WORLD VOICE: #WorldMoms Support Clean Birth

WORLD VOICE: #WorldMoms Support Clean Birth

World Moms Blog has been supporting the mission of CleanBirth.org, founded by contributor Krysin Zalota, from the beginning.  After all, we are a group of moms here, so it has made us even more compassionate to the need for safe, sterile birth for the sake of both babies and their mamas.  In the villages where Cleanbirth.org operates women traditionally give birth alone in the forest. Laos has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the region.

You can follow our fundraising efforts and join in — only $5 provides a clean birth kit! — here: http://cleanbirth.causevox.com/world-moms-blog. We’ve already raised $490! Please help us break $500!

In 2015, its third full year of operation, Cleanbirth.org has provided 1,179 moms in the program in Laos with clean births, where there were zero reports of infections and where 170 nurses were trained. We continue to support the organization and maternal health worldwide, not just on the World Moms Blog site, but on many of our personal blogs, as well. Here are a few of the blog posts and campaigns that World Moms contributors have launched this year around Cleanbirth.org.

Save memories-2

This May, Ewa Samples from Ewa Samples Photography and CleanBirth are coming together for a second edition of a Mother’s Day Campaign to raise funds to help moms in Laos together.

Last year they were able to raise almost $600 in two days! This year, they invite everyone in the Bay Area, California, to join in to support this wonderful cause.

Ewa will be offering special packages for family photography sessions, where part of the profit will be donated to CleanBirth.

Our Managing Editor, Elizabeth Atalay, in Rhode Island, USA wrote about Cleanbirth.org this month on her blog, Documama:

$5.00 Can Save 2 Lives With CleanBirth.org

Over in the United Arab Emirates, World Mom, KC of Mummy in Transit, also wrote about why helping make births safer in Laos is important to her!:

http://www.mummyintransit.com/2016/01/28/maternal-care-around-the-world/

Nicole Melancon did this fantastic interview with Clean Birth Founder Kristyn Zalota in 2015:

One Mom’s Quest to Save Mother’s Lives in Laos

Sophia of ThinkSayBe shared her birth stories in support of Cleanbirth.org this year:

“Reading about what CleanBirth.org definitely made me assess my own pregnancies and the access we (my babies and I) had to clean and modern facilities in case of emergencies during the pregnancy, and for a safe delivery to my babies and myself.”

https://thinksaybe.wordpress.com/2016/01/29/mahood-a-mothers-story-of-maternal-care/

And, here is our post on World Moms Blog introducing the kick off of the Cleanbirth.org campaign!

http://www.worldmomsblog.com/2016/01/26/world-voice-a-small-pink-bag-a-nurse-and-you/

This is an original post to World Moms Blog.

*We apologize for the choppy first version of this post that was published. Our editors were facing technical difficulties!

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

More Posts

WORLD VOICE: A Small, Pink Bag, A Nurse and You.

WORLD VOICE: A Small, Pink Bag, A Nurse and You.

 

“When a mother receives the kit, she is happy. She feels that the kit will make her safe.” – Jun Ping, nurse, Tahoy District, Laos.

 

IMG_1562

 

It’s true: the Clean Birth Kits my organization CleanBirth.org provides pregnant women in southern Laos do make birth safer when used correctly. Kits contain everything a mother needs to prevent infection in herself and her baby: gloves, soap, 2 clean absorbent pads, clean blade, 2 clean cord clamps, and picture instructions.

However, while the contents of this small pink bag can save lives, there is no guarantee they will.

In order to truly impact outcomes, the kits must be distributed by nurses who counsel mothers and families to use the supplies in a hygienic way, in the proper order, with a birth helper present.

The pivotal role of the local nurses is a lesson I have learned since we began supplying kits 3 years ago. Nurses speak the language, share the culture, and venture deep into jungle villages. They are the sole hope of villagers, who cannot travel to clinics due to distance, petrol expense, and washed out roads.

Tahoy nurse and mothers

Well-trained nurses ensure that the promise of the small pink bags is realized in a healthy birth for baby and mother.

CleanBIrth.org works to give nurses the training they need by funding two trainings per year. This March, with our local partner and volunteer midwives from the Yale School of Nursing, we will again train nurses about Clean Birth Kits and the WHO’s Essentials of Newborn Care.

This year’s training will have a special focus on “Training the Trainer.” We want nurses to not only learn but to become teachers themselves.

To achieve our goal of training each and every one of the 62 nurses at the 31 clinics we serve, we need your help to raise $15,000 by February 13th.

You the readers and contributors of World Moms Blog have supported CleanBirth.org since it’s founding in 2012, and this year is no exception.

We are counting on you again. Please visit World Moms Blog’s fundraising page and donate what you can: $5 funds a birth kit, $120 provides Clean Birth Kits training for a nurse. http://cleanbirth.causevox.com/world-moms-blog

 

Thank you for your support!

 IMG_0100

Since 2012, we have trained 200+ nurses and staff and provided 3,000 Clean Birth Kits to moms and babies in Laos.  We pay nurses a stipend for the work that they do for CleanBirth.org.

