Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sometimes Tears Compel

Lynsey Addario just made me sob. I don't know her, but I know the images of maternal mortality she captures with her camera. This is a link to one of the most graphic realities of pregnancy and childbirth for too many women in the world. Warning, it is hard to see these images. These pictures will transport you . . . but my ultimate hope is that they will inspire you to gather social and financial capital. Capital that has the power to increase maternal health. We can increase maternal health. These pictures don't have to be a reality.

Lynsey was kidnapped in Libya earlier this month. Some say women shouldn't report in war zones. I just say there shouldn't be war zones. But if they exist, women, their pens and their cameras need to be there recording . . . reporting.

Maternal mortality is a war zone too.

(Lynsey Addario, I thank you for your bravery and calling. Please keep taking pictures and telling stories.)
ps Lynsey is no longer a captive! She is free and continuing her craft. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

An Open Letter to Whom it May Concern

Dear Global Minded Mama*:
Maternal Health comes in many forms and is needed everywhere. The World Health Organization estimates that every day, approximately 1000 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. It is the word preventable that compels me to write you today.
Research shows us that birthing kits and trained attendants greatly improve chances of survival for mothers and babies. What if every local church in the world had a trained birthing attendant? It can be done.
The women of First Baptist Decatur, GA are intricately connected to the women of the Baptist church in Kidete, Tanzania. We need each other. I would love to begin a conversation with you about ways to form maternal health partnerships with women around the world.  
Have car, will travel. Have passport, will fly. Together we can increase maternal health.
Would love to hear from you,

Suzanah D. Raffield
*mama defined, for the purpose of this post, as anyone who mothers ... a child, a cause, a world, love.

We are More Alike than Different

"Solidarity is identifying with one another without feeling like you have to agree on every issue. It's unity, not uniformity . . . It's going deeper than typical ways of talking and sharing - going down to the place where souls meet and love comes, where separateness drops away and you know these women because you are these women."
Sue Monk Kidd
Dance of the Dissident Daughter, 2002
pg. 173