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Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines

by Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Birth Center Saves MotherBaby Lives in Philippines
Women and Girls are the heart of Mercy In Action
Women and Girls are the heart of Mercy In Action

 This year, 2020 marks the Year of the Midwife and Nurse! And March 6th is the observance of International Woman's Day at GlobalGiving. 

Here in Mercy In Action's two birth centers in the Philippines, EVERY DAY is Women's Day and MIdwives Day, as our care is what is called "Woman-Focused", offered in a model of health care that is called "The Midwifery Model of Care"! 

So far this year, we have welcomed over 100 babies into the world in our birth centers, taking us over 15,800 in all.  In each birth, the care was provided by a team of highly trained licensed midwives, and the woman having the baby was the focus of attention. Her needs are paramount. When the baby is born in our centers, the mother and baby stay together and are treated with respect, kindness, and skilled attention to every detail.

Also this year so far, we have given out thousands of free prenatal vitamins to pregnant women, given away hundreds of baby layettes and hand-crafted baby hats, and provided hundreds of home visits to new families postpartum. 

Our midwives are out in the community empowering young girls; encouraging them to stay in school and delay first childbearing until such a time as they are ready. We teach Facts For Life to make sure all girls grow up healthy and strong, emotionally, physically, and spiritually. This is a safe path to Safe Motherhood when the time comes for them.

How can you help? Simply make a donation of any size today (March 6th, the GIRL FUND matching funds day!) or at any time up through March 13th, in honor of GlobalGivings GIRL FUND campaign to help women and girls . Any size gift - whether it's $10 or $100 or $1,000, will help Mercy In Action have a chance at being chosen for the year-long Girl Fund.

Do you have more ideas on ways we can empower women and girls? 

Everything that Mercy In Action does helps promote greater opportunities and gender equity for today’s and tomorrow’s women and girls alike!

Thanks for being a part of our team! 

Love,

Vicki Penwell, Executive Director

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Best Christmas Gift is a Healthy Mom and Baby!
Best Christmas Gift is a Healthy Mom and Baby!

Aliz is worried; she feels her labor starting, but she does not know how she will pay for any assistance with the birth. Her husband is far away, looking for work. Her two-year-old son sleeps beside her. Its almost Christmas, but there will be no presents this year - the birth will take all the money she has and more. As morning dawns, she can no longer deny that she is indeed in labor - the baby will be born today.

Then her neighbor stops by and notices the contractions that come every 5 minutes.  "Have you heard of Mercy?" she asks. "You could go there, they will accept you, even without money".

Aliz shakes her head. She has not heard of this option. What is mercy, she wonders to herself? 

"Come with me", says the neighbor, and picking up the sleepy toddler, she leads the way out to the road, where they soon flag down a jeepney. It is only a short ride, and then they are there... the birthing facility Mercy In Action built, where all pregnant women are welcomed and accepted into care with no charge.

Aliz is now in serious labor, contractions coming close together. Her neighbor promises to watch her child, while two friendly midwives greet Aliz and take her down the hall to the labor room. She is given privacy, dignity, and informed consent for every possible option, and soon she surrenders fully to the force of the contractions, feeling safe and secure in this bright, clean, and warm birthing home. Before another hour is passed, Aliz is holding a new tiny daughter, who cries with protest as Aliz cries with relief.

Later, when Aliz is nursing her baby in the postpartum recovery ward,  her neighbor brings her son in to meet his sister. She smiles and Analiz smiles back. All worry has vanished from Alaliz's face. I told you they were kind and competent, and you will not be in debt when you leave here", declares the neighbor, for she had birthed her own baby here only last year.

As Analiz gets ready to check out the next day, 24 hours after giving birth, she stops by the Christmas tree in the lobby and gets her picture taken with her beautiful daughter. She leans down and whispers "I will name you Mercy, for mercy was shown to me this day...truly the Lord is good, at Christmastime and always..."

We hope you have enjoyed this short Christmas story.  We ask you to keep us in your thoughts and prayers as we continue to offer excellent maternity care at no charge to the patient and her family here in our Mercy In Action Philippines birthing homes and clinics! 

And please, won't you take a moment to click on the URL link and watch our short Chrismas and Year-End video...these pictures are worth a thousand words! 

Blessings for a Merry Christmas season and Happy New Year! 

Vicki, for the Mercy In Action team

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Mercy In Action midwife pays a home visit
Mercy In Action midwife pays a home visit

UNICEF just put out a new report this week stating that despite progress in maternal/child health, every 11 seconds a pregnant woman or newborn dies somewhere around the world. 

