We are honoured that Women's Hope International has buttonholed us to collaborate with them. They want us to fashion baby dribble bibs for them and we were thrilled to offer our products that are handmade with African fabrics and the finest soft textiles to support their organization.
What does WHI do? Why have they approached us?
Women’s Hope International (WHI) is a Swiss association founded in 2003 which is committed to improving maternal health in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Chad. The focus is on the healing of vesicovaginal and rectovaginal fistulas (also called obstetric fistulas); empowering girls and women to prevent forced marriage and teenage pregnancies; as well as safe care during pregnancy, childbirth and the puerperium.
WHI is a non-profit organization certified by the ZEWO Foundation. We, Muffin Sisters, are deeply honoured to be invited to collaborate with Women’s Hope International.
Emergence & History
On 4th December 2003 WHI was founded as an association by Claudia and Martin Leimgruber-Neukom. From 1999 to 2002 the midwife and doctor worked in a health district in northern Chad. There they noticed obstetric fistulas were a widespread health problem.
In 2002 they organized two fistula surgery camps in cooperation with the Addis Ababa Fistula Hospital, during which over 90 women could be operated on and cured. When the couple returned to Switzerland, the association was founded in order to collect donations for fistula operations.
In the following years, projects in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ethiopia and Chad have been implemented with local partners.
Projects and programs
At present, WHI is operative in four countries:
WHI has been operating in Afghanistan since 2007. The association works there with two local partner organizations: The Cure Hospital of Kabul and Première Urgence Internationale. In Afghanistan WHI focus on fistula surgery; awareness-raising campaigns and education of affected women; advanced training for doctors and gynaecologists; and the training of midwives and medical nurses.
WHI has been active in Ethiopia since 2004. The association works in Ethiopia with several partner organizations in different projects:
- Training midwives at St Luke Catholic Hospital and Hamlin College of Midwives.
- Strengthening maternal health services in the Somali-Region . Partner organization: OWDA
- Supporting the waiting room at the Attat Hospital for high-risk pregnancies.
WHI has been working in Bangladesh since 2011. The association works in Bangladesh with a partner organization, Lutheran Aid Medicine Bangladesh (LAMB). The focus is on a project on reproductive basic health, in which fistula patients are also operated on. A second project aims to eliminate child marriage.
The association has been active in Chad since 2015. In recent years, WHI has been supporting a project for women who have been seriously injured at birth at the Regional Hospital in Abéché in the north-east of the country.
WHI is currently working with its partner organization, Bureau d'Appui Santé et d'Environnement (BASE), to improve maternal and new-born health services in the health district of Abougoudam in the east of the country.
WHI is an independent Swiss organization which is committed to improve the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in developing countries. A further concern is combating violence against women (sexual abuse, slave trade, forced prostitution, genital mutilation) and providing care and counselling for victims of abuse.
Help us to empower women by making a donation today.
How can you support the organization?
COVID-19 has reached the countries where WHI have projects and is threatening the core of their work: strengthening the sexual health and reproductive rights of women. WHI crucially depends on your generous donations. We would love to give our donors the marvellous opportunity to donate a bib. Parents, grandparents, godparents…everyone has the occasion to give a bib as a present to a new-born. In solidarity with women who have little access to health care services. And because every women deserves the chance to deliver her baby under safe circumstances.
Part of the amount paid for the bib is a contribution to our organization. It equalizes about of amount of money needed to accompany a women with a high risk pregnancy. We dearly love the wax print of our textiles. Not only do they are uniquely beautiful but also celebrates the vibrancy, the liveliness of the African culture. They match the children’s vitality above and beyond all else.
What have we achieved?
Our little campaign with the bids has allowed us to reach people who have never heard about our organization. Most of them have never thought about how unsafe childbirth can be in other countries. The facts about maternal mortality are shocking to them and people want to contribute towards a solution. The fact that they can do that be receiving a lovely bib, makes it even more attractive to them. We find that most people order a bib as a baby shower gift.
The feedback has been more than positive. People love the design and practicality of bibs and the fact that they are helping others with it.
The bib helps us become better known und contributes to informing the Swiss population about the need to invest in maternal healthcare worldwide.
We would love say massive Thank you Susan R. and WHI team!
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