What is “Midwives for Haiti?”
Midwives for Haiti is a program based in Hinche, Haiti that desires to provide safe pregnancy and childbirth for mothers and babies of Haiti. Their mission is to increase access to skilled maternity care. This program provides education and produces midwives that then go into the community to provide skilled care with the education and experience that they have received. My role will be to attend births with these midwives and those in training in order to both provide my assistance and skills, and to educate.
“We strive to be in GENUINE PARTNERSHIP with those who share our vision. We deliver EDUCATION that enables critical thinking and competent autonomous practice. We embody the COMPASSIONATE SERVICE that is an essential characteristic of quality healthcare. We act with the BELIEF that change can occur, one person at a time, and through the efforts of small groups who believe it can. We practice PRAGMATIC SOLIDARITY by striving to find culturally and resource appropriate solutions to community identified problems by means of respectful communication with the communities we serve” -Midwives for Haiti.
Why am I going?:
In January, I worked through a deep conviction that as a white, middle class, cisgendered, educated American, I am given a number of privileges. I need to be using this platform for progress, and for positive change. I made a moral personal commitment to have difficult conversations, face oppression, and advocate for the underserved. I met another labor and delivery nurse in February, when we wrote letters to state and government officials sharing our concerns for how we would like to be represented. I found that a number of the letters I wrote were around access, affordability, and rights to healthcare. The nurse I met is on the board for a program that organizes nurses who desire to get involved with humanitarian work. Over the last month I have been debating if I should join the team to volunteer with the Midwives for Haiti clinic, which led me to that ultimate conviction of sharing my gifts with others, and my deep passion that all humans should have safe and affordable access to healthcare. In a setting of third world labor and delivery where “preventative” measures are not easily accessible, I hope to donate my time in providing the safest care possible, a kind and willing spirit of servitude, and a heart on the line waiting to be filled with experiences and firsthand stories that will continue to fuel my convictions.
What makes me most nervous?
-Taking two weeks away from orientation at my new labor and delivery position.
-Raising funds! It’s always so hard for me to ask for financial support.
-Being outside of my comfort zone in very rural birth centers in Haiti, where Zika is present and running water may not be.
-Facing the raw poverty.
What makes me most excited?
-Getting to meet and work with a new team, share experiences, and learn.
-Getting to know the women in the community.
-Travel! Being in a new place, surrounded with new sights and sounds and tastes and music.
Who should support me?
If you are someone who can read my personal mission statement or the description of the clinic and feel empowered, mobilized, motivated, or interested.
If you are someone who is financially able to donate to a cause and feel good about it, not obligated.
Family and friends who know my passion, support my choices, and encourage the donation of my time and skills.
Thank you, thank you for hearing my story! I will be looking forward to sharing with you the outcomes of my trip to Hinche, Haiti, hearing your questions, and continuing my efforts of bringing healthcare to all humans.
- Candace Holloway
- Beth Divakaran
- Renee Spoolstra
- Petrouschka Hartkamp Timoteo
- Jenny Recotta
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