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by  Kristyn Zalota, Founder CleanBirth.org

Photo Credits: Kristyn Zalota, Cleanbirth.org

Kristyn Zalota

Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to CleanBirth.org. She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment. After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of CleanBirth.org. She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.

More Posts

CALIFORNIA, USA: An Ordinary Mother

CALIFORNIA, USA: An Ordinary Mother

DSC_0811

The writer interview with World Moms Blog asked what made me unique as a mother.

I could not answer the question, for I am not unique. I am an ordinary mother with a child, a husband, a job, and a station wagon.

But, still, every ordinary mother has a story. This is mine. (more…)

To-Wen Tseng

Former TV reporter turned freelance journalist, children's book writer in wee hours, nursing mom by passion. To-wen blogs at I'd rather be breastfeeding. She can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.

More Posts - Website

Follow Me:
TwitterFacebookLinkedInGoogle PlusYouTube

WORLD INTERVIEW: Erin Thornton, Executive Director of Every Mother Counts

WORLD INTERVIEW: Erin Thornton, Executive Director of Every Mother Counts

erin-thornton_executive-directorEvery mother has the right to access the care they need during pregnancy and childbirth – care that can identify, prevent, and manage complications should they arise. But failure to meet these needs results in the loss of 800 mothers every day, even though up to 98% of these deaths are preventable. 

 Every Mother Counts is working to provide solutions that can make pregnancy and childbirth safer. We know that with the right care at the right time, it IS possible that every mother could have the chance to survive and thrive.

Recently, World Moms Blog sat down with Executive Director of Every Mother Counts, Erin Thornton, to talk about how she got involved with the organization and what drives her to work so hard for maternal health.

World Moms Blog: Erin, you’re the mother of three young girls and you live in the metro-Boston area yet you are the executive director of Every Mother Counts, a New York-based non-profit working in five locations around the world. How did you get involved?

Erin Thornton: My involvement with Every Mother Counts grew out of a 10-day trip to Africa with my former organization, ONE. We had invited  Christy Turlington Burns along and she and I got chatting about maternal health. Maternal health was not an issue ONE focused on and I was really drawn to what Christy was telling me about.

WMB: What about maternal health drew you in?

ET: Well, Christy had just completed the film, “No Woman, No Cry” a documentary about maternal health challenges that impact the lives of millions of girls and women around the world. During our  trip through five African countries, Christy and I spent a lot of time comparing notes on what was needed to move the maternal health agenda forward. Through all my time at ONE, I realized how interlinked so many poverty challenges are to maternal health—that if moms are kept alive, we can better keep kids alive, better give them an education and clean water, etc. Yet still no one was really talking about it.

WMB: What prompted you to leave behind a long career with ONE and join Christy in her pursuit of spreading maternal health awareness as she built this new non-profit?

ET: I had been with ONE since 2002, when I became the first hire in the US for ONE’s predecessor organization, DATA. By 2010, ONE had grown to 120 people in four different global offices. I had two young girls and I was starting to think about making a change. The more Christy and I talked about the need for an “awareness campaign” for maternal health, the more I realized I wanted to be a part of it too, so six-months later, I formally signed on to help her build the organization.

WMB:  In just a few days (May 10), we celebrate Mother’s Day here in the US, can you share with World Moms something about what makes you a passionate believer in Every Mother Counts?

ET: Physiologically, every woman goes through pregnancy the same way and faces the same chances of developing a complication. The difference in how they fare mainly comes down to whether they have access to good health care- or not. Helping more moms enjoy a safe pregnancy and delivery may sound like an overwhelming challenge but we really CAN make a difference. EMC has identified three target areas to focus our support on: 1. transport, 2. education and training for healthcare providers, and 3. supplies for clinics–including birth kits, solar suitcases and lighting. And we’re seeing that these seemingly simple things are making a big difference.

This Mother’s Day, Every Mother Counts is celebrating #WhatIsPossible for every mother.

Every mother has the right to access the care they need during pregnancy and childbirth – care that can identify, prevent, and manage complications should they arise. But failure to meet these needs results in the loss of 800 mothers every day, even though up to 98% of these deaths are preventable.

Every Mother Counts is working to provide solutions that can make pregnancy and childbirth safer. We know that with the right care at the right time, it IS possible that every mother could have the chance to survive and thrive.

So this Mother’s Day, as we look at the future of maternal health, we ask ourselves #WhatIsPossible? And the answer is, a lot.

With your help, Every Mother Counts has already impacted thousands of lives by improving access to critical maternal health care for vulnerable mothers.

During the month of May, we invite you to spread the good news about #WhatIsPossible by sharing this film.

This is an original interview with Erin Thornton posted by World Moms Blog Managing Editor, Kyla P’an.

The image used in this post is from the Every Mother Counts website and is used here with permission.

