This weekend we celebrate mothers, the wonderful women who raise us and love us unconditionally. At International Child Care (ICC), we recognize the significant impact mothers have on their families and on the world. We work tirelessly to support mothers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic on a daily basis.
At ICC, we know that helping Haitian women become financially self-sufficient will help pull their families out of the grips of poverty. That is why, through the Micro-Enterprise Loan Program, Haitian women receive small loans, approximately $50 at low interest. With this loan, women buy bulk items (such as rice, sugar, or soap) and then resell them in smaller quantities in the local market. Other women choose to focus on selling items that are not readily available in their villages, or to sell seasonal items like school supplies in the fall or Christmas items in December. This program generates income for women, who are then able to provide their families with basic necessities including food, health care, education, and improved living conditions.
Haiti has one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. To protect the lives of mothers and their precious newborns, ICC has created the Healthy Birth Program. ICC trains Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs), or midwives, who are the principal source of care for pregnant women in Haiti. TBAs are educated in the techniques of delivery, importance of proper hygiene, signs of complications in pregnancy or delivery, and the dangers of certain traditional Haitian practices. Once formerly trained, a TBA receives a certificate and delivery kit, and is required to attend regular refresher courses. Given that most Haitian mothers-to-be are unable to afford the expense of an institutional delivery, over 80% of all births in Haiti occur at home. The training of TBAs is therefore crucial to health and safety of Haitian mothers and children.
In the Dominican Republic, ICC empowers mothers to give their disabled children a chance to be fully included in their own communities. The Community Based Rehabilitation Program sends trained rehabilitation workers, called promotoras, into the homes of children with disabilities who live in and around the city of Santiago, Dominican Republic. The promotoras teach the child’s mother parents simple exercises so that they can be actively involved in helping their child grow and develop.
Help ICC support mothers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic by becoming involved in any of the programs mentioned above, or by making a donation. Mother’s truly are irreplaceable. As we near Mother’s Day and continue to reflect on the importance of our own mothers and their impact on our lives, let us remember mothers in Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Give today and help mothers support their children tomorrow.
Happy Mother’s Day!