Volunteer Program - Midwives For Haiti

Volunteer Program

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM

VOLUNTEER WITH US

Midwives for Haiti depends upon the time, skills and resources of volunteers to teach our students and support our programs. Please review the below information on our teaching program and list of clinical and non-clinical volunteer activities.

TEACHING PROGRAM

Midwives For Haiti’s education program to teach midwifery skills to Haitian nurses is the core of our programs.

Each week, volunteer midwives and other medical professionals visit Haiti and supplement the student’s skill development and learning. International volunteers donate their time and knowledge to assist our Haitian instructors with teaching and demonstrating midwifery skills and maternal and infant care. A typical day for a volunteer may include classroom teaching with a translator, travelling with the Mobile Prenatal Clinic to provide care to women living in rural areas, or working with students at the hospital as they care for laboring and delivering mothers.

Volunteers should expect to teach our students how to provide quality maternal care rather than providing the care themselves.

We have developed a culturally appropriate and challenging curriculum to teach and assess midwifery skills. Our student’s main text and primary reference, which has been translated into Creole, is “A Book for Midwives” by Susan Klein. For prenatal care, we use the guidelines from “Saving Mother’s Lives: What really works” by the White Ribbon Alliance for Motherhood. Our protocols for treatment are taken from Pregnancy, Childbirth, Postpartum, and Newborn Care: A guide for essential practice. The World Health Organization’s list of the required skills and abilities of a Skilled Birth Attendant is our guide for measuring student achievement. Advanced skills are assessed by ACNM’s Life Saving Skills handbooks.

Since 2006, Midwives for Haiti has graduated 124 Skilled Birth Attendants who are working throughout the country providing quality maternal care to their Haitian sisters. Each year, our graduates provided over 60,000 prenatal care visits and attended over 12,000 births at the three hospitals, five birth centers, and mobile clinics where they work in various regions of Haiti. These numbers grow exponentially each year as more graduates are added to the work force in Haiti. Our graduates have garnered a good reputation for delivering quality skilled care and have about a 92% employment rate.

Continuing Ed 2011

VOLUNTEER ACTIVITIES

Clinical Activities

Depending on where they are in the curriculum, you may be working with the students all week as preceptors or adjunct faculty. In-country staff will direct your schedule and activities for the week, which may include:

Skilled Birth Attendant Training Program

We have 29 students in Class 8. They started in mid-September of 2015 and will graduate in September 2016. They have differing levels of previous

Students of Class 8

Students of Class 8

academic and clinical experience. They are a lovely and heartfelt group of women and men, each unique and interesting, and who hope to improve the situation of maternal and infant health in their country.

Depending on what time of the year you come, you will either be assisting in the classroom or precepting students in the hospital as models of compassionate midwifery care.

We anticipate beginning Class 9 in mid-January of 2017.

Hospital St. Therese

We have six employed, full-time teachers and preceptors, however when the students are in clinical, we can always use additional preceptors. We need help in the delivery, postpartum, ante partum rooms, as well as in the hospital prenatal clinic, and on night shifts (which is in the delivery room with students). Volunteers are always expected to demonstrate the midwifery model of care.

Mobile Clinic

As well as classroom and clinical time with our students, we also have four mobile clinics each week, Monday-Thursday, which are run by four of our graduate SBAs. When you are serving in the Mobile Clinic, ask the midwives how you can help them – they already have a system. They will let you know how you can best help.

Matwòn Outreach

Matwòns are traditional birth attendants, who attend approximately 75% of births in Haiti, many of which happen at home. Our formal training program integrates them into the medical system using strategies proven to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.  You may be invited to observe Matwòn classes, which many volunteers have enjoyed in the past.

