There was a great article written in the Huffington Post today by the Executive Director of the International Museum of Women Clare Winterton about how we as a society value mothers today. Ms. Winterton addresses some of the realities of motherhood in modern society from the stigma surrounding issues like infertility or postpartum depression to the larger social issue of equality between women and men in terms of balancing child rearing responsibilities with careers. The International Museum of Women just launched a new online exhibition on motherhood called MAMA and I urge you to visit their website and take a look.
On Saturday, January 7, Saving Mothers hosted a Birth Kit event at the Museum of Motherhood. Joy Rose, the museum’s founder, was gracious enough to share her beautiful space with us.
Much to our surprise, eight wonderful women along with their children volunteered their time to help us put together birth kits for our trip to Guatemala next week. Not only did they help us make the kits, but many volunteers brought the supplies for them. We exceeded our goal of 100 birthing kits and in just a couple of hours, our amazing volunteers helped us put together 107 kits!
Everyone was so enthusiastic and eager to help.
“Their desire to volunteer was truly inspiring,” said Leiann Lopez, Members and Donor Liaison for Saving Mothers. We appreciate the support of our volunteers and look forward with sharing the day’s photos with the women of Lago Atitlan. A special thanks to our volunteers: Lauren Abrams, Robin Templeton, Keya Kennedy, Janae Sheilds, Windi Mirkovic, Marilyn Suffet, Holly White, Amy Alpern, and their wonderful children.
Also, don’t forget to check the Global Wall: Saving Mothers exhibit at the Museum of Motherhood during the month of January.
As we come to the end of the year, I thought I’d share a link to our 2011 Newsletter! It’s been a busy year for Saving Mothers, what with field work in Guatemala and Liberia, our Mother’s Day campaign, our 2nd annual fundraising event, and numerous other projects to promote maternal health and wellness in the US and abroad. Thank you to all of you out there who have supported us and our mission over the past year- we can’t wait to continue our work in 2012!
Happy New Year from everyone at Saving Mothers!
Last week, Saving Mothers Medical Director Tara Shirazian spoke at the recent meeting of NYC Midwives, the local chapter of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Forty midwives and 13 midwifery students listened to Dr. Shirazian’s presentation on global health and Saving Mothers’ vital work in the developing world.
Dr. Shirazian focused in particular on the Saving Mothers Guatemala project, which has provided birthing kits and health education to over 50 traditional birth attendants in the Lago Atitlan region. It is now recruiting midwives for its new Midwifery Exchange Program. Dr. Shirazian’s talk elicited many questions and several ready volunteers for the midwifery program.
It’s always exciting to have one of our Saving Mothers teammates out spreading the word about our organization and about global health for women and children. Next up is the Multicultural Motherhood Conference at the Museum of Motherhood in NYC, where Saving Mothers officers Jes Oliveira and Samantha Smith will be showing video footage of the organization’s work and answering questions. If you’re going to be in NYC next Monday, we hope you check it out.
This month, Saving Mothers’ Student Chapter Director Samantha Smith won a seed grant for $500 from DoSomething.org for her Buttons for Birth Campaign to raise awareness about maternal health issues in Guatemala.
Here is the piece Do Something published on their website about Samantha’s project:
After volunteering with Saving Mothers, Samantha decided she wanted to start a project that educates new mothers in the US about the needs of women in Guatemala. Guatemala has one of the hightest maternal mortality rates in Latin America, as the resources and technology offered in the U.S. are unavailable to these women.
The Buttons for Birth Campaign is dedicated to women’s health, education and empowerment; it will provide new mothers in the US with a button along with an informational brochure and letter encouraging them to recycle their excess maternity supplies. These will be donated to Guatemalan women and ultimately provide them and their health care providers the tools they need to reduce maternal mortality rates while raising awareness in the U.S. Samantha’s Do Something Grant will fund the buttons for Birth campaign and further its work abroad through Saving Mothers.
Check out the Do Something website to read about other seed grant winners.
On Saturday, Nov. 12, the Afya Foundation is holding its annual sortathon to organize medical supplies to be shipped to Haiti and Africa. Afya is a nonprofit dedicated to collecting medical and humanitarian supplies for distribution in under-resourced countries. Since Afya’s founding in 2007, its done an amazing job providing essential aid to people all over the world. Saving Mothers is proud to support this organization!
The Afya Sortathon will take place in Yonkers, N.Y., at the Afya warehouse. Each participant must register online, so if you’re in the area, consider spending a few hours helping out. There will be food and entertainment provided for all volunteers.
Even if you’re not able to attend the sortathon, you can still make general donations to Afya.