Sunday, May 5, 2013

the sunshine project: bringing light into delivery rooms

It's time for our Mother's Day project!

I'm so blessed to call Adriel a friend (and I get to meet her next month!) and her generous heart for the women and children in Papua New Guinea has literally changed my life - it was through her Project Baby Bilum initiative that I started Umi Sling, and the year before that, worked with her Bloggers for Birth Kits drive. Adriel is on it and she's kind, wise, and innovative in coming up with ways to improve the lives of women everywhere, whether it's an encouraging word or a solar suitcase - which is this year's Mother's Day project!

This month, she brought all the projects and initiatives under one umbrella to create the Love A Mama community, where we can come together and support women and children who have so little and don't need a hand out, but a hand up and the opportunity to give birth in a more sanitary environment or carry their children while collecting the food for their families.

Introducing the Sunshine Project

During a research trip to Africa, Dr. Laura Stachel discovered that women were often giving birth in clinics by candlelight, lantern, or the dim glow of a cell phone because electricity was unreliable and inconsistent. While observing a c-section, the power cut out and she assisted by holding a flashlight for them as they finished the procedure. Can you imagine?

From the We Care Solar site:

"She witnessed deplorable conditions in state facilities including sporadic electricity that impaired maternity and surgical care. Without a reliable source of electricity, nighttime deliveries were attended in near darkness, cesarean sections were cancelled or conducted by flashlight, and critically ill patients waited hours or days for life-saving procedures.  The outcomes were often tragic."

After returning to the states, Stachel and her husband developed the Solar Suitcase - a suitcase outfitted with solar-powered light and power, plus a fetal doppler, that could be given to clinics and aid posts so they can care for patients in all situations. Dr. Stachel's story was even shared in a CNN Heroes feature!

And we're going to send one to Papua New Guinea, with your help.

From the Sunshine Project post:

This year the Love A Mama Community (that’s you guys!) is fundraising to obtain one solar suitcase to trial in the Gulf and Western Provinces of PNG. We need to raise approximately $2000 to pay for the suitcase as well as the international shipping. If it’s something that works well within the areas our ship reaches, then we’ll look at getting more to help outfit as many clinics and aid posts as we can. But for now, we start with one:
One suitcase that can bring light to many.
One simple innovation that can help sustain life for countless women and children.
Learn more about the Sunshine Project and get all the info for donating by visiting Adriel's web site and the Love A Mama community.

1 comment:

  1. Oh, what an awesome post - thank you Megan!!

    And I love YOUR heart for women and for changing the world. Let's do this!! xx


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