My mother-in-law, Michele Belletete, has been volunteering for Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans-Frontiers) at Jude-Anne Hospital, an obstetric hospital in Port-au-Prince, Haiti for the last nine months. On average, there are 1,200 births every month, with over 4,000 consults. Without exaggeration, all of the women who deliver there are the poorest of the poor. Many of the women have a laundry list of complications, both maternal and fetal due to malnutrition and poor hygiene. Most of the babies are born premature and underweight, many with tragic birth defects which make it impossible to live more than a few days or hours.
She is coming to visit in April and asked if we could collect some supplies for the women who come to her hospital for their births. If the women make it to the hospital for their delivery, they have four hours to recuperate and then are sent on their way, simply because the hospital does not have enough beds. These women do not come with changes of clothes, for themselves or for their babies, so they are sent back into the streets wearing the same clothes they had on for their delivery.
Owen and I went to Goodwill to see what we could find:
Six pairs of underwear, and three light nightgowns.
I couldn’t resist getting some onesies, undershirts and a couple of sleepers, though the last items will be for older siblings and not the newborns leaving this hospital. I’d like to embroider the undershirts and the plain onesies with something sweet.
Michele hopes to return to Haiti with a 50lb duffel bag full of nightgowns, underwear and ultra maxi-pads. We’ll be making several more trips to Goodwill, Thriftko and Value Village to see what we can track down for her. If you would like to contribute to the cause, you can send a donation to my home; just leave a comment and I will contact you privately.
Thank you for the work you do Michele.