We are moving to the next phase of the GCBC project and we want to show you the building plans for the Grace Community Birth Center. You will have an opportunity to hear from and talk with Ninotte Lubin about the project and to find out what we need for this next phase.
November 16 4:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Nature 2988 W. Burdickville Rd., Maple City
2020 has been a challenging year for everyone across the globe and Grace Community Birth Center rising to the pandemic’s continuing challenges. Your support makes it possible for Ninotte to focus on assisting mothers and babies through this unprecedented time.
“The birth center’s existence is rooted in you and you have been deeply helpful in the lives of so many women and their families,“ Ninotte reflected. “Our hearts are full of gratitude and empathy.”
In September a 17-year-old expectant mother visited for a check up. She expressed how she hadn’t eaten and left the check up with Moringa leaves from the GCBC garden and enough money for a meal. Your donations help to create care like this as well as support prenatal and postpartum mothers, women seeking family planning care, sexual education classes, and maintenance to the community center and building site.
As the year ends, thinking about the future is on all of our minds, as Ninotte said, “babies are being born every day and they need our love to create the world we are all want to live in.” And we look forward to celebrating with you—and all the healthy mothers and babies— when the COVID-19 pandemic is over.
And as we all work toward that future, we are all in this together. While Ninotte visited a postpartum mother and baby, a 6-year-old girl in the home took Ninotte’s hand and thanked her. And Ninotte wants to do the same: to take your hand and “Thank you!”
Ninotte and the GCBC team hope you stay safe and healthy as we enter this new year.
We are excited to announce we are partnering with Building Goodness Foundation to design and manage the construction of the birth center. Earlier this summer, architect Steve Miller from Iowa City traveled to Haiti to meet with Ninotte Lubin. Along with Board members Rubinste St. Louis, Kathi Mulder and Craig Mulder, and Lauren McRaven from BGF, they surveyed the building site, developed a list of requirements and reviewed other clinics and hospitals in the area.
Steve worked with his firm, SlingShot, to develop an initial set of architectural drawings for the Birth Center and to start work on the construction plans for the building.
Now the next step is to raise the necessary funds (approximately $150,000) for the construction and to demonstrate that we have commitments to the ongoing operational costs of the birth center, which will increase to about $45,000 annually.
Ninotte will be in the Traverse City area in November to meet with various people and groups. The primary fundraiser will be Saturday, November 16, at Nature in Leelanau County. Check this website for further details.
Reflecting on Grace Community Birth Center (GCBC) and her work over the winter, Ninotte Lubin has “hope to continue positively toward a strong community where women and babies are served respectfully in a loving and compassionate way for a better future.”
Haiti is still feeling the affects of the protests that broke out on February 7th, the country was “locked for weeks”. GCBC has not stopped working in the community to serve families and work toward renewal. As Ninotte said, “A midwife is a leader. Being aware and living through the challenges have strengthened my conviction and passion to serve.”
On May 18th, Ninotte gave a talk at GCBC on “violence experienced during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and its consequences on a child’s brain development” to 30 primary school teachers. Her presentation was met with much enthusiasm.
Through the country’s struggles in February, Ninotte was unable to buy gas but she was able to present some sex ed classes as well as see patients for prenatal care and family planning.
Ninotte is currently seeing a few women for prenatal care and assisting a new mother and beautiful baby with postpartum care.
35 women are seeing Ninotte for family planning. Without the Birth Center itself, family planning is the most in-demand service.
The garden on the GCBC property did not fare well through the winter’s dry spell. This spring, the well broke and Ninotte used some funds from the fall fundraising for repairs. Now the garden is well-watered and thriving.
Over the winter the 25 beehives on the property yielded four gallons of honey which Ninotte used to invest in nine more beehives. GCBC has now acquired 33 of its 50 beehive goal.
On June 1st advisory board members Kathi and Craig will visit GCBC along with representatives from the Building Goodness Foundation (BGF). BGF will draw up plans and estimate a budget for the building project. BGF will then review the project and potentially supply supervisors for construction once funding is secured.
