Birthing Hope began in 2009 when CHaRA and ELEOS International joined forces to create a midwife program for Zanzibar. Our goal was to provide clean birth kits and train traditional midwives on the use of these kits. We have trained over 400 midwives and maintain a yearly education program. The clean birth kit contains basic materials to facilitate a clean-safe delivery by the midwife. The kit contains a new plastic sheet for lying under the mama, soap for hand washing by the midwife and cleaning of the mama, a sterile razor blade to cut the cord, 2 string-ties for the cord, and gauze for wiping the baby’s eyes. Our midwives feel secure they can contact our staff for supplies and they will be provided. Other items we supply midwives are bags to carry their supplies, flashlights and aprons. In 2015 we added a program called “Helping Babies Breath” led by Gina Wilson from Duke University. It is a life saving program. Education is a key to reaching our goal of improving maternal health care. At this time we are supporting 5 rural midwives to the health college in Zanzibar for a 3 year program. They will be educated nurse/midwives able to train others and provide good services to women and babies in their villages. The Birthing Hope Tea began in 2010 to provide the resources for this program to continue. It has become a highlight of our year. Birthing Hope is a wonderful and successful program. Join us in helping save lives.
In 2018, CHaRA moved to the mainland of Tanzania. Birthing Hope is expanding! We have purchased 6 acres of land in Dongobesh Tanzania. CHaRA is building the first Birthing Hope Center to provide for unwed, pregnant girls ages 10-18, that have been shamed and left alone. They have no family support, no place to birth their baby, and no hope for today or the future. This center will be a place a young girl can come to find a safe place to live and give birth. She will be loved, receive council, her baby will receive care, she will continue her education or receive technical training, she will leave filled with hope for the future.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.”
Prevention Programs CHaRA began out of a need for malaria prevention in Tanzania. A child under 5 was dying every 5 minutes and hundreds of people over age 5 were dying from this preventable disease. The health needs are so great CHaRA responded by sponsoring health day clinics that included malaria prevention education, mosquito nets and needed medication. After 5 years of work in this area with the government fully engaged malaria dropped dramatically on the Island. Another need surfaced in a clinic in 2009; the need for worm prevention, which has led to the water, sanitation and hygiene project in schools. 85% of the children we serve do not have shoes; they are at risk for infections and hookworm parasites that lead to sickness and death. The CHaRA Parasite Prevention Program began in 4 schools. We are now in 123 schools of Unguja. TOMS Shoes is a big part of this program supplying the new EVA shoes for the school children we are serving. We also want to insure these kids get the proper medication needed and education on prevention. Our goal is to eliminate this problem and see the children of our schools educated, healthy and vibrant. In 2017 our survey of the 3 original schools showed that after 5 years of teaching and giving shoes 85% of students are now wearing shoes to school. Our partnership with TOMS ended with a very successful program.
Container Shipping :: I have two friends, both with a dream they shared with me about sending equipment and supplies to people in need. They were thinking suitcase size on a plane when you travel. Then, I had a doctor in Zanzibar ask if I could get him a piece of equipment that was desperately needed at the hospital. Together we found that piece of equipment, a 20’ used container, a great church called Evangel gave us warehouse space. I thought it would be impossible to fill up that first container. It took 6 months to gather enough goods to send. Next hurdle; how do you ship a container to Africa? That all took place in 2008 and since we have shipped a 40’ container filled with life- saving medical equipment, oxygen concentrators, incubators, hospital beds, mattress’ wheelchairs, P.E.T. carts, and a host of other supplies every year. Plus ten containers of shoes since 2013. As we fill up a container to ship, I always tell my friend at the warehouse, “this is the last one”, but each time the warehouse is filled again with donated items to ship. This project is the miracle of giving and receiving in action. We keep giving and the warehouse keeps filling up so that we can give again.