I left California in August 2010, with my high Western ideals of bringing change, aid, & goodness to the women of Haiti. What I wasn't prepared for, was the incredible courage & spirit of the countless pregnant women & young mothers languishing in the post-earthquake relief camps in rural Leogane.
Before the devastating earthquake, Haitian women faced grave danger due to complications from pregnancy & childbirth. In a disaster zone & amidst waterborne disease & other insecurities, the risks are further exacerbated. We were told of countless stories of women experiencing rape & sexual abuse within the overcrowded camps.
And despite the harrowing stories, the sadness & destruction, the women rise up. We distributed diapers, soap, sanitary napkins, toothpaste/toothbrushes with the help of World Cares Organization - an on-the-ground non-profit continuing to bring hope to these women who continue to remain in these camps.
On a day when many of us celebrate motherhood either lavishly or unencumbered, my heart is drawn to these sisters who continue to suffer, yet continue to believe in some measure of hope & desire. Hope that their lives will progress & desire for the utmost care & freedom for their children.
As I return to Haiti later this year, I will have to give my eyes up to these women - with the same boldness of spirit & resolve they afforded me in August of last year. I intend to give, what I have received from them. And so it goes.
I hope you will join me in your corner of the world.