GCBC’s Instagram page will be updated regularly as Kathi and Craig send photographs from the trip, go stay tuned.
2019 looks bright for Grace Community Birth Center (GCBC) thanks to generous donations from the 2018 fundraising campaign, support from the Grand Basin community, and Ninotte Lubin’s hard work.
2018 Fundraising Campaign:
The end of year fundraising brought in enough money to sustain GCBC and its programs for the year to come. Generous donations combined with SowHope’s $20,000 matching grant will supply approximately $47,000 to the GCBC building fund.
Updates from Haiti:
The Grand Bassin community continues to deepen their support for GCBC, an end of year gathering welcomed approximately 200 community members who expressed their gratitude for GCBC. Before the gathering, a nearby community’s well broke down and Ninotte worked with community members to find a solution, within days the well was fixed, further solidifying the trust between GCBC and the community.
Many young people participated with wonderful energy in Ninotte’s sexual education classes followed by crafting workshops. Ninotte’s innovative classes make meaningful impacts in young people’s lives in the present and in the future as well.
Ninotte currently has pregnant clients that she sees for prenatal care and she continues to administer family-planning care. We’ll leave you for now with Ninotte’s smile and healthy, adorable, babies.
Support for Grace Community Birth Center (GCBC) blossoms as the year nears its end, thanks to Ninotte’s trip to the US and community connectivity in Grand Bassin.
Earlier this fall, Ninotte Lubin traveled to the US, making stops in New York and Michigan. She met with past GCBC supporters and introduced many to the project.
In New York, Ninotte met with Every Mother Counts and engaged with many wonderful people, including students at Vassar College, where she gave a lecture.
In Michigan, Ninotte spoke at a SowHope dinner in Grand Rapids. She thanked SowHope for their support, “we really can be better together.”
Finally, Ninotte reflected on the Traverse City fundraiser, “it’s been a special thing every year to share the progress of the project with the Traverse City community.”
The $16,000 raised this fall further proved people’s support for GCBC, these profits will sustain GCBC for another year.
But the fundraising isn’t over: SowHope pledged a matching grant of $20,000 that will be awarded by the end of January. GCBC hopes to raise the additional $20,000 by the end of 2018. This grant is the capital funding for building the birth center.
You can help GCBC meet their end of the $20,000 goal right now: Click this link to donate to GCBC.
The Grand Bassin community showed great support for GCBC while Ninotte was in the US: they intervened when road construction by the GCBC site threatened to destroy the property’s fence. Ninotte said, “they revealed to us how much they appreciate, care and want the project to survive and sustain… We have a long way to go together and there is hope.”
Ninotte continues to do prenatal and postnatal checkups, and registration for the next segment of sexual education classes/crafting workshops, are now open. The classes begin December 2nd.
Ninotte spoke again at Haitian schools to raise awareness of “violence in pregnancy and birth, consequences on the children brain development”. Ninotte looks forward to giving a large number of these presentations in the next six months.
Thanks to the myriad of supporters in the US and Haiti, Ninotte and GCBC have the means to thrive in the year to come.
As summer dwindles, exciting things are on the horizon for GCBC. Ninotte is working hard to prepare for her autumn trip to the US, with the biggest goal being to raise the funds to build the birth center itself.
Birth and Care:
Ninotte continues to provide valuable prenatal, postpartum, and family planning care to the women of the Grand Bassin community. As soon as the birth center is built, Ninotte will start attending births.
Ninotte is immersed in plans for the future of GCBC, and is currently looking forward to a visit from Every Mother Counts in mid-September.
Sexual Education Classes:
Ninotte has succeeded in combining the sexual education classes with the crafting workshops; the young women are not only learning important information they are also engaged in learning useful skills.
The young women are doing their best and, together, were able to make a pair of sandals. Ninotte reflected that “they are very enthusiastic.”
GCBC is continually working with the Grand Bassin community to build relationships and trust, and the garden at the GCBC site has been a great way to do just that.
