I thought I knew a lot about Africa, we have lived in this beautiful country almost 17 years total. But I didn’t know this, Tanzania loses 1.25 moms in childbirth every hour of every day, 365 days a year! Did you know that? Gulp! I didn’t.
Many of our babies at Neema Village came to us because their Maasai mom died in childbirth, including our little granddaughter Maria (below). Maria’s mom was the 8th wife of a village chief. The little baby, Anna, is another baby from Maria’s village who lost her mom in childbirth. New little twins at Neema also came from this small village.
This week we had our second “Save The Mothers” session at Neema Village. Save the Mothers is a one week intensive safe birthing training program. We bring traditional birthing attendants from remote Maasai villages into Neema Village where they stay with us. They participate in 6 days of safe birthing classes and cover a wide variety of topics from basics of female anatomy (KiMaasai does not always have a word for things like placenta) to successfully resolving shoulder dystocia and many things in between.
Kassie was the teacher again and you might ask why a CPA is teaching a class on safe birthing and there are two main reasons. First of all we didn’t have a doctor volunteer, Kassie did. Then a doctor who helped Kassie write the program said, “You know, Kassie, a doctor could not do this. He knows too much, his head is too full of knowledge and he could not condense it down to one week!” So Kassie did!
Kassie decided to surprise the class one day and she wore the big Maasai dancing collars. They jumped up and began singing and dancing around her and soon Kassie was dancing with them. These Grandmothers can dance!
It was not all school for the Bibis (Grandmothers) they did get to spend some time with our Maasai babies at the Montana house. And yes, that is big boy Phillip below.
They learned how to do CPR on a baby, learned about uterine inversion, breech birth and other complications that cause so much trouble for them.
At graduation Kassie had each woman stand up and tell something they learned this week that they did not know. With tears in her eyes, one woman said, “I didn’t know that FGM was killing our mothers, I didn’t know.”
The picture above is women from Maria’s Maasai village. We have 4 babies from this one village whose moms died in childbirth. We are praying because of this class we will lose no more. You can be a part of something that makes a huge difference in the lives of these women. This program is costing Neema Village $3,917. We will do as many sessions this year as we get the money for.