Jul 30, 2020

Special care for families in the Pandemic

A Mercy In Action Midwife caring for Mother & Baby
A Mercy In Action Midwife caring for Mother & Baby

Dear Supporters,

We want to thank you on behalf of the people we serve, who are very grateful for the assistance with food and medical care during this time. Mercy In Action has birth centers and clinics on two islands in the Philippines, and we have been bringing food to our patients and their families in our ambulances since the lockdown began due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our numbers of births in our birth centers on both islands have practically doubled due to the pandemic. 

Romie was one of our pregnant patients who received assistance, thanks to you. She said that without the donations of rice, canned food, and vegetables, she would not have been able to eat in the last months of her pregnancy. Happily, she gave birth to a healthy baby girl in our birth center this July. 

This is only one among hundreds of similar stories. You are making a difference with your donations, and we wanted you to know that. Right now, Mercy In Action midwives are delivering food along with delivering babies in the Philippines, where people have been hard hit with the coronavirus. We are glad to be on the front lines, and we are thankful to have you behind us, sharing generously with those less fortunate.

Blessings, thanks, and love,

Vicki

New mothers with food gift brought to their door
New mothers with food gift brought to their door

Links:

Jul 14, 2020

A Wedding for our Birth Center Patients!

Mercy In Action Birth Center Sponsors Weddings!
Mercy In Action Birth Center Sponsors Weddings!

This is Having founded and run non-profit charitable clinics and birth centers for the past 29 years in the Philippines, you would think there would be nothing new under the sun! Yet I am constantly amazed at both our new challenges and our new opportunities. In the midst of a global pandemic, we found one more reason for hope, a series of weddings hosted by Mercy In Action for our patients who, because of poverty and overwhelming government regulations, were never able to get legally married, much less get married by a church official. 

Here is how it started: Last fall, before the pandemic, we realized that many of our clients having babies were not legally married, which complicates filling out a birth certificate. We knew that finances and not having their own birth certificates were a barrier for the poor to get married, so many live as "common-law". So, Mercy In Action offered to host a mass wedding in the spring for all who wanted it. Over 40 couples applied! So our staff got on board to help each couple get proper documentation to apply for a marriage license. This often meant rewinding all the way back to their own birth when they had never been issued a birth certificate (as it costs money their parents did not have). After partnering with a local church to counsel the couples and perform the ceremonies, and partnering with a US church to sponsor the cost of the legal documents, we were on our way...then the pandemic hit. 

The wedding dresses had been loaned, we had purchased rings for each couple, the marriage licenses were in hand... so we decided to go ahead, one wedding at a time, with masks and safe social distancing. 

What does this all have to do with our birth center goals? One thing that we know is that birth outcomes will be better overall if we can help in any way to lift parents out of abject poverty.  If a child's parents both hold birth certificates and are legally married, it gives that entire family a better chance for opportunities in the future. And the couples have expressed to us how much it means to have a real wedding; it has boosted their morale and given them encouragement that they are not alone in their struggles.

Thanks for partnering with Mercy In Action in our work for Safe Motherhood and Infant Survival. Today, that looks like a wedding! 

Love and blessings,

Vicki,

For the Mercy in Action team 

Weddings during the time of coronavirus!
Weddings during the time of coronavirus!
Masks are removed for official wedding photo
Masks are removed for official wedding photo

Links:

Jul 2, 2020

Delivering Babies in a time of Pandemic

Checking out from Mercy In Action's birth center
Checking out from Mercy In Action's birth center

Dear Supporters,

As I sit down to write this report, I am reflecting on the fact that COVID-19 has impacted everyone on the planet. Whether we are responding in our own communities by caring for others or struggling to find work or maybe being cared for by others, we all have concerns about what is happening and want to find ways to help.

You have helped Mercy In Action meet the needs of our low-resource community in the Philippines in new and creative ways. Our maternal/child health care clinics and birth centers have now become headquarters for feeding the poor families who have been locked down.  Our midwives have been working double time, as our birth rate has doubled since the pandemic began!

With your help, we assisted 59 babies safely into this world this June alone, without charging the parents a single peso! That is a record number of births, because of lots of last-minute transfers due to the local hospital being overwhelmed because of COVID-19, and we could not have done it without your support.  

Our midwives call the women who are delivering during this pandemic "Strong, brave women". We know you will agree, and wish we could tell you all of their stories of hardship during this time, but please know that they appreciate the help Mercy In Action can give, and it helps them have the courage and dignity to carry on in an uncertain world.  

So thank you! From our staff, and from the families living in poverty during this pandemic.

 

Stay healthy, friends, and thank you for helping others who are less fortunate during this global crisis!

 

Love and blessings,

Vicki, for the Mercy In Action team

Sweet baby born safely while the pandemic rages
Sweet baby born safely while the pandemic rages
The ambulance takes everyone home after delivery
The ambulance takes everyone home after delivery
Families are so thankful for this safe space!
Families are so thankful for this safe space!

Links:

 
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