This year, MADRE is celebrating our 30 years of demanding rights, resources and results for women worldwide. In celebration of our 30th anniversary, our sisters at Midwives for Peace sent us a special message. We’d like to share that message with you now. We hope you enjoy it!
Happy birthday from women who know something about birthdays!!
We here in the Middle East want to wish you, members of the MADRE community all over the world, best wishes for your 30th birthday.
MADRE and Midwives for Peace have had a wonderful, ongoing, empowering and inspiring partnership. We think of you as true partners. You help us fulfill our mission of supporting women and helping each other in the field of women’s health.
We wish you many more years of feminist activism!!
…and to continue our partnership as old friends should.
With Love from Midwives for Peace
“As an Israeli midwife, I always wanted to talk to Palestinian midwives, to see their experience and exchange stories — that’s how we learn. We are neighbors, and with neighbors, you should talk. It’s unnatural that we don’t talk. So I came to the first meeting of this group. That was five years ago. Now we are more than neighbors. We are friends.”Gomer, the Israeli coordinator of our sister organization Midwives for Peace, told me this on my recent visit to the West Bank. I was there to celebrate the group’s five year anniversary, a truly remarkable milestone.Israel and Palestine are at a political standstill. The level of despondency in the region is as strong as I’ve ever seen it. And the lack of confidence in progress is widespread. As you can imagine, under these difficult circumstances, collaboration can seem impossible. Yet the commitment of our sister organization of Israeli and Palestinian midwives remains strong. Through it all, they continue to work together to learn from each other and to safely deliver babies in the West Bank, despite the conflict that surrounds them. What an inspiration!The anniversary meeting gave the midwives a chance to celebrate, reflect and share their plans for the future. In 2014, the group hopes to send representatives to the International Conference of Midwives in Prague.And this August, they are planning a group trip to the beach. You might be wondering what a day at the beach has to do with breaking down barriers between Palestinians and Israelis, but consider this: some of the Palestinian midwives are refugees whose families came from coastal villages, yet they themselves have never seen the ocean. As Aisha, the group’s Palestinian coordinator, said to me, “the friendships we are building as midwives, as women, are opening doors in our lives and in our hearts that the conflict had tried to nail shut.”I’m always so moved to see the collaboration and friendship between our Israeli and Palestinian sisters. Our partnership with Midwives for Peace is something I am proud of every day. I was so grateful to be able to attend their anniversary event, and I look forward to celebrating their next five years.
MADRE Executive Director Yifat Susskind is currently on her way to Palestine, where she will meet with the Midwives for Peace on April 18 to celebrate their 5 year anniversary as an organization! For the past 5 years, Israeli and Palestinian midwives have been meeting every few months to collaborate on small, local projects and provide prenatal and neonatal care to women. To mark this important milestone, all 25 midwives who have been with the group since its inception will gather to celebrate each other and the courageous work that they do.
During the celebration, Play-Life, an Israeli improvisational theater group will provide entertainment for the midwives. Also, MADRE, along with our partners at COHI, are happy to be able to donate items from Maternova to the midwives to support and reinforce their vital work. Each midwife will receive a solar powered light to work effectively at night and in areas without reliable electricity as well as a hemoglobin color scale kit to quickly and easily test their patients for anemia.
Happy 5th Anniversary to Midwives for Peace!
We recently received a message from Midwives for Peace telling us about their most recent meeting. We’d like to share this update with you now.On October 23, 2012, we met to watch "Freedom for Birth", a film that highlights human rights violations related to childbirth, and calls for the radical reform of childbirth systems around the world. With MADRE’s support, we received permission from the producers of the film to add Arabic subtitles, so that all members of the group could watch and discuss the film, as it relates to our work as midwives. The film tells the story of Agnes Gereb, a Hungarian midwife who was imprisoned for performing home births in her country. This is particularly relevant as we just received an update from Halla that the Palestinian Ministry of Health has decided to prohibit home births in the West Bank. This will of course influence Halla's ability to continue her work as a home birth midwife, and we pray to hear better news on this issue. The rest of the meeting was spent writing about our personal experiences as members of Midwives for Peace for a chapter in a book being written about different midwifery models worldwide.Our next meeting is scheduled for January 14, 2013. We look forward to sharing more updates with you after this meeting.
We’re our proud of our ongoing partnership with Midwives for Peace, an incredible project coordinated by Israeli and Palestinian midwives. Midwives for Peace is dedicated to ensuring a safe and beautiful birthing experience for Palestinian women despite the violence that surrounds them. We recently received an update on the project from Gomer Ben Moshe, our partner and an Israeli midwife:
After postponing the meeting twice, we finally got together sweating and happy, missing on some of our friends but ready to participate a neonatal resuscitation course with Lina Hury, a pediatric nurse who joined us for this purpose.Lina gave the theoretical background for neonatal resuscitation and the new guidelines, and then we practiced with equipment and dolls which Lina brought along with her.We all felt it was important and very useful to do this course in group of mainly midwives and nurses. We all thanked Lina very much for volunteering with us!At the end of the meeting we gave our Palestinian sister Amina a fetal monitor which we purchased for Hala for the birthing center in Mitaloon. Amina will give it to Hala ASAP.The next meeting will take place in October.
Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to globalgiving.org by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.
If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating or by subscribing to this project's RSS feed.