Going to Haiti with Stella and Dot

We’re on our way back to Haiti for the 10th anniversary of our partner organization Midwives for Haiti and the graduation celebration for the latest class.

This is the third class of skilled birth attendants that Every Mother Counts has had the privilege of knowing and supporting since 2012. Over the last few years we have visited the Midwives for Haiti students at their campus in Hinche numerous times. We have brought our partners and supporters down with us to meet the students and graduates to better understand the challenges women face trying to access quality maternity care in Haiti. The education provided by Midwives for Haiti provides a solution to the lack of quality care that mothers and their families face every day there.

EMC is supporting Midwives for Haiti’s work to increase the number of skilled birth attendants available and to assist pregnant woman in Haiti. This photo was taken at the graduation ceremony of the Midwives for Haiti midwifery students in 2013.
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In 2014, Every Mother counts visited Haiti and spent time with skilled birth attendant, Juselene, who was trained by Midwives for Haiti. Juselene was also featured in Every Mother Counts’ documentary series, the Making of Midwife.

Midwives for Haiti graduation in 2015.
Midwives for Haiti graduation, class of 2015.

This year we have some very special guests joining us from Stella & Dot. These women have been working hard to share Every Mother Counts’ mission through their networks, and sell a product that has directly impacted thousands of women around the world. We are excited to introduce our guests to Haiti and to our friends there. Over the next few days you will be hearing from them and seeing the remarkable work that we have funded through their eyes.

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Founder, Christy Turlington Burns, visits the Carrie Wortham Birth Centerto celebrate it’s official opening in November, 2015. The wall is covered by tiles painted by Stella & Dot stylists and community members.

We heard from Staci Klugh, a Stella & Dot Stylist, who will be joining us on the trip. Staci and her husband have three boys and live outside of Tulsa, Oklahoma. She is a pediatric intensive care nurse by trade but is now at home with her boys. She’s passionate about children and their moms, and making this world safer for all.

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Staci Klugh, independent Stella & Dot Stylist

Let me start off by saying what an honor it is to be chosen for this trip. My name is Staci and I’ve been a Stella & Dot Stylist for almost three years. I love Stella and Dot’s mission and how they are trying to make this world better for women. Back in May, I learned that Stella & Dot was partnering with Every Mother Counts for an incentive with a chance for three Stylists to travel to Haiti with them.

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Christy Turlington Burns joins Stella & Dot on stage at Hoopla. (Pictured: Danielle Redner, VP of Global Training, Staci Klugh, Stylist, Emily Rini, Stylist, Jessica Herrin, CEO & Founder, April Lopez, Stylist, Blythe Harris, Chief Creative Officer, Anja Hart, General Manager)

There was no question in my mind that I was going to achieve each level of the incentive for an opportunity to join this trip. I have been a nurse for 10 years, working most of my time in the pediatric intensive care unit. Children and their families have become my passion. I see so many terrible situations, and without medical care these children would never have a chance to live. When I was pregnant with my oldest son Tyler, if it weren’t for quick action and access to medical care, Tyler would not be here and I may not either. I am so excited and blessed that I get to be a part of something that is changing the lives of so many women and making labor and delivery safe for everyone.

The work that Every Mother Counts is doing is life changing. I can’t wait to be on the ground to see the work that is being done. Living in America, most of us have access to any type of medical care that we need. If we have an emergency there is someone there that can assist us, and this is not the case for most people across the world. I am looking forward to touring the Carrie Wortham Birth Center, meeting the midwives, and seeing what impact Stella & Dot is having on this organization.

I would love to continue working with Every Mother Counts after this trip and help give back to an organization that is helping so many people. This trip will be very humbling and I know that it will be one that I will never forget and will change who I am as a person.

To date, Every Mother Counts has supported the training of 69 skilled birth attendants in Haiti, who in turn each deliver about 200 babies each year in the most underserved areas of the country. Most recently, Every Mother Counts provided an emergency grant to Midwives for Haiti to support Zika education and outreach programs through home visits in Cabestor and mobile clinics in 22 other villages.

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