“…I will meditate on all your mighty deeds.” Psalm77:12b
We are amazed at what God has done over the past 8 weeks, since signing our partnership agreement with Brook Hills Development Organization, who are now running their own maternal health/ doula program modeled after our pilot program and with the assistance of a DHI grant. We’d love to share with you some of the highlights:
– The enrollment of 20 women in the slum area of Korah in BHDO’s newly developed doula care program. (This is the same catchment area where Delivering Hope ran our pilot program during 2015 and 2016. The maternal health needs in this area are GREAT).
– 7 out of these 20 pregnant or newly delivered mothers are fully sponsored through BHDO, meaning that in addition to receiving continual doula care during the ante and postnatal period, they also receive monthly allotments of food, assistance with medical costs, and acceptance into an income generating training project. These women are the poorest of the poor, some of whom were homeless prior to their enrolment, with barely anything to eat. Good nutrition is vital for the development of a healthy baby so knowing these women have nutritious teff and other foods to eat is MIGHTY indeed.
– 13 babies have been born since the program began. BHDO helped two of these infants received higher level care from hospitals. Both babies are now doing well. We can’t underestimate the importance of postpartum doula care as doula’s are able to detect and refer for swift management of health problems early on.
– 2 mothers in the program became pregnant after being raped on the street. Despite such hardship, they express gratitude to find acceptance, love, and support from the BHDO staff and a church community.
– A team from the United States had the privilege of visiting mothers in the doula program. They loved being able to pray for the mothers – one of whom came to know Jesus through the visit. The visitors were given the honor of naming two of the newly delivered babies – Isaak (Smile) and Desta (Joy).
– The partnership between BHDO and a local church is strong; Bible studies have formed, the pastor of the church accompanies their doula for visits 3 times a week to pray for mothers, the church has provided meeting space for 2 CBE classes/trainings and church members are becoming active in ministering to pregnant mothers.
– Having important, respected men in the community come alongside the doula program and advocate and support pregnant women is vital to the community’s embracing the life giving and saving knowledge that doulas share.
– A weekly study group has begun. BHDO’s nurse, doula and another volunteer will meet weekly to review the DHI doula curriculum materials.
It is a tremendous encouragement to see the enthusiasm, motivation, and faith of BHDO’s staff. They are committed to regular fasting and praying for the women in their community. All BHDO’s workers grew up and live in this community and while they have little themselves, they pour themselves out for these mothers and infants. BHDO has embraced one of DHE’s trained doulas and are deeply appreciative of the value she brings to their team.
BHDO are still in need of sponsors for 13 mothers in their program. If you are interested in keeping babies and mothers alive and together give us a shout and we can direct you on how to become a sponsor or partner with us and BHDO.
Thanks for praising God with us for this MIGHTY update on how God is using our partnership and this new doula program in Ethiopia.