Frequently Asked Questions - Midwives For Haiti

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Answers to some of our most common questions about getting involved with Midwives For Haiti.

DONATION QUESTIONS

Is my donation secure? Tax deductible?


We respect and value every one of our supporters. To ensure your online donation and personal information are safe and protected, we use encryption technology and we never share or sell your information with anyone. Feel free to read our Privacy Statement.

As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit in the U.S. Our Tax ID is 27-2368581.

Your donations are 100% tax deductible in the U.S. You will receive an donation receipt for tax purposes.

Volunteer fees for U.S. citizens are also tax-deductible.

Will I receive a donation receipt?


Once your online donation is processed, you will receive a receipt via email. This is the receipt that you will need for tax purposes, so be sure to print it or flag it in your email for easy reference later.

For recurring donations, you will receive a monthly email receipt.

For donations sent by check, we will mail you a tax receipt.

 

How much of my donation goes directly to your programs?


When you pay by credit card, a small 2.6% fee is taken by gateway processor. Therefore, we receive 97.5% of your donation and put 100% of that towards the program specified.

If you’d like to ensure that we get 100% of your original donation, you can add 2.6% to your gift amount.

For gifts by check, 100% goes directly to your specified program as their is no processing fee.

What will my donation go towards?


You can make a note on the donation form if you’d like your donation to go to a particular program. Otherwise, we will put it towards wherever it is most needed. Your donations literally save lives and no dollar is ever wasted.

How can I fundraise for you?


We appreciate all fundraising efforts! Check out our crowdfunding platform EveryDayHero and our Fundraising Kit, and drop us a line at info@midwivesforhaiti.org to receive materials and support.

Can I learn more about your funding?


Yes! We keep our overhead low so that we can use your money where it is needed most- saving the lives of Haitian mothers and their babies. Head over to Our Funding page to learn more.

What about in-kind donations?


Absolutely, we can accept and appreciate in-kind donations. Please contact info@midwivesforhaiti.org if you have any supplies, airline miles, equipment, or any other items you’d like to donate.

VOLUNTEER QUESTIONS

What are the costs?


A trip is a financial investment. A program fee of $750 for one week and $450 for each additional week is required. This covers food, lodging, ground transportation in Haiti, and translators. For personal spending money, you should plan to bring $75-$100 per week.  Volunteers are responsible for their own airfare to Port-Au-Prince.

*Please note that for U.S. citizens, your program fees are tax-deductible.

Why do I have to pay to volunteer?


Like any travel you might do, there are expenses incurred. We don’t make any money from your program fees. These fees are what keep our headquarters running and available to host volunteers.  Your fees pay for: reliable transportation and gas, the salaries of our amazing translators, the food you will eat and the salaries of lovely people who prepare it, the dozens of staff who manage our daily operations and who clean and ensure the comfort and safety of our volunteers.

Can I receive contributions for my trip?


Yes! Many volunteers fundraise the cost of their trip. See our Fundraising Kit for ideas.

If the money raised is sent directly to Midwives For Haiti, please ensure that a note on the check or online donation is to support your travel. Only donors who send the money directly to us can receive a tax receipt.

Donations given in your name may go toward offsetting your program fee, or you may be reimbursed for additional expenses that are documented with a receipt.

Will I be safe?


Lodging is provided in the Midwives For Haiti house, which is monitored by security. You will have a translator with you throughout the day. We do recommend, as would be true in many places in the U.S., that you not venture out alone, that you leave your valuables at home, and that you conduct yourself with reasonable awareness of your surroundings.

Where will I sleep?


In Hinche, volunteers stay in our Midwives For Haiti house, a five-minute motorcycle ride from Ste. Therese Hospital. Groups of volunteers will stay in one large volunteer room, which comes with bunk beds, sheets, towels, and mosquito nets. Some rooms have en-suite bathrooms and for other rooms, the bathroom is across the hall.

At our birth center in Cabestor, the shared bedroom accommodations (with en-suite bathroom) are similar and situated on the second floor, above the maternity room.

Can I drink the water?


There is safe water at both the MFH house and birth center. You should bring a water bottle so that you can fill up each morning and have water with you. You may not have access to potable water once you leave our house.

Are there any creature comforts?


There are some creature comforts but probably not anything close to what you are used to! Showers are cold and at times running water is limited. There is no air conditioning.  There are also flushing toilets at the house.

What supplies should I bring?


You will often use your own supplies throughout the week. In addition to what you need to practice, there are a number of supply needs in Hinche towards which volunteers can contribute. Please see our Supply List for more details.

What is the best way to communicate with my family while I am in Haiti?


The best way to communicate with family is either through the Internet or with an international calling plan.  AT&T cell service is very good in Haiti, so is Verizon with an international card.  Wireless Internet is also available throughout the house, and is fairly strong, though the service is spotty at times.  We have skype service here as well.

