Sep 25, 2020

Hope For Our Sisters September 2020 Impact Report

Ina & Louelle Sewing
Ina & Louelle Sewing

Hope For Our Sisters, Inc. is happy to provide our third impact report on the project that you have so generously helped fund through GlobalGiving. As you may recall, we began this project in order to support our partners at the CEML hospital in Lubango, Angola, as they empower women recovering from fistula surgery with craft skills, gardening lessons, literacy/numeracy education, and teaching in local languages. Many women who have suffered from fistula have been abandoned by their husbands and families, and are unable to return to their villages and pick up life as it was. Left to provide for themselves in a context that is so different from the life they expected, many women are deeply disadvantaged because of their lack of formal education and skills training.

Our partners reported that despite COVID-based travel restrictions that have kept women from receiving the care they so desire, there is still activity at the hospital. About thirty patients are there as of this week in September, with eight having recently been discharged to go home - HEALED! All fistula patients are eligible to participate in the Aftercare program. In the sewing classes held as of late, the women have been learning to make masks. Pictured below is Ina, a CEML staff member, working with former patient Louelle, as they show others how to use the sewing machine. This is important for several reasons: 

  • Women are learning a way to protect themselves and others from coronavirus in a country with few resources to fight the disease among those who become ill 
  • Women are obtaining a marketable skill that will help to provide them with income if they choose to sell the masks
  • Women are seeing their inherent value, feeling confident in their ability to be taught something new 

This would not be possible without your generous investment for our Aftercare program. We are so thankful to be able to come alongside our sisters as they strive for knowledge that will improve their lives, those of their communities, and the generations coming behind them. We will continue to send quarterly updates on the status of this project, and share photos and individual patient stories as able. Please spread the word if you know someone who might be interested in supporting this endeavor, and follow along on our social media pages (Facebook: Hope For Our Sisters, Inc. // Instagram: brookehfos) to learn more about our sisters, our partners and our mission. 

Best,

Cara Brooks

HFOS Board of Directors Member

Links:

Jun 5, 2020

June 2020 Project Report

We excited to update you, our generous investors, on our efforts to provide life-saving maternal care through our Maternal Health Fund at the Wellness Clinic in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Because of your generosity and continued support, the Clinic is able to be a shining light of hope in this community.

According to our medical partners, the clinic continues to be even busier than ever! In April alone, the team at the Wellness Clinic reached a new record of 135 deliveries (36 cesarean and 99 vaginal deliveries) in one month!

If you look at the full quarter (February, April and March), 110 cesarean deliveries were performed. Out of these cesarean deliveries, nine women and their families were unable to pay any amount for their care and 101 were able to make a partial payment. As we have shared prior, the inability to pay can mean that health care is denied or that the mothers are  held at the hospital until payment is made. The Maternal Health Fund, in which you invest,  provides a way for these sisters to return home with their newborn babies and be reunited with their families. It is such a gift for them! Thank you for making this happen!

The clinic performed 214 vaginal deliveries as well. Delivering babies at the Clinic ensures the women, our sisters, are giving birth in the care of skilled attendants and/or doctors, which lowers the chance for fistula and stillbirth. Lastly, there were 544 prenatal visits during this quarter. Prenatal visits, which are critical for the safety of the mother and baby, would not be an option without the Clinic. In developed countries, prenatal care is expected and maybe even taken for granted by some. In the DRC, this is another priceless gift for these moms, their babies, and families.

Our main contact with the clinic, Dr. Myron, was unable to travel to Goma, DRC, in April due to COVID-19. Future travel will be planned as soon as he is able. It is an honor to partner with Dr. Myron, Chantal, and the full team at the Wellness Clinic. Thank you for enabling us to provide these avenues of health for our sisters in the DRC.

Even though COVID-19 reached the DRC with 3,195 cases and 72 deaths, women are still giving birth to babies, so the Maternal Health Fund is being fully utilized during this season.

Please reach out to us at info@hopeforoursisters.org with any questions about this project or HFOS' work in general. We also invite you to share our project page with your family and friends! The more awareness we can spread about the great need for cesarean deliveries and maternal care in Goma, the more lives we can touch and change together. 

Goma Wellness Clinic Staff
Goma Wellness Clinic Staff

Links:

Jun 3, 2020

Hope For Our Sisters - June 2020 Impact Report

Language Class
Language Class

We are so honored to partner with our Aftercare Team at CEML Hospital in Lubango, Angola, in providing empowerment opportunities for our sisters recovering from fistula surgery. These opportunities include craft skills, gardening lessons, literacy/numeracy education, and teaching in local languages.

As you may or may not know, COVID-19 has reached Angola. As of June 1, 2020, there are 84 cases and 4 deaths. This lower number could mean the case numbers are low or it could show a lack of tests. In any case, we are keeping our team and sisters in our hearts as they live and work through the pandemic.

The government of Angola, after declaring a state of emergency for the country, temporarily opened their internal boarders so the ten women who had healed from fistula could leave the hospital and return to their families. This cut their time at the hospital and in the program short, but they left with more marketable skills and confidence than when they arrived.

With twelve women still at the hospital, the staff, which now follows a very reduced COVID-19 schedule, has found ways to connect with the women and ensure their care and growth while maintaining social distancing and in light of the limited resources due to the pandemic. We are hopeful that once COVID-19 is under control within Angola, women with fistula will be able to travel to CEML Hospital for repair and to engage in the Aftercare Program.

Thank you for enabling us to come alongside our sisters as they obtain experience and learning that will improve their lives as well as those of their families and communities!

We will continue to send quarterly updates on the status of this project, and share photos and individual patient stories as able. Please spread the word if you know someone who might be interested in supporting this endeavor and follow along on our social media pages (Facebook: Hope For Our Sisters, Inc. // Instagram: brookehfos) to learn more about our sisters, our medical partners, and our mission. 

Language Class
Language Class

Links:

 
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