, the name his sister gave him). Everything seemed fine. But when Baby Brother was only eight hours old doctors discovered he had several life-threatening heart problems. We were given emergency transport to the Swedish hospital that performs pediatric heart surgery. Once in his unit, Baby Brother shared an observation room with three others, with staff persons continuously supervising their young patients. Baby Brother’s surgery was postponed twice, the first time due on an onset of sepsis, the second time because the ICU was full. We spent two weeks, anxiously waiting and watching him.

Baby Brother was too tired to nurse, partly due to the heart problems, partly due to the strong life-sustaining medication. But every day I gave him the breast, hoping that this was the day he would have the strength to eat. After a couple of courageous attempts he always fell asleep. He was too tired. This was painful to watch. But then one day it happened: he was able to eat one whole meal! It was a fantastic feeling of liberation, relief. I was all smiles and when I looked up I discovered two African women, at the bedside of an older boy, watching me with Baby Brother in my arms. They saw my joy, our eyes met, and there, below their veils, their faces broke into big smiles as well. It was evident that they understood, that they were able to share my emotion and deep joy.