Posts Tagged With: charity

A Mother’s Day Challenge…

Mother’s Day is a wonderful thing. Although I never get what I ask for…one day of the girls not fighting; it’s still pretty sweet. I am blessed. The day I became a mother (for the fist and second time), I was fortunate to have excellent health care, during my pregnancy, and then at childbirth.

Oh, I had it good! Attentive nurses. Caring doctors. Clean sheets on the bed. A private room. Three meals a day. Two days stay in the hospital to rest. An epidural.

Because we are so blessed, we forget, or not know, that women around the world aren’t so fortunate when it comes to childbirth. We like to think that all women are treated with the same level of care and dignity we experience in the United States.

In Haiti, the Western Hemisphere’s poorest country, women have a very different experience when it comes to childbirth.

In Haiti, where maternal mortality takes the number one spot in the Western Hemisphere, millions of women are too poor to have access to basic maternity health care. They are too often left to go it alone. (Do you remember how scared and anxious you where when in labor?) And, those who can afford health care, well, the birthing conditions are unimaginable by American standards.

Haiti Birth

Source: Rage Against the Mini Van

Pictured above is a Port-Au-Prince hospital birthing room. Remember, these are the mothers who are fortunate enough to afford health care!

HERE ARE SOME SCARY STATS:

One out of 93 Haitian women die during childbirth.

73% deliver without trained health workers.

In the United States that ratio is 1 in 2,000 women die during childbirth. Less than 5% give birth without trained health workers. (Source: Heartline Ministries)

And, that doesn’t even go to say how many babies die after birth in these hospital buckets. If they don’t break their neck from the fall, they drown in bodily fluid collected in the buckets, or they are born premature and the family can’t afford prenatal care.

When did it become okay to treat women, mothers in this manner? It breaks my heart that women around the world are treated no better than an animal. They are herded into unsafe and unsanitary hospitals like cattle. Money is not available for but one doctor and a few midwives in attendance to care for a whole room of laboring women. Family members are not allowed in the birthing rooms for support, or even to help care for their loved one. They are alone. Need a Cesarian section? If you don’t have the money to pay for a better hospital then mom and baby most likely die.

mother teresa quote

Here’s my Mother’s Day challenge to you:

In honor of Mother’s Day help Mothers in need so that they may one day joyously celebrate their pregnancy and birth.

Will you join me?

May I suggest giving to one of these organizations below who are inspiring change for Haitian mothers and babies.

One small thing can make a big change in a mother and child’s life.

DONATE TODAY:

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Sources: Catherine Porter/The Toronto Star, Rage Against the Minivan, Livesay Family Blog, UNICEF

Categories: Faith, Life everyday | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

December Daily | One

Yesterday I had a bad day at work, a long commute, basically I got home in a bad mood. Then, I spotted a box for me on the kitchen counter. It was the ornaments I ordered from Mercy House for Christmas gifts (save one for me, of course). This made me happy.

This year I plan to purchase gifts that will benefit and help others too. Mercy House is my first such purchase.

The Mercy House provides safe maternity beds to young girls and women in Kenya. They provide pre-natal check ups and vitamins to these pregnant girls. They have partnered with local churches. They provide training so that when the girls leave the house they have skills to make a living. They provide counseling and a safe, nurturing environment for these young mothers. Proceeds from the purchase of each craft item goes into an account for the girls when they graduate from the program.

SOME COLD HARD FACTS: (Source: The Mercy House)

  • Annually, 21,000 women are hospitalized from having an illegal, unsafe abortion in Kenya. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
  • Abortion is a volatile topic in Kenya.
  • 13,000 Kenyan girls are kicked out of school for being pregnant. (Center for Reproductive Rights)
  • 25% of pregnant women in Kenya are HIV positive (ObGyn in Kenya)
  • Every 30 minutes, a woman is raped in Kenya. (Nairobi Women’s Hospital)
  • Mothers often force their daughters into trading sex for food in the slums (CNN)
  • More than 20,000 children are sex trafficked in Kenya (Human Trafficking)
  • 1500 women die in childbirth every day across Africa (WHO)

 

December Daily is an album project that documents the 25 days leading up to Christmas.” You can get full details at Ali Edwards. I have never been very good at keeping a daily record during December, but I like to document this very special season for my children’s future.

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She has built 27 houses…what have you done?

Girls who inspire. Click the link below to read this story. Then ask, “What have I done lately?”

American girl, just 12, builds 27 homes in Haiti.

Categories: Women who inspire | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

an als kind of birthday

My favorite picture of Ron before ALS changed his life

Ron McCormick turns 62 years old today. It’s a birthday to celebrate. He should eat lots of sugar-loaded cake. He should open presents from loved ones. He should kick up his heels, dance a little, maybe on a table. But he can’t because he was diagnosed with a fatal disease called ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis a.k.a. “Lou Gehrig’s Disease”).

ALS is a progressive neurodegenerative disease that affects nerve cells in the brain and the spinal cord. Motor neurons reach from the brain to the spinal cord and from the spinal cord to the muscles throughout the body. The progressive degeneration of the motor neurons in ALS eventually leads to death. When the motor neurons die, the ability of the brain to initiate and control muscle movement is lost. With voluntary muscle action progressively affected, patients in the later stages of the disease may become totally paralyzed.

Ron is now completely paralyzed. He has lived with the disease for almost 9 years. Typical life expectancy is 3-5 years after diagnosis. So he has lived far beyond the “norm”. But he is tired. He is weary.

As motor neurons degenerate, they can no longer send impulses to the muscle fibers that normally result in muscle movement. Early symptoms of ALS often include increasing muscle weakness, especially involving the arms and legs, speech, swallowing or breathing. When muscles no longer receive the messages from the motor neurons that they require to function, the muscles begin to atrophy (become smaller). Limbs begin to look “thinner” as muscle tissue atrophies.

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