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

More Posts

SOCIAL GOOD: The Truth About Fundraising

SOCIAL GOOD: The Truth About Fundraising

The Truth About Fundraising.WINE & BEER-2

When I talk about the fundraising work that I do for the organization I started, CleanBirth.org, I often hear in response, “I could never ask people for money.”

I’ll be honest, I don’t have a choice. When I began providing moms with life-saving birth supplies, in partnership with a local NGO in Laos, I used my own funds. Happily, the $5 kits proved effective and more moms wanted the sterile, convenient supplies that prevent deadly infections in moms and babies. How could I say no?

DSC02403

So I promised to fund as many kits as were needed.

Since we began in November 2012 we have provided 4,000 birth kits to moms and training for 180 nurses and staff.

 Knowing that my own funds couldn’t sustain the project, I told my story to others. I wasn’t great at promoting the project at first but many friends and family supported me anyways. The tagline: $5 Saves 2 Lives in Laos proved irresistible.

Now 3 years on, the project has grown beyond my own social network. Thanks to bloggers at World Moms Blogs and others, we have extended our reach worldwide.   I am constantly touched by the simple notes of support that accompany donations from complete strangers:

Thank you for doing what you do for mothers and babies!

IMG_1562

Another great aspect of fundraising is working with others who want to share their special gifts to make birth safer. One example is a fun collaboration happening now for Mother’s Day. World Moms Blogger and photographer Ewa Kuc of Ewa Samples Photography in the Bay Area has developed awesome Mother’s Day photo session packages. A full 40% of the profits go to CleanBirth.org!

In my almost 3 years doing this, I have come to appreciate that fundraising is a give and take proposition.

I’m not just taking money but giving something to donors: a feeling of making a positive impact in the world; the piece of mind that comes from donating to a transparent, registered organization; or a tangible gift to give a loved one.

One such gift, our $10 Mother’s Day cards, honor mom or grandma & provide 2 moms in Laos with Clean Birth Kits.

So the truth about fundraising is that I do ask for money. (Please click here to buy our Mother’s Day cards!! J) But I also get to connect with many generous people who are committed to making their world a better place. We each give, and we each take. Not so scary after all.

DSC02368

What benefits do you receive from donating or volunteering with a non-profit?

 This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Kristyn Zalota, the founder of Clean birth.org

Photo credits Kristyn Zalota.

 

 

Kristyn Zalota

Kristyn brings her years of experience as an entrepreneur and serial volunteer to CleanBirth.org. She holds a MA, has run small businesses in Russia and the US, and has volunteered in Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Uganda on projects related to women’s empowerment. After having children, Kristyn became an advocate for mothers in the US, as a doula and Lamaze educator, and abroad, as the Founder of CleanBirth.org. She is honored to provide nurses in Laos with the supplies, funding and training they need to lower maternal and infant mortality rates in their villages.

More Posts

SOCIAL GOOD: GIVING BLOOD, GIVING LIFE.

SOCIAL GOOD: GIVING BLOOD, GIVING LIFE.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 7.26.30 AM

Being an advocate for children and mothers, especially the needy in the society, means supporting and standing for the rights of these vulnerable individuals in the society. Children should not be left to their own devices without the able help of an adult; preferably a mother. That is why no woman should die giving life to another.

Birth is a beautiful thing and must be a happy moment in the lives of every family, most importantly the mother. But sometimes the process of giving life can be very traumatic and sometimes the unexpected even happens. Postpartum hemorrhage(PPH) is defined medically as the loss of more than 500 ml of blood within the first twenty-four hours following childbirth and is the leading cause of maternal mortality in low-income countries, and the primary cause of nearly a quarter of all maternal deaths globally. In some cases this condition is known to occur up to six weeks after delivery. There are various forms of treatment, of which blood transfusions is the most common; yet In the developing world, health systems are faced with enormous constraints that hinder the prompt delivery of obstetric care, which is vital for saving the lives of women who develop PPH.

A beneficiary of blood transfusion myself, I know its relevance to both the mother and the baby. It is therefore crucial at any point in time during birthing to have stock of blood in the blood bank for such emergencies.

In Ghana, there have been campaigns to donate blood as most of the blood banks are running low on their stock. Many corporate bodies have joined the campaign to ensure that this is achieved so that more lives can be saved when the need arises. Over the years, we have all contributed to replenishing the blood banks by donating pints of blood to the various health centers that need them. Last year, our organization, The African Child and Mother  collected several pints of blood to replenish the blood bank at the Tema General Hospital and the Tema Polyclinic as part of our “February love month”.

Screen Shot 2015-02-14 at 7.26.51 AM

This year however, as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility of some large corporate institutions, there were activities held today in the capital city to organize blood donation with the same aim of replenishing the blood banks. We believe that other corporate institutions and individuals will follow suit and donate blood to save a life because giving blood means giving life.

It is my personal appeal to all and sundry that we volunteer to give life by donating blood especially during this love month.

Wishing everyone a giving valentine!

Have you ever given blood or needed to receive it yourself? 

Picture courtesy Graphic online

This is an original post written by Adowa Gyimah of Ghana for World Moms Blog.