While the planting season was irregular this year (there was little rain) the peanuts were still successfully harvested.
Ninotte’s trip to the US promises lots of opportunities to connect: she will not only be visiting Michigan, but also New York. For the New York leg of the journey, Ninotte will be giving a public lecture at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie.
Ninotte Lubin has been working hard to make Grace Community Birth Center (GCBC) a reliable part of Grand Bassin. She has been developing strong community relationships and while there are some challenges there is a common goal: sustainability.
Ninotte has found creative ways to teach sexual education and awareness and is moving to more interactive ways of teaching. Ninotte began a program that teaches young women valuable crafting skills and at the beginning of each session Ninotte gives a sex ed presentation. The program had a bumpy start but thanks to Ninotte’s persistence and the instructor’s commitment the participants are dedicated and engaged.
Ninotte is also teaching and inspiring women outside of Grand Bassin. Florcie Tyrell, Haiti Executive Director at PICO (People Improving Community through Organizing) International, invited Ninotte to open a presentation for a group of 30 primary school teachers in Terrier Rouge. Ninotte engaged and enthused her audience with her talk about “violence experienced during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum and its consequences on a child’s brain development”. Florcie and Ninotte’s presentations went over so well that the school’s principal invited them to present again in the future.
On Father’s Day, GCBC held a family-focused gathering and Florcie spoke about the importance of families in the community. Fifteen couples attended as well as some individuals. Together, the couples took a questionnaire about family and were inspired to do better at home. Ninotte said that everyone had a “really great time.”
Grand Basin is experiencing a very bad dry season, but has been able to sustain the garden thanks to water from the well. While the bees wait for the flower season (fall and winter) to make honey, Ninotte hopes to talk to someone in the states about strategies for caring for the bees in the offseason.
As the business of summer winds down, we’d like to plant a seed in your autumn plans. We are looking forward to when Ninotte travels to Michigan in September and October. We are thrilled to say that she will be participating in speaking engagements and fundraisers, all aimed at raising funds to build the birth center itself. So, join us on Saturday, October 13 at 5:00pm to socialize, connect, and donate to GCBC. This fundraising event will be held at Nature (a new retreat center in Leelanau County owned by Emma and Bryan Cloninger). We hope to see you and your friends there. Watch for upcoming news and details.
In the News:
As GCBC works on raising the funds for the birth center, SowHope has generously offered to match $20,000. SowHope has featured Ninotte and GCBC in a news story on their website. Take a second to read the story.
In the photograph: Ninotte was able to help this mother who suffered from preeclampsia get to the hospital in time to save the mother and her twins.
Grace Community Birth Center (GCBC) understands the importance of transparency in the development of community relationships. Part of this development is engagement, and Ninotte has involved and empowered young people and mothers alike.
For Mother’s Day Florcie spoke to a group at GCBC about mother’s roles in “community, society, and the world”. After the talk women shared what they learned and how they would integrate these lessons into family life.
Creative ways of engaging young people has proven successful, with a lot of room to grow. At a sexual education class participants had fun making cards for their mothers, in celebration of mothers day, after the class.
Young people participating in the sex ed class
Young people participating in the sex ed class
Young woman participating in the sex ed class
A first time client at GCBC was able to have a great birth, thanks in part to Ninotte’s expertise, the mother of 6 was very happy and thankful.
Ninotte with client
As the garden continues to flourish, the peanut plants grow strong and there is space prepared to pant plantains. A section of the property will be filled with pigeon peas and tapioca, which originates from the cassava root, both of these are great nourishment in the Haitian diet.
GCBC has partnered with Community Coalition for Haiti (CCH), of Jacmel, to teach Days for Girls in schools. Rubinste St. Louis, in-country director for CCH and GCBC board member, and Melissa Jean-Bart, Health resources and clinic coordinator, were kind enough to give 40 Days for Girls kits to GCBC, and Ninotte is now able to supply them to girls in the community. More happy members of the GCBC community:
Stay tuned for regular updates from Grace Community Birth Center.