I LOVE BABIES!  Each one of them is a “fresh start.”  A new life with new potential. It’s amazing to look at a healthy baby and imagine that he or she will be a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an astronaut, or maybe even president

But, being pregnant in Haiti is risky business – especially in rural Haiti where access to maternal care is minimal or non-existent. According to UNICEF, more women die in Haiti before, during or after childbirth than anywhere else in the Western Hemisphere.  Why?  It’s heartbreakingly simple: the majority of Haitian women do not have to access to or cannot afford maternal health options.  Often, women walk for hours … in labor … to find help.  For some with undiagnosed complications, it’s too late.

I’ve witnessed a birth in Haiti, but not in a modern hospital.  It was on the dusty, concrete floor of an empty schoolroom.  I was so frightened that something would go wrong.  Thankfully, it didn’t.  Mom and baby were perfect.  It could have been much different.

Pictured: Mariola Cirus – expecting her first child in January

Imagine being 19 years old and facing giving birth in Haiti.  Mariola Cius lives in Williamson expecting her first child.  Her baby’s father is a mason and provides for the family, but there are no extras to travel far away to a clinic for prenatal care for Mariola.  Mariola knows the statistics.  She is afraid of what could happen to her and her baby.

It is not right that women are forced to give birth alone on a dirt floor.  And, if they have complications – such as hypertension that can lead to pre-eclampsia – the risk is even higher.

This giving season we are asking you to join us to begin a Maternal Health Program:

Healthy Mothers + Healthy Babies

at our newly constructed medical center in Williamson, Haiti.

Please don’t let Mariola become another statistic because of a lack of local options.
Your gift of $50; $100; $500 or whatever gift you choose will help save lives of moms and babies.

Thank you for caring!

Patricia Mortensen
VP/Admin Director

PS – We are counting on your help for Healthy Mothers/Healthy Babies!