Rosina Hartley — The Philanthropy Award (Runner up) — Doula Training Scholarship Winner September 2022


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Written by Rosina Hartley


Rosina Hartley – The Philanthropy Award (Runner Up) Doula Training Scholarship Winner September 2022


My name is Rosina, and I live in the warmest place in New Zealand – a teeny city called Whangarei. I grew up as the youngest of three, raised by my champion of a single mother who battled work & study all the while raising myself and my two older brothers. I have had somewhat of a rollercoaster life – leaving school at seventeen to join a spiritual community which led me to travel all over New Zealand as well as overseas including France and India. I was married twice within this spiritual institution, and although I experienced some of the most profound and beautiful experiences of my life in part of that movement, I also experienced emotional, physical and organizational abuse which led me back to New Zealand at fifteen weeks pregnant to birth my baby alone. I have now settled into a wonderful, all-inclusive and accepting community here with my now almost three year old daughter and we are thriving!

I want to train with bebo mia because of the flexibility, accessibility, the emphasis on community and the values around holistic advocacy, anti-oppressive and anti-racist standards. As a lone parent, there aren’t many options for online training that are suitable with my schedule, and the scholarship is a realistic way for me to pursue something I feel deeply about and at the same time make sure that my daughter is receiving everything that she needs. I love the community-based approach (I strongly believe in the practice of personalism!) and that bebo mia see the importance of a safe space for marginalized communities. It is really important for me to commit my time to an organization that aligns with my own values, and I see bebo mia as a perfect fit. If it’s not bebo mia, it’s nobody.

I have always been fascinated about birth. I have always seen it as a natural and beautiful thing, and since puberty struck, I had a longing to be a mother. That nurturing nature is so strong within me that I am utterly convinced it is all I am made for. Nurturing others. After having an incredibly blissful home birth despite a difficult early pregnancy and the emotional trauma from becoming a single mother while my baby was still the size of a bean, I feel an intense yearning to support people to have the birth that they deserve. Many others don’t get the birth that I did, and I want to provide an opportunity for them to do so. I want to help others to be confident about birth despite the chaos that may be happening around them. I want to be the support that they may lack. Despite the blissfulness of my home birth and my excitement in bringing a baby into the world, I experienced a lack of proper care and respect during my postpartum period which I am passionate about turning into an opportunity for others to not have to endure what I did. There’s a quote I try to live by that reads “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” I want to make a positive change in the birthing world. I can’t imagine a life without caring for others, and doing so in this way would be the ultimate, priceless value to the time I have left on this earth.

I really want to practice primarily as a doula within a community service role for Philanthropy. I have a personal interest in the economic system of a gift economy, so plan on offering my services on a koha (a gift or donation) based approach in my area, where there is high marginalization and lack of wealth. I don’t like that finances can get in the way of so many peoples dreams and desires for better things. I believe that when people pay for something, they generally value it more, but it doesn’t always have to be money. Personal evaluation of circumstances is also important to me, so if people are more comfortable to pay, I will charge them based on their individual situation. Whatever it is, it is a loving exchange which gives people in my community a stress-free option that they can afford. Everybody has something to offer!

I would love to focus on birth and postpartum doula support and my birthing philosophy is very holistic based, so the business plan I am putting together centers around values such as:

  • Pregnancy and birth are natural processes rather than a condition that needs to be treated.
  • I advocate breastfeeding and support mothers to enhance themselves and their baby’s health through the incredible benefits of breastmilk.
  • I provide evidence-based information that encourages holistic approaches and an attitude of personal accountability towards family & community health
  • I wish to enhance the spiritual, emotional, physical, and cultural experience of birthing families through loving support in pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood.

 I plan on running free workshops, presentations and classes within my community being a Philanthropy runner up, for those who wish to know more about the birthing process, as well as have a dedicated space that once a week, new parents and their babies can gather for support and education.

I have never attended a birth before, so I am super excited (and incredibly nervous) to be starting this journey with Philanthropy/ Doula Training Scholarship. I never thought I would have the confidence to take up a course like this, and although I still suffer (sometimes greatly) from anxiety, I have grown so much over the last few years from my own empowering birth experience and personal life experiences that I am certain with the help and support that bebo mia offers, I am well on my way to gaining the confidence I need to stand up, support and advocate for my client’s desires.

Thank you for reading this far and wish me luck on my journey! 

Much love,

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