The children we met in Liberia were fascinated when the team showed up at the construction site. They were captivated by Becky’s drone and looked on in awe when she put it into action. When we went to nearby Varney Goyah Town to conduct community assessment interviews, they gathered around us. They were highly amused by my taking pictures of chickens and coconuts. Lizzy took my hand and skipped along beside me as we walked. When we left to return to the construction site, they ran there on foot, taking a shortcut and showing up about the same time as our vehicle. Rick had a bagful of candy that he gave them. They gathered around him laughing joyfully as he passed out the sweets.
At some point, someone decided to use a hose as a makeshift jump rope. The children had fun jumping as the adults turned the “rope.” They laughed in delight when the men jumped rope as well. As I recalled all this the other day, I thought, what if they had never been born? All those beautiful smiles never lighting up my heart or those of their parents.
Sadly, not only do many women develop a fistula due to their prolonged labor, but their babies are stillborn. Most of the fistula survivors I have spoken to lost their babies. They didn’t just suffer a problem that causes shame and isolation, but they lost their precious baby - a baby that could have grown up with bubbly laughter and dreams. Dignity:Liberia’s dream is to build a maternity waiting home that will provide a safe place to stay for a woman in the final days of her pregnancy.
The construction of House of Hope and Dignity is well under way. But we need your help in order to complete it and make it operational. By donating now, you can make that happen. Click here to make your gift. Thank you.
Kathy Beth Stavinoha
Kathy Beth lives and works in Austin, TX. She graduated from high school in Monrovia, Liberia in 1977.