It must have been an interesting sight to anyone passing by. Four Haitians and four Americans were gathered under the shade of the gazebo. Eight women building the foundation on which to share knowledge, wisdom, and life experiences for the purpose of helping pregnant and nursing mothers.
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Liz Clarke: Liz is the Program Coordinator for Premye Mil Jou (First 1,000 Days), a program that focuses on the physical and spiritual health of a child and his mother during the first one thousand days of the child’s life.
Youseline: Youseline is a teacher at a secondary school in a neighboring town. Her bilingual abilities helped to us to cross the language barrier.
Madame Bodo: Ma’Bodo is a midwife in our zone of Sylvain. She happens to be the only midwife in Sylvain but is also trained and very well respected in the greater Sylvain area. She received training from the local hospital nearly twenty years ago but has been practicing closer to fifty years, saying she started delivering babies at the age of 14. She attributes her passion to God as a talent He gave her. Fun fact: as the only midwife in the area, she has the responsibility of cutting the umbilical chord of every baby born in Sylvain.
Lerosane: Lerosane is our program nurse who has worked with Thrive for Five for nearly two years. She has proven her ability to combine professional education with practical experience. One such time, Lerosane saved a baby who was dying of jaundice by exposing it to the sunlight even after the doctors had given up.
Madame Kalot: Ma’Kalot is a professional mom. We say that as she has given birth to eight healthy boys without the help of a midwife or doctor. Her eighth child was born just two weeks prior to this meeting. He was born at the local market where Ma’Kalot works selling clothes.
Christi Gabhart: Christi is an Operations Manager at the Many Hands campus in Sylvain, Haiti. She directed the meeting explaining that every woman there had different experiences, through which we could learn from each other.
Jennifer Hansel: Jennifer is Christi’s daughter and another professional mom who is interested in passing on her experience to other mothers. Her desire is to break cultural boundaries and stereotypes, encouraging moms everywhere to be the best that they can be. As she was visiting for the week, we shared some interesting discussion about the differences of raising children in Haiti verses in the States. As well, Jennifer shared a baby wrap with Ma’Kalot, who was very excited about the opportunity to carry her baby hands-free!
Micah Aurand: Micah (not pictured) has recently joined the Many Hands team in Haiti. Excited to learn, she documented the meeting for future reference.
Please keep these women in your prayers as they work to learn from one another. With God’s help they can transcend language and cultural barriers to create a better future for the families of Pignon.