My husband and I have been donors to Global Health Action for many years. I know firsthand of the good work they have accomplished in Haiti through their community health and development programs. The goat program has helped to improve the lives of rural Haitians by providing a sustainable source of income.
As an American living in China, I had the opportunity to see GHA's life-changing international work firsthand. Their efforts on behalf of women and children here are remarkable-- particularly their ability to work with local healthcare leaders to create change and results in a challenging culture.
I have closely followed and admired the work of GHA for 20 years and am consistently impressed with how effectively and efficiently GHA applies its resources for optimal impact. Having worked with a number of local and national non-profits, I have the greatest respect for GHA's philosophy of achieving its healthcare goals by training local health leaders in communities around the world. Not only does GHA create a foundation for sustainable health improvements in each country, it is also uniquely positioned to make an immediate difference when a crisis occurs as it did in Haiti. With healthcare workers already in place and part of communities in Haiti, GHA could move quickly to address health issues while others were still organizing. This is just one example of the beauty of the GHA community-based approach to creating positive change in the world.
I had the pleasure of making a site visit to Global Health Action's animal health workers project in Darbonne, Haiti this past July and was so impressed with both the innovation of the project and the necessity of it. Many donors are now well-versed in understanding the importance of livestock in rural development, but this project also addresses the attendant need for individuals that are trained to care for these animals. These animal health workers undergo a rigorous selection process, are trained meticulously in all aspects of caring for these animals, and are selected from members of the community to act as both service providers and as overall leaders. It is such an amazing way to unite and educate the community on such an important factor in rural development.
I am director of Global Women, a nonprofit in Alabama that is concerned with global issues impacting women. Maternal health is one of those issues that we pay close attention to. We are not experts, so we chose to connect with GHA as experts in the field of improving maternal health in Haiti! We have included funds for GHA in our annual budgets for the past 2 years, and have committed funds again for 2013 to support the monthly traditional birth attendants training in Petit Goave. Our organization is made up of individuals and groups that have also, over the past 4 years, assembled birthing kits and sent to the birth attendants to assist them in their deliveries. I led a team of women from Global Women to Haiti in March, 2012. We were able to attend a monthly training for the TBA's, and deliver more kits. We all loved seeing the program in action and meeting the dedicated TBA's and GHA leaders, and especially love their approach of empowering the local leaders. What joy to see the pride in the TBA's and the affirmation that GHA gives to them, valuing their commitment to be trained. Some walked over 7 hours one way to attend the meeting! The head nurse, Mirellaine, wants to lower the maternal mortality rate in Haiti, and GHA is helping her and TBA's in remote villages, to do just that! We are thrilled to be a partner in the good work of GHA, Mirellaine, and the TBA's!