Giving in Haiti
Haiti has a difficult background and since the devastating earthquake 4 years ago, 200,000 people were killed and it has still not managed to bounce back. Whilst the city which was badly hit now looks like it did before the quake there are still approximately 150,000 people who still live in the temporary plastic and plywood structures erected after the disaster.
Since 2010 there have been almost 9000 deaths of cholera and over 400,000 hospitalized – the worst outbreak of this hideous waterborne disease in history. To make matters worse by December 2012, hospitalizations (2,300 per week) and deaths (40 per week) tripled since Hurricane Sandy struck the island just as the disease started to subside.
So on one part of the island you have huge levels of poverty and sickness. Infant fatality is the highest in the world and conditions are so desperate Rockin’ Baby decided to focus on working with various charities there back in 2011 to donate slings to mothers who are literally walking miles to get water whilst carrying their babies. At least now with the thousands of slings donated these mothers now have two hands free!
Each year Rockin’ Baby visits to carry out a ‘sling drop’ to hand out and teach mothers how to use the slings so we have witnessed first-hand the difficulties people are facing.
Kathryn our CEO who last personally visited in 2013 recalls a heart-warming story;
“When we arrived for the last giving trip, the Administrators contacted me to confirm that I was going to be there soon, as they had a baby that was dying and they wanted a sling urgently. We were traveling to the remote area that they work in the next day, but I could not understand what the emergency was until we arrived. This sweet 12 month old little girl had been brought to them by their starving mother. The baby girl was just 8 pounds and her body was started to shut down.
The mother was sent back to her home to get her life straight and come back. She was a 2-day walk away and had 6 children to get in order. They wanted her to come back to the clinic to stay for up to a year. She was malnourished to a severe place and would not survive without being nursed back to health.
But, she had to leave her baby girl. The little one was dying, and without her mother was getting worse. She only responded when someone held her; they had been holding her for 48 hours and were needing the sling in order to help others.
When I brought the sling, it was a beautiful thing to see this little one nestle in and fall asleep comfortably. A couple hours later, she woke up and ate from the care giver.
It underlines what effect carrying a baby can have and in this situation saved her life. They, and I, saw what the sling did in this situation. It was amazing to know that what we are doing is really helping!”
But Rockin’ Baby goes further and we are now also working with Midwives For Haiti in a new and exciting way. We have recently funded the hiring of a Midwife for the Postnatal Care Program at Hospital Ste.Therese. Here is the information she just sent to us with regards to bringing her on full-time.
We are committed to Women’s Health all around, not just to the donation and education with slings. We are about to send another 5,000 slings to Haiti though Midwives For Haiti and will be donating them in rural areas up North and through their mobile clinic.
As we grow we are looking at new areas to help and have recently started to give in Kenya and are in discussion with several other countries and charities – watch this space for news and updates.