When I decided to start World Childless Week my biggest fears were that no one would join in, that I would be a one man band that had created a failure. My fears were soon squashed as people volunteered to share their words and their stories.
Whilst some people were confident to publicly share their stories the majority were nervous to step out of their comfort zone and many chose to remain anonymous. The stories where people shared the reasons why they were childless were emotive. Black and white facts are hard to ignore when they are mixed with the emotional and physical pain that is attached to someone’s body, mind and heart.
By stepping out of our comfort zone we are reaching out to people who recognise and relate to what we have been through. We are helping to raise awareness of situations, medical problems and a myriad of other reasons as to why we remain childless. We are reaching not only the childless but also parents and the medical professionals. Our audience is limitless.
In the same way that we can be scared to post our story, our audience may be scared to make a comment or like a post because they also want to remain hidden. They may not want to go public or admit their situation to themselves, to their family, to their friends or work colleagues. We all have to protect ourselves and only step forwards when it is right for us.
Because the audience is not fully represented by the likes and comments against a post the people who shared their stories could not see how much awareness they were raising. How many people their words reached and how important their message was.
So here are some facts and figure from World Childless Week 2017 that show how our stories make a difference.
1 Facebook page
6 weeks to organise
96 posts, blogs, posters and videos
14,801 people read the Facts & Figures stories
123,531 people viewed the full week’s articles
1.2 million people Tweeted #worldchildlessweek
Those figures always make me smile and bring tears to my eyes. I am still overwhelmed that one little idea created so much attention. I am sad that there is a need for World Childless Week but I am proud to be part of a community that wants to raise awareness whilst supporting each other.
There were bloggers around the world who posted independently and I have no idea how many people they reached as well. We did this over 7 days. We did this together. I hope that many if not all of you who participated last year will come forward to join in again this year.
I had hoped to reach a few hundred people and dreamt of reaching a couple thousand. Thank to all of you, my one man band turned into a full orchestra with a choir thrown in for good measure.
When you #flipthescript of black and white figures to include the colour of your pain #youmakeadifference
Founder of World Childless Week