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Building Bonny Babies—Missionary Welfare Work In Cairo, 1920–1950

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Chapter Summary

In the houses that were lucky to posess an open mud oven for baking they left the rubbish to dry on the roof and then used it as fuel, and Miss Liesching said that the pestilent fly was then brought one stage closer to the family food and baby. This chapter explores the encounters between British missionary women and Egyptian mothers that attended the Church Missionary Society (CMS) Infant Welfare Centres, and attempt to probe some of the experiences of both givers and recipients of this British missionary project of modernising and improving mothering and children's health in the Cairo slums. The welfare work went from being a mother and child clinic, in which the missionaries struggled to have women attend and apply their instructions of a modernising maternity, into a social institution that included programs established in cooperation and to some extent based on mutual needs.

Keywords:baby; Cairo; Church Missionary Society (CMS); Egypt; infant welfare centres; Liesching; modernising maternity



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