Last year a raccoon figured out how to open the metal trash cans I used for storing bird seed and corn, so I started storing the bags in my laundry room till one of the bags had pantry moths that led to a pantry moth infestation.
After the pantry moth experience, I decided to move things back to the outside storage, and bought a Sterilite footlocker for that purpose. Less than a week after I bought it, I found the latches raised and a huge hole where an animal had chewed through the plastic. Not to be thwarted, I bought a small Sterilite box that I placed inside a chicken-wire enclosure. One day I left the door to the enclosure open, and something (I think a squirrel) chewed a hole in the lid.
I next tried storing the damaged box inside the damaged footlocker. Not smart! When I went to retrieve a bag of birdseed, I found a hole in the side of the inner box! Experiencing one setback after another has been very discouraging - enough that I’ve thought of abandoning my efforts to provide for the wildlife that visits my yard.
After suffering from her own fistula, Dignity:Liberia’s founder, Kathi Gutierrez, felt the calling to help combat obstetric fistula in Liberia, where she had previously lived. Knowing the emotional and physical pain she had suffered while having ready access to medical help, she knew that Liberian girls and women with fistula had it much worse.
In the more than ten years that Dignity:Liberia has been working in Liberia, both the United States and Liberia have elected new presidents. There has been the worldwide COVID pandemic, which is still ongoing. Liberia also suffered through the Ebola pandemic which not only killed thousands, but temporarily led to some prejudices against the country. Both during the Ebola virus and during COVID, funding earmarked for fistula campaigns was reallocated to combat the viruses. More recently, many foundations in the U.S. have shifted their focus from maternal healthcare to COVID relief and other causes.
Despite all this, Dignity:Liberia never considered abandoning its plans to build its maternity waiting home, House of Hope and Dignity. In fact, a team is heading there in less than a month to lay the foundation for the home! Some plans can’t be thwarted.
To learn more about House of Hope and Dignity, click on this link or scan the QR code in the photo gallery above.
Thank you for your support!
Kathy Beth Stavinoha
Kathy Beth lives and works in Austin, TX. She graduated from high school in Monrovia, Liberia in 1977.