Friday, May 8, 2009

Getting the Goats (2)

Midwives stand in front of soon-to-be finished goat shed. Georgette is far right.

In the meantime, I had become better acquainted with a group of 21 women who call themselves, Midwives of Congo. I first met them last August in Nyangezi where they were being trained by American midwives, Jennifer Vanderlaan and Tammy. Their training lasted 10 days and covered all areas of pregnancy, delivery and infant care.

Midwives are a brillant solution to lack of medical care in the rural areas of Congo. Women can be 2 days to a week's walk away from medical help, which is a major cause of infant death and obstetric fistulas, which cripple women for life.

Her T-shirt says: Life Chain, Saving Moms and Unborn Babies

The Midwives of Congo are scattered throughout Walungu Territory, where they educate pregnant women and make their expertise available in isolated areas. Their goals are: 1) to promote birth ontrol as well as healthy pregnancies, 2) insure safe delivery of babies, and 3) advance the health of both mother and child through education.

Their leader, Georgette, is in the process of developing a farm, where pregnant women can grow nutritious food for themselves and their children, as well as make money to support the midwives' work in Walungu Territory.
So far, they have built a compound where rabbits, ducks and guinea pigs are raised for protein. It made sense to pass our largesse on to this project, so I donated 6 goats, 10 chickens, some chicken food, and a cow. Due to inflation, we could afford only one young cow, but its manure will fertilize the garden while the animal grows into a calf-producing, milk-giving adult.

Empty shed waiting for calf.

I think this is a great group, one worth supporting as they grow. These women are dedicated, educated and willing to work hard to achieve their goals.

So how did we get the goats, finally? Tune in for the next installment!

With love and gratitude,

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