“Around the world, birth is a joyous occasion. Yet, every 11 seconds, a birth is a family tragedy,” said Henrietta Fore, Unicef’s executive director. “A skilled pair of hands to help mothers and newborns around the time of birth, along with clean water, adequate nutrition, basic medicines, and vaccines, can make the difference between life and death."

We must do better!  We must do all it takes to save these precious lives. And that is where NGOs like Mercy In Action come in. We have now provided safe, clean, compassionate and evidence-based midwifery care for the births of more than 15,000 babies in the Philippines since 1991.  With excellent outcomes.

Poverty, lack of facilities, and inadequate and expensive health services are the problems women face. 

Mercy In Action has pioneered a system of free to the patient maternity care that meets these needs. But we could not do it without our donors. Your support helps us continue to provide top-level services with added benefits to families like baby clothes, blankets, and food, prenatal vitamins, and children's vitamins and medicine.

Thank you for your support! 

Vicki for the Mercy In Action Team

Families love the Mission and Vision of Mercy!
Families love the Mission and Vision of Mercy!
Healthy Mothers and Babies are the goal of Mercy!
Healthy Mothers and Babies are the goal of Mercy!

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We are so excited to tell you, our faithful donors, that we poured cement this week on the new clinic roof! And amazingly, the rain held off for more than 38 hours while we were pouring the flat roof, and giving it time to dry adequately!   During rainy season in the Philippines, that is really something to celebrate!

 

Our savings have taken us this far; now we need to ask you to partner with us in this worthy endeavor to finish this clinic and birth center, where we will give quality health care to the poorest families in the Philippines for decades to come. Mercy In Action structures our birthing homes and clinics in a way that serves local families at NO COST TO THEM, so we depend on the generosity of those who have resources to share. Thank you for caring and sharing!


And July is the perfect month to help us with this building project, thanks to our partnership with GlobalGiving!

 

On Thursday, July 18, starting at 9:00 a.m. ET, GlobalGiving will put out $130K in matching funds for donations of $100 and above. The higher the donation, the higher the match!

 

GlobalGiving begins matching funds on July 18th, on USA time: at 9 am Eastern; 8 am Central; 7 am Mountain, 6 am Pacific, 5 am in Alaska, and 3 am in Hawaii! They expect the matching funds to go fast, so start planning now for your big give to Mercy In Action on the morning of July 18th, to help us finish the building


Think of how much farther we can all make our donation go with this matching money! We can get this building finished and up and running, to save lives of mothers and babies in our community even sooner than planned, but we need your help.

Would you be willing to plan a donation and hold it until the morning of July 18th? 

Drop us a note at vickipenwell@mercyinaction.com to let us know if we can build our plans around your donation with the GlobalGiving matching grant!

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Midwife Nerissa's daughter making baby hats!
Midwife Nerissa's daughter making baby hats!

It is a well known fact that newborn babies are vulnerable to heat loss and hypothermia, which is thought to be the cause of up to one third of newborn deaths in developing countries like the Philippines.

Years ago, my niece Mary began to use a simple loom to knit baby hats for our Mercy In Action babies. Now, she has helped us train all of my grandchildren and other kids on our Mercy In Action staff.  They are all making hats regularly to donate to Mercy babies.

In December, I brought a loom to the Philippines, along with Mary's video instructions. Thanks to our midwife Rose Ann, this  set off a wave of midwives and midwive's children making hats for our babies! 

Now we are able to send one hand-made hat home with each and every baby born into our birhing homes. Each one is knit with love in every stitch! 

Thank you to our donors who support our midwives to provide midwifery care that is above and beyond!  Together we are making a real difference in outcomes for babies, mothers and families in the Philippines, 

Midwife Cecille making baby hats in spare time!
Midwife Cecille making baby hats in spare time!
Vicki's niece Mary who started the loom trend!
Vicki's niece Mary who started the loom trend!
Baby hat made by Vicki's granddaughter Selah
Baby hat made by Vicki's granddaughter Selah
Baby hat made by Vicki's granddaughter Zoe
Baby hat made by Vicki's granddaughter Zoe
First hat made by Midwife Rose Ann
First hat made by Midwife Rose Ann

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Organization Information

Mercy In Action Vineyard, INC

Location: Boise, ID - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Project Leader:
Vicki Penwell
Boise, ID United States

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