“With all the roadblocks, it’s impossible to get to hospitals when you’re in labor here in the West Bank. I spent my pregnancy in fear, until MADRE helped. I will never forget the sight of a midwife appearing in my doorway to check up on me when I was pregnant. Then she came again to deliver my daughter safely. It was a difficult birth. You saved our lives.”
These words were spoken by Adeela, a Palestinian mother from the West Bank. Thanks to your support of our partners Midwives for Peace, Adeela received the care and emotional support she needed to deliver her baby safely. Thanks so much for making this possible! When you support Midwives for Peace, you help ensure that childbirth is a happy, healthy occasion for every woman.
MADRE’s partner group Midwives for Peace was recently profiled in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz. The article by Judy Maltz, “Arab and Jewish midwives find a common language,” talks about the group’s latest gathering. Their meeting fell during the recent 50-day war between Israel and Gaza. Normally, it is a time to share their successes and challenges of midwifery. This time around, their meeting had a different tone.
“We’ve been through wars before, but none as big as this,” Gomer, the Israeli coordinator of the group is quoted as saying. “And also, we know each other a lot better now — we’re friends already, which makes it even harder.”
The women used this opportunity to share their experiences during this latest war. They spoke of the pain of losing friends in Gaza and the fear of losing children in combat. These women still gathered together, despite the magnitude of the conflict around them. That fact is a testament to their joint commitment to peace. As Barbara, an Israeli member of the group, is quoted as saying, although they didn’t reach any solutions, “it made me realize how important it is that groups like this exist.”
Thank you for your support of Midwives for Peace!
In May, the Midwives for Peace had the chance to meet face-to-face. These regular meetings allow the midwives to share updates on their work and talk about their successes. It also gives them the opportunity to talk about their challenges and their plans for the future. In this meeting, the midwives watched a film on delivery room dilemmas, followed by a discussion on the issue. They reported that the film was useful and informative for their work. The discussion between the midwives the followed the film viewing was fruitful and enjoyable.
The next meeting will take place in September. We look forward to sharing an update from this meeting with you then. Thanks for your support!
Midwives for Peace is a network of Palestinian and Israeli midwives, supported by MADRE. They work together to promote peace and protect the health of mothers in the West Bank.
In February, the midwives gathered for their quarterly meeting. These gatherings are an opportunity for the midwives to share updates on their work and talk about successes. They also discuss challenges and plan for the future.
In their February meeting, the midwives asked themselves a question. “How does participating in the group affect us and our work?” They sent some of their thoughts to us, which we would like to share with you now:
“As midwives, the work that we do has the power to change communities.”
“The Palestinian community faces many difficulties. We provide a space that empowers our Palestinian members to share their experiences of suffering and bullying at Israeli checkpoints. And our work is very important in improving the health of Palestinian mothers and babies.”
The next quarterly meeting will take place in May. We look forward to sharing more updates from that meeting. Thank you for supporting this important work!
In November 2013, MADRE supported a women’s health delegation to the Middle East to provide both urgent care and to support local women’s health workers in the region, including our partners at Midwives for Peace. The delegation delivered supplies to local women's organizations supporting Palestinian refugees in the West Bank and Syrian refugees in Jordan. Donated supplies included: prenatal vitamins, sterile towels, sterile gloves and alcohol preps, pregnancy tests, prenatal vitamins and iron tablets, urinalysis tubes and tests, and Pedialyte. These supplies are crucial to ensuring safe births for mothers and babies in the West Bank. We couldn’t imagine a better way to end 2013 and we look forward to accomplishing so much more with you in 2014! Thank you for supporting this important project.
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