The Middle East Project: Israeli midwives 2009-10 Presented by: Gomer Ben Moshe
Team includes: 11 midwives social worker breast feeding counselor July 2009
On going projects / work: Professional Support for pregnant African refugee women Collaborating with Palestinian colleagues creating on-going professional and personal contacts Skin to skin project Maintenance and logistics (weekly “skype” meetings, raising funds, hosting visitors) Raising awareness to COHI’s activity & Creating new contacts (open house, radio interview, local meetings)
Strengthen mutual project of Palestinian- Israeli midwives : meetings, sharing and producing professional knowledge Empower local midwives’ group : organize steady meetings, keep group involved in planning and doing, SE workshop. Collaborate with local organizations
Create national volunteer group for support for women who lack support Continue work with refugee woman by professional and political acts Fund raising event & apply for grants
Professional Support for pregnant, laboring and postpartum African refugee women
The Arad Project Arad is a small town located in the south if Israel As of summer 2009 inhibits approximately 1000 African Refugees, with little or no Social and financial support. Some of the women work . COHI & “Hillel” (a student organization) Are collaborating on this project.
coordinated by a social worker volunteer ,Professionally led by a midwife,the project includes: 1. Bi- monthly meetings with pregnant women to promote health of both mothers and new-born 2. Prenatal follow-up by midwife 3. Same midwife is on-call for childbirth
This agreement was set with the hospital team enabling : formal recognition and better outcome & better experience for Mother + child 4. A local group of nursing and medicine students volunteers to helps support the mothers in the hospital (group was established by coordinator) of Project
Strength of the Arad project: *Dedicated volunteers *Strong community, supports needy; heads of community help project coordinating. Weakness : *Growing community- will need additional personnel. *Located far out in the south, lack of local team And far for most of COHI’s group (expensive traveling) *Translation problem * Hard to organize meetings, lack of communication
Plans for 2009-2010: *Add local midwives to project *Find a steady solution for translations *Maintain and establish relations with local forces: heads of community, local nurses in Arad Who can add professional support *Birth control education
Usafia shelter In a small Druze village in the north is a shelter that hosts women & kids from the refuge's community (15-20 women) Run by a private NGO Short term solution for women who need support.
COHI collaborates with local NGO that runs the shelter on this Project: Bi- monthly meetings with pregnant women to promote health of mothers ,new-born & kids 2. Prenatal follow-up by midwives 3. Shelter staff or COHI volunteers support the women through childbirth and first days postpartum 4. Post-partum follow up by the midwives & breast feeding counselor. 5. COHI supports the women by enabling on-call advice regarding health issues
What do the women want to talk about? *Healthy life style for mothers *Prevention of home accidents *Learning about childbirth in Israel *Birth control methods *First 2 years nutrition for babies- toddlers …and more!
Strength of Usafia project: *Dedicated volunteers *Help from the shelter staff (including translation) *Women and kids are taken care of, socially and medically Weakness of project: *Lack of community support *Dependency on local NGO limits COHI’s professional and strategic actions, since all meetings are approved by shelter manager (subject and/or agenda might be changed or postponed )
Plans for 2009-2010: *Strengthen collaboration with local staff *Add medical staff to team *Follow- up women who leave shelter before 1 year post-partum Plans for national work with refugees: *Join the work around center of the country, led by another NGO. *help raise political awareness to the issue *Birth control education
Collaborating with Palestinian colleagues to create on-going professional and personal contacts
Mixed emotions: Both groups are eager to meet .At the same time there are fear and hesitant. The political/ Military situation between Israel and the Palestinian authority prevents us from meeting spontaneously (army check-points, need for permissions, closure). A meeting has to be planned in advance and depended on other NGOs . Physicians for Human Rights from Israel go to the west-bank steadily. Gaza is out of reach as of 2009
Plans for collaboration2009-2010 *Mutual Meetings to get to know each other First meeting in the beginning of August at Jenin. *Sharing professional knowledge *Working together to promote midwifery guidelines (from May 2008) *Mutual research *SE or other post trauma treatment class for all midwives together
Hopes Limitations We women want to talk Fear and get to know each Shame other. Common professional Complex political Issues to deal with situation Others have done it- Technical obstacles: Why not us… different languages Where to meet
One wonderful way to keep up the good work and the wonderful mutual ability was started by this project:
Skin to skin project Aisha & Lesley have started this project at May 2008. They have been to an international conference together! Now they plan on spreading the word, how important is Skin To Skin. They want to continue educating professional personnel on this issue. In Hebrew and in Arabic!
No Weakness! A winning project!
Maintenance and logistics *Regular contacts between coordinators and with other staff and team members. *Update of online materials *Creating new contacts with local supporters *Hosting Jessica Alderman (photography project) was done by the entire group of Israeli midwives- traveling, hosting and trying to help as much as possible.
taking part in the V-day event
Raising awareness to COHI’s activity & Creating new contacts Local & international NGO’s, Local organization, groups, press, embassies, friends & family Planned activity: OPEN HOUSE- in Israel & Palestine Radio interview on a national station Fund raising- Planned event for fall
More plans: Grant application Out-reaching for more local collaborations (feminist organizations, midwives’ association, etc.) Add new members to the Israeli team
Do Not say: “the day will come” Be part of bringing the day! It’s not a dream! Everywhere you go- call out for peace ! (translated from an Israeli peace song) Blessings for MIDWIFERY IN PEACE! Thank you