In the three months since our last report, LifeSpring’s “Sponsor a Safe Childbirth for 500 Low Income Women” initiative has been progressing steadily. We continue to sincerely thank all of our donors for supporting our work, and for making it possible for very low-income women in India to access high quality maternal healthcare.
Funds Raised and Deliveries Sponsored
From March to May 2011, we have raised an additional $2,945 through GlobalGiving. This brings our total funds raised to $27,881, which is 43% of our overall financial goal.
Since January, when our very first recipients delivered their babies in our hospitals, LifeSpring Foundation has sponsored the free and safe childbirth of 114 women. In this past quarter alone, 88 babies were born to Foundation recipients in our hospitals. In addition, another 33 women have expected delivery dates over the next few months, and are currently coming to our hospitals for regular antenatal check-ups.
For Mothers’ Day, LifeSpring Foundation was honoured to be featured on the website of ABC’s “Be the Change: Save a Life” initiative ( http://saveone.net/#1198783), where the photos and stories of the first few women to receive LifeSpring’s services are shown.
We were also very grateful to all the individuals who chose to make a donation to our Foundation in honour of their mother for Mothers’ Day.
Personal Story: Rohini
Since LifeSpring Foundation’s recipients are women who would otherwise have no choice but to deliver their babies in an under-resourced government hospital, we often hear that they are most grateful to LifeSpring for the assurance that their delivery will be safe.
Rohini is one such woman. Her mother died when she was 3 years old. With her father mostly out of the house trying to earn a living, Rohini was raised by women in the neighbourhood. When she turned 20 years old, her father found her a husband, in the hope that it would give her a better life. Soon after she was married, however, her husband deserted Rohini upon learning that she was pregnant.
With no financial resources or any family members to take her to the hospital when it would come time to deliver, Rohini had accepted that she would have to give birth at home. As this was her first child, she was extremely scared, but was hoping that some of the women in the community would be there to help. During her sixth month of pregnancy, a LifeSpring Outreach Worker met Rohini, and ensured that she came to the nearest LifeSpring hospital for her delivery. Last month, Rohini safely gave birth to a beautiful baby girl.
Over the past 6 months, we have learned a lot about providing high quality maternal healthcare services to women in our communities. One of the biggest lessons for us has been how to educate women from low-income backgrounds about the benefits of having an institutional delivery.
In January 2011, LifeSpring launched a Community Nursing Program, through which our nurses visit LifeSpring’s antenatal customers, bringing them critical healthcare services in the comfort of their homes. In this familiar environment, our nurses are able to effectively educate these women on the importance of coming to the hospital for regular antenatal check-ups, how to best care for their bodies and themselves during pregnancy, and the risks associated with having an unattended home delivery. As many of our Foundation recipients are not familiar with the practice of coming to a hospital for a delivery, these regular home visits ensure that every woman is well informed of what to do and where to go at the time of her delivery.
Once again, thank you for your continued support of our Foundation. Donors like you are helping LifeSpring ensure that very low-income women in India are experiencing a fundamental human right: to have a safe pregnancy and childbirth. Thank you for joining us.
We are thrilled to report on the activities of LifeSpring Foundation’s “Sponsor a Safe Childbirth for 500 Low Income Women” project since officially launching operations on December 15th, 2010. We are immensely grateful to donors and supporters such as yourselves, who have so generously given throughout the holiday season and beyond.
We are humbled by all the support we have received, not only through monetary donations, but email requests from around the world sent by people wanting to help – from organizing fundraisers to benefit LifeSpring Foundation, to sponsoring births on behalf of loved ones, to inquiries of volunteer opportunities at LifeSpring. We thank each one of you for making the launch of LifeSpring Foundation a success!
What’s the need for an organization such as LifeSpring Foundation?
One-third of all births around the world are unattended by a skilled health worker, leading to the deaths of nearly 360,000 women each year. Almost one-fourth of these unnecessary deaths occur in India.
The majority of these deaths can be prevented with access to a trained obstetrician.
LifeSpring Foundation is enabling a safe pregnancy and delivery for women earning $2 or less per day. Donors like you are helping LifeSpring transform the way very low-income women experience childbirth in India. Thank you for joining us.
Overiew of Partners:
To help leverage impact, LifeSpring Foundation has partnered with a number of incredible organizations that are helping us meet our mission. We have partnered with both Global Giving and Hindustan Latex Family Planning and Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) – two wonderful organizations that are helping us garner support and funding from abroad. Donations given to Global Giving are sent to Hindustan Latex Family Planning and Promotion Trust in India, who in turn sponsor deliveries of very low-income women at LifeSpring Hospitals.
We are grateful to Acumen Fund for their institution-building grant to LifeSpring Foundation, and to Hindustan Lifecare Limited for being the first corporation to sponsor births (with the Chairman himself, Mr. Ayyappan, personally sponsoring a woman for delivery).
We are honored to be part of ABC’s “Be the Change: Safe a Life” Campaign around global health and were humbled to be featured in Good Morning America in December 2010.
Funds Raised to Sponsor Deliveries:
From December 15, 2010 through March 1, 2011, 283 donors have generously sponsored deliveries through Global Giving, raising $24,900. This takes us to about 38% of our initial project goal of raising $65,000 through Global Giving and sponsoring the safe deliveries of 500 women.
Adding to this, 6 donors have donated directly to LifeSpring Foundation, raising $520.
First Woman Sponsored:
On January 22, 2011, Geeta delivered a healthy baby girl for free at LifeSpring Hospital Bowenpally. This is Geeta’s first child and LifeSpring Foundation’s first sponsored childbirth.
Geeta is 20 years old and has been married to Mallesh for three years. Mallesh irons clothes for a living and earns between INR 1500 and 2000 each month ($38-$42). They live in a jhopdi – a temporary structure made of tarp and thatch and often find it hard to make ends meet.
Ameena, LifeSpring’s outreach worker at Bowenpally met Geeta when she was nine months pregnant and had not yet visited a doctor. Ameena helped Geeta through the complete sponsored childbirth process at LifeSpring including prenatal visits and tests, hospital delivery and infant vaccinations. Geeta was delighted to have had the support of trained health workers and grateful for the free service.
Geeta is looking forward to watching her baby girl, Mallika, grow up to be a strong and confident woman like Ameena. Geeta hopes to send her to school, so she may receive an education, unlike herself or her husband.
Total Women Sponsored:
To find women who are in need of birth sponsorship, LifeSpring Foundation leverages community outreach workers, who go out into urban slums and peri-urban communities and meet pregnant women too poor to afford prenatal care and delivery. The main criteria for a woman to receive a sponsorship from LifeSpring Foundation is a government-sponsored white ration card, signifying her family lives below the poverty line.
To date, 26 women have had their deliveries sponsored through LifeSpring Foundation. An additional 20 women are currently receiving sponsored prenatal care at LifeSpring, with their deliveries set for the coming months.
Asma, who delivered her first baby last month through LifeSpring Foundation, has said all her fears disappeared when she entered our hospital, and she knew that she and her baby would be taken care of.
We are looking forward to ensuring more women in financial need have access to safe deliveries. This upcoming quarter brings us Mother’s Day and International Women’s Day – and what better ways to honor our mothers than by sponsoring a birth in her name! We look forward to hearing any other ideas you have for us around Mother’s Day and beyond. Please email your suggestions to email@example.com.
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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.
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