How can my family reach me in an emergency?


If your family needs to reach you, they can call the office phone in Hinche. Unless you have phone service in Haiti, this is the best way. We have both a US and a Haiti number that will reach in-country staff.  Use 434-602-2634 for calls from the US and 509-4812-5093 for calls from Haiti.

What are typical travel dates and times?


We send volunteers to Haiti year round. We recommend that you book your trip at least two months in advance as space at our guesthouse fills quickly.

We need you to arrive in Haiti on a Saturday by 1pm and leave Haiti no earlier than Saturday at 1pm, unless you make other arrangements with us. Traveling on another day may cause you to incur greater ground transportation costs in Haiti.

We accept both short-term and long-term volunteers.  We recommend that new volunteers stay for two weeks.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

What is Saj Fanm Pou Ayiti?


Midwives For Haiti in Haitian Creole.

Are you a religious affiliated organization?


No, we are a secular organization.

Why Haiti?


Haiti suffers from severe poverty, minimal infrastructure, and brain drain, a phenomenon by which much of a country’s highly skilled personnel moves to other countries.

As a result, Haiti’s maternal health workforce meets less than 10% of the need and the maternal mortality ratio is higher than any other country in the Western Hemisphere. Midwives For Haiti addresses this through their two-pronged approach:

Why skilled birth attendants?

Haiti has a severe shortage of skilled birth attendants and too many mothers and babies die from entirely preventable causes. Training skilled health workers and increasing capacity within the country creates sustainable change and far more ripples than simply proving temporary medical care.
“Skilled attendance at all births is considered to be the single most critical intervention for ensuring safe motherhood.” -UNFPA
Learn more here.

Why are you called Midwives For Haiti if you're training skilled birth attendants?


We were founded by a midwife and many of our volunteers are midwives.

Skilled birth attendant is a term to designate the level of nursing and obstetric training a health worker has received. Our students all have 2 or 4 year nursing degrees to start and, upon graduation of our 12-month program based on WHO standards, they receive a Certificate in Essential Obstetrics. Our graduates can also be called auxiliary-midwives.

We are applying for national recognition of our graduates as Auxiliary Nurse Midwives.

How long has Midwives For Haiti been around?


Our Founder, Nadene Brunk, CNM, first traveled to Haiti in 2003 and witnessed the need for increasing access to skilled birth attendants. Soon after, she gathered a group of midwives and medical volunteers, and upon the request of a Haitian community leader, began teaching midwifery skills to the first class of Haitian nurses.

We became a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization in 2006. Read more of our story here.

How do you measure your progress?


Midwives For Haiti is committed to providing high quality programming, and so it is of utmost importance to measure the effect of our work. A key indicator of maternal and infant health in any country is the maternal mortality ratio (MMR) and infant mortality ratio (IMR). However, changes in Haiti’s maternal and infant mortality are slow and gradual, and Midwives For Haiti is not equipped to measure these alone.

Therefore, our goal is to measure an increase in access to quality care. In doing this, we ensure that 1) the care provided is quality and 2) that we are increasing access to it. We have staff dedicated to collecting and analyzing our data to this effect. By monitoring our programs closely, if any changes are required to meet our goals, we can pivot quickly to address the needs of the community.

By doing this, we hope to see an eventual decrease in MMR and IMR.

What is your association with Every Mother Counts?


Every Mother Counts is a grantor and advocate. Since 2013, they have funded our education program: paying for our teachers, supplies, and ensuring that our students can study for free.

In 2015, Every Mother Counts helped us build our very first rural birth center in Cabestor, Haiti. It is through their financial support that we were able to transform a decaying structure into a fully functioning birth center and safe space for women to give birth.

We are incredibly grateful to the continued partnership with Every Mother Counts and the other important grantors and foundations whose financial support and friendship ensure our success.

PARTNER QUESTIONS

My organization is interested in hiring your graduates.


Awesome! Please email icc@midwivesforhaiti.org to get the process started.

I'm interested in partnering. Now what?


Great! Shoot us an email at info@midwivesforhaiti.org or give us a call at 804.662.6060 x4105.

Do you accept corporate partners?


Yes, corporate partnership is great way for a company to gain brand awareness and recognition and give back to mothers and babies in need.  We have a strong online community that appreciates like minded product and service recommendations. In the past, we’ve had relationships with yoga merchandise brands, fitness classes, women’s health groups, online learning opportunities, and maternity and baby clothing stores.  Get in touch with us at info@midwivesforhaiti.org to discuss your ideas.

Can I contribute to your overhead?


Yes! It costs money to run our programs efficiently and effectively in order to achieve the greatest impact. We very much appreciate any monetary or in-kind donations to support our overhead. Email info@midwivesforhaiti.org and head over to Our Funding to learn more about how we run Midwives For Haiti and the difference your donations make.