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Updates from Flory and upcoming Rwanda Experience

Jun 18th, 2010 Updates

So this has been a busy week. I was contacted earlier this week by a friend of a friend who was given an opportunity to travel to Rwanda with her husband. Her husband will be doing some teaching, and she was given permission to try to work with the local women to educate them about pregnancy and birth. You see, she just happened to be going to one of the main rural towns that women go to for birth. There is a clinic, and like so many other rural areas of central Africa, the women travel to the clinic weeks before labor because they don’t know when to expect the baby.

I have been trying to answer as many questions for her as possible, and connecting her with people actually in the country. Specifically, I want her to be able to meet with Akeysu, the wonderful woman who fought to attend the training desperate to bring information back to the women in her area.

And that is how I received an update from Flory. The good news is that they have been successful at starting a medical school. The midwives are working hard to build a midwifery school as part of the medical school, but they have a problem securing teachers. Isn’t that funny, that is one of the big problems here in the US too. Why teach when you can make more money doing.

Anyway, I am going to see if I can help in some way from here in the states. My plan is to set up a volunteer rotation for midwives from the US, Canada and other nations to spend a month or so at the school teaching. Definitely let me know if you are interested, but understand the details take time to work out. I do not know the schedule, the costs or any other information.

In the mean time, let me know if you want to be on the “keep me updated list.” And if you want to help send supplies to Akeysu on this trip, I’ll be happy to get you connected.

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Jennifer Vanderlaan CNM MPH is the author of the BirthingNaturally.net website. She has been working with expectant families since 2000, training doulas, childbirth educators, and midwives. She has worked with midwives in Central America and Sub-Saharan Africa. Her interest in public health grew in 2010, and she is now a PhD student learning to become a producer of knowledge.

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