The Carrie Wortham Birth Center is located in Cabestor, a small and remote village that is a 3-hour drive from our headquarters in Hinche. The birth center is staffed 24/7 by two of our graduate SBAs and a local nurse. A physician provides primary care services to patients one day a week. We need help caring for patients in the clinic, attending postpartum home visits, organizing supplies, precepting students, training matròns, and modeling compassionate care. The Birth Center manager, Mariot, orients and oversees volunteer activities, and Randal translates. Any volunteers who spend time in Cabestor will spend an entire week there.
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Case Studies

Students have Case Studies every Friday.  It is a chance for teachers and preceptors with students at the end of the week to talk about cases they have had together at the hospital and catch up with any classes if needed. It is primarily intended as a space for having group conversations and you will be allowed to sit in on this.

Clean Delivery Kits

Every month, Midwives for Haiti supplies over 150 Clean Delivery Kits (CDKs) to Traditional Birth Attendants (matwòns in Haitian Creole) who participate in our Matwòn Outreach Program. CDK’s contain essential items for conducting clean deliveries and we may ask volunteers for their assistance with assembling kits.

Donations and Inventory

Many of the items we need on a daily basis for our program to function are difficult to access in Haiti and we rely on volunteers to transport donations from the US to ensure we have a sufficient supply. In Haiti, volunteers also assist with taking inventory and organizing medical supplies at Hospital Ste. Therese and our office in Hinche.

Social Media

We have strict photography, videography, and social media policies in place to protect the privacy and dignity of our patients. Upon arrival in country, all volunteers will sign a behavioral contract that outlines these policies.

We are always in need of volunteers with relevant experience who can collect stories and media material to help us tell our story.  Periodically, we may assign a volunteer with communication skills to conduct an interview and write an article or sponsorship update in support of our programs.

Research and Evaluation

Our midwives have made a huge impact in the lives of many Haitians in the Central Plateau and throughout Haiti.  We are currently working to evaluate our services and the impact they have on the communities in which we work.  Volunteers with relevant skills and background may be asked to conduct focus groups, needs assessments, and collect and enter data that is critical to measuring the quality of our programs.


Optional Activities

Though not a program activity, while in Hinche, many volunteers have enjoyed the following:

Church

We urge you to attend somewhere on Sunday, simply to have a Haiti experience. Equally important, your presence (which is noticed) helps us build goodwill in our community. There are several denominations of churches.

Bassin Zim

Bassin Zim is a beautiful spring-fed 20-meter waterfall in the heart of the Central Plateau, located about 45 minutes from Hinche.  Volunteers often like to swim and hike here during their stay and we can provide transportation. There is a small entrance fee.

Azil Feeding Center

Run by the Sisters of Charity, this feeding center is a short drive from the MFH house, and a good hour-long project. The center exists to provide nourishment and basic medical care to starving and ill-nourished children in the area. Small children live at the feeding center for as long as they need to gain healthy weight. Volunteers here can help with the feedings, hold babies, or play games with the toddlers.

Maison Fortune Orphanage 

Veteran volunteers are well acquainted with this site, as it served as our previous housing location for midwife volunteers.  The orphanage is home to over 200 boys and 60 girls, between the ages of 4-27. You can contribute to their mission by visiting the children and teaching an English lesson, painting nails, teaching a game, or donating small gifts of summer clothes, toiletries, toys, barrettes, small jewelry, and games.

Flower of Hope Outreach Elementary School

The Flower of Hope School began as a grass roots effort by one of our staff members, Emmanuel Bastia, with the support of our midwives.  The school provides primary school education for the children in the Clory area and is very open to visitors and partnerships.

Hinche Moto Tour

For volunteers who are new to Hinche, we have a translator who offers a tour of the city of Hinche by motorcycle through the market, river, downtown plaza, and other major points of interest.

Local Artisan Sellers

Every Thursday, vendors set out their art outside the gate of the Midwives for Haiti house.  You are more than welcome to take a look at their crafts and shop around with them.

Creole Lessons

Our good friend and Creole teacher, Kelby Noel, encourages volunteers to take lessons from him for $5 a lesson. He is typically available in the evenings.  His lessons are quite good and you will learn a lot from him.

QUESTIONS? EMAIL US AT VOLUNTEER@MIDWIVESFORHAITI.ORG