As a former Peace Corps Volunteer who served in the DRC (when it was still Zaire) I was able to accompany Ms. Owens and Dr. O'Sullivan on their most recent trip this October 2013. I got to know firsthand what their training is all about since I helped with most of the translating. Footprints Foundation fearlessly entered one of the most insecure regions of the DRC in order to provide training where it is most needed: Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA's) working in the villages without any equipment or drugs and where modern medical care is often not available. They also brought new information and training to Midwives and Doctors in the Bukavu area with the mission that they need to pass on this information to other health professionals. The goal of this training is to reduce maternal and child mortality and from the reports by the TBA's it's already making an impact as they are now able to recognize situations where the expectant mother needs to be referred to a Medical Facility if at all possible in order to save her life or that of her baby.
It has been said that there is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come. Footprints Foundation is such a powerful idea and its time came as a mighty force for good in the world. I am so impressed by Lorna Owens, her story of how it all began, the marvelous work that she and her volunteers have accomplished thus far, and all that is to come. Lorna and her team have left "heartprints" and "footprints" of healing, love and compassion on a most vulnerable part of the world. Footprints Foundation is an instrument of God for the work of God. Lorna has been a frequent speaker at my church, Unity of Miami Gardens, and blessed us with her wisdom and insights. She is inspiring and motivational. It has been a delight to see her mission and the organization unfold. They deserve global recognition. May the Footprint Foundations team be blessed with all the support and resources needed to continue their powerful work. Rev. Joanna Gabriel, Senior Minister, Unity of Miami Gardens, Miami Gardens, FL
This organization was born out of the compassion and dedication of one woman to make a global impact. In less than 2 years, Lorna Owens has created an organization that has already impacted the lives of hundreds of women and children suffering in the Congo. She has been able to reach out to her community and garner support from people within varied professions and cultures. She travels and speaks extensively to bring awareness and raise funds for this important work. She has already travelled twice to the Congo, at great personal risk, to personally bring medical supplies and hope to the women there. Her tireless dedication is phenomenal!
Let me begin by saying this organization was started from the heart by a woman with a tremendous one. I am blessed to know her and that she thought of me to ask me to help. I am a Women's Health Nurse Practitioner with years of experience. My dream was to be able to use my talent and experience in an extremely significant way. What is more significant that being able to help those most in need! Women and newborns in a war torn region with absolutely no resources or infrastructure to help at the most vulnarable time in life (childbirth!). Lorna Owens showed me how and encouraged me to make the first journey to meet with and begin educating the midwives and rural birth attendants in deep bush regions of the DR Congo. It was the most tremendous, most rewarding experience. I saw how my time and money was put to valuable use. I am encouraged to do more and know that I am making a great difference in the lives of those who are at most risk.
The Footprints Foundation is a pioneer in Global Public Health. Lorna Owens and her team have found ways to drastically change the lives of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo through their simple but thoughtful birthing kits and educational training to the traditional midwives. Not only does their reach extend to other continents, their work done locally also have strength. Through work with local hospitals such as the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital and the University of Miami they help bring laughter and joy to the youngest of patients.
I encourage on going support of this organization and their future goals so that they may continue to decrease maternal and infant mortality rates in the Congo as serve as an inspiration to all Global Health Practitioners.