Ambassadors - Midwives For Haiti

Ambassadors

AMBASSADORS

Ambassadors have committed to help us fight maternal and infant mortality in Haiti and will stop at seemingly nothing so that we may continue this work. Many have volunteered with us but others have not. All have given their time and resources so generously to increase awareness in their communities- and have raised over $3000– that we humbly salute them as Ambassadors to Midwives For Haiti.

Cheryl Hanna-Truscott


Cheryl Hanna-Truscott 
(pictured above with MFH translator, Bengie Seme) has been a longtime midwife volunteer and photographer for Midwives For Haiti. Many of the images we use on our website, communications, and marketing materials are hers. Her work has appeared in various publications and won several awards. We are incredibly grateful for her talent and generosity.  Cheryl says: “As a former midwife and current photographer, I am deeply honored to share images and stories generated within the Midwives for Haiti community. Through the power of story telling, the impersonal becomes authentic, connections are made, empathy is generated.

Two seemingly disparate thoughts come to mind when I think about how I became involved with Midwives for Haiti. One was that during my mid-twenties, I decided I would someday study traditional midwifery somewhere in the Caribbean. The other was when I myself was a pregnant midwife and had spent a long and difficult night with two laboring women, both in need of obstetrical intervention. Without intervention, these women and their babies would have faced severe morbidity or even death – and I was tearfully and profoundly grateful that I was a midwife in this century with access to life-saving technology.

Fast-forward thirty to forty years. I realized AFTER returning from my first trip to Haiti in 2011 that Haiti is, in fact, a Caribbean country AND that I had met with Traditional Birth Attendants (matrons) from a village near Hinche, eager to share their stories, learn new skills, and make connections with Midwives for Haiti. More importantly, I am thankful that skills taught to both matrons and Skilled Birth Attendants by Midwives for Haiti HAVE already saved countless lives of mothers and babies – and that women and families reached through this empowering organization can hope for continued access to quality maternity care.” See more of Cheryl’s work.

Nuranisa Rae + Laura Aparicio

Nurse and student midwife at NYU, Nuranisa Rae (pictured, right) volunteered with us in Haiti this year. Inspired by her experience and the Haitian women she worked with, she returned to New York and joined forces with friend and nurse educator, Laura Aparicio (left). The two began brainstorming events that would engage their community about global maternal health and the work of Midwives For Haiti. Nuranisa says, “I’ve always been inspired to do volunteer work but have always thought it was as equally important to then share my experience and the important issues.” Knowing that many people want to help but often lack the motivation to find causes or organize events, this duo has already taken up the task to spread the word on maternal health in Haiti through several events.
In April, they will be hosting an event at a local bar. Friends will bartend, donated art will be available for purchase in a silent auction, and a DJ is volunteering his services. A good time will surely be had by all and this team expects to raise about $7,000 at this event. They also have several other activites planned, including “Yoga In the Park” and volleyball tournaments, with a portion of the proceeds supporting our work.

Moksha Yoga

Moksha Yoga, LLC, based in Richmond, VA has been an advocate of Midwives For Haiti for several years and donates a portion of each class fee to the moms and babies of Haiti.  We are very grateful to have them as an Ambassador!
Prenatal classes are sequenced to open and prepare the body for birth as well as nurture confidence during this special time of life.  Mommy & Baby yoga focuses on bringing energy and strength back to the areas most effected by birth and encourage bonding with your new love. No prior yoga experience required. For more information on these classes, check out Moksha Yoga’s Meet Up Page or email prenatalyoga@midwivesforhaiti.org.

Our Volunteers

Truth be told, our volunteers are Ambassadors to Midwives for Haiti each time they spend a week in Hinche!  Most volunteers are touched by their experience and return home as advocates for our work in the Central Plateau.  Some veteran volunteers go the extra mile in this advocacy and fundraising. This Ambassador participated in the $3,000 Challenge during our spring fundriaser for the Mobile Prental Clinic and prefers to remain unnamed, but travels yearly to spend a week with the eager students and hardworking people of Haiti.
“The first year I volunteered, Mobile Prenatal Clinics went to 6 or 8 villages,” she says, “and Hospital Ste. Therese had no running water or electricity for hours per day.  With each return visit, I see huge improvements – not only in quality of life (there is now paved roads and electric power to Hinche!), but also in the quality and capability of the students and curriculum.  In addition to saving mothers, babies and families, Midwives for Haiti has positively impacted numerous layers of social and economic systems in Hinche.  I chose Midwives for Haiti as my medical volunteer organization because they were teaching Haitians how to care for Haitians – not just provide a few weeks of care.  MFH has overwhelmingly exceeded my expectations, and I keep returning!  Oh! And I just LOVE the bananas!”

Global Health Fellows at Norfolk Academy

 The Global Health Fellows at Norfolk Academy have supported the work of Midwives for Haiti since 2012. The Global Health Fellows, after undergoing a rigorous and competitive admissions process in their eighth grade year, commit to a four-year, non-graded, non-credit bearing experiential program that offers a dual track of global health study and leadership development that encourages increasing depth of knowledge, self-awareness, and self and group-directed work. The Fellows study global health interventions, particularly in resource-limited settings, via case study analysis, in-country experience, independent research, international peer collaboration, and hopefully in the future, pre-professional internships. It was in Haiti that our Fellows first really connected with the worldwide issue of maternal and child health and were inspired by the incredible work and effort Midwives for Haiti is doing to educate and empower Haitian men and women to improve the health of their communities, creating lasting change in their lives and the lives of the mothers and children for whom they care.

The Global Health Fellows recently hosted a Mother’s Day Brunch and Speaker Event on Sunday, May 11 (Mother’s Day), 2014 to raise awareness and funds for Midwives for Haiti. They also made and sold Mother’s Day cards in the weeks leading up to the event. In total, they raised $4,015.56! They look forward to continuing to visit the MFH house in Hinche, work with and learn from the midwives and program managers, and support such a worthwhile cause in the years to come.

 

WANT TO BECOME AN AMBASSADOR? EMAIL US AT SARONSON@MIDWIVESFORHAITI.ORG