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May at Grace

I’m late posting, but May was a busy month for Grace Community Birth Center. Despite lots of rain and bad roads, Ninotte traveled to Grand Bassin and taught full classes on the 13th and the 20th. She also oversaw the completion of the well. There is water for Grace! The first construction milestone is complete. Big thanks to the Mazzara family!

Now that there is a fence and a water source, Ninotte and team have planted some fruit trees on the land. They have constructed more beehives and intend to eventually use the honey as an income source for Grace.

From May 30th- June 1st,  Ninotte and her colleague, Tania, again traveled to Grand Bassin to complete a training session on newborn care for community members. Six people completed the training and learned essential skills such as newborn resuscitation and cord burning.

Finally, Ninotte has her first patients. Two young women in the community are pregnant and Ninotte will attend their births in the fall.

Here are some images of the recent happenings at Grace:

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The beehives.

 

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Classes at Grace.

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The newborn care training.
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Ninotte’s first clients. 

AU SUJET DE

 “Quand nous, en tant que société, allons commencer à valoriser les mères comme donneuses et partisanes de la vie, alors nous allons observer un changement social de manière importante”

Ina May Gaskin

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Le centre de naissance de Grace Community Birth Center est une initiative de Ninotte Lubin, une sage-femme professionnelle certifiée de Jacmel, en Haïti. Après le séisme de 2010 en Haïti, qui a tué plus de 200.000 personnes, Ninotte a eu l’idée pour ce projet après avoir travaillé, pendant trois ans, à deux centres d’accouchement sans but lucratif. Elle a passé beaucoup de temps à étudier sur l’Haïti et sa pauvreté courante. Grâce à cela, elle s’est rendue compte que le développement de toute société dépend de la façon que les enfants ont été mis au monde et comment ils ont été élevés.

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Ninotte a reçu sa formation dans les centres de naissance à but non lucratif, autogérés par des sages-femmes américaines et canadiennes, ainsi que dans deux pratiques privées au Michigan. Ces sages-femmes ont investi leur temps, leur argent, et leur expérience, ainsi que de nombreuses heures d’étude, pour que Ninotte devienne la sage-femme qu’elle est aujourd’hui. En 2015, elle s’est joint au Registre nord-américain des sages-femmes (NARM) en passant ses examens, ainsi devenant une sage-femme professionnelle certifiée (CPM).
Le centre de naissance Grace est appuyé par une organisation locale, le SAGE (Société de soutien et de gestion de l’environnement) dans la région du nord de l’Haïti, et par des sages-femmes et amis aux États-Unis. L’an dernier, une parcelle de terre (voir ci-dessous), sur laquelle sera construit le centre de naissance, a été donné en cadeau à Ninotte. Il y a encore de nombreux obstacles avant que le centre devienne une réalité et c’est seulement par le soutien continu de la communauté locale et globale de Ninotte, que ce digne projet verra le jour. Pour suivre les dernières nouvelles sur la construction et le développement du Centre communautaire de naissance Grace, suivez le blog. Ninotte va publier des photos et des mises à jour de ses progrès en cours, ainsi que des moyens pour que les supporters y participent.

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Le terrain de trois acres sur lequel le centre Grâce sera construit

Pourquoi le nom Grace?
Dans mes expériences au cours des cinq dernières années de formation pour devenir sage-femme, j’ai énormément reçu d’amis, de supporters, même de ceux qui étaient réticents à me soutenir, mais se sentaient comme s’ils devaient le faire. J’ai moi-même fait beaucoup d’efforts, mais puis-je vraiment dire que je suis digne? Je ne crois pas! Je suis reconnaissante envers Dieu et à ce qu’il m’a permis de recevoir des autres.
Grace à cela, je suis inspirée par tout ce que j’ai eu la chance de gagner à travers mes expériences, pour redonner aux plus démunis en Haïti.

Selon la Bible, Grâce signifie: la bonté et l’amour de Dieu qui nous sont démontrés, bien que nous ne les méritions pas. La grâce de Dieu est offerte à tous les êtres humains.
Le nom de Grace est choisi parce que, dans la période de la maternité, les femmes d’Haïti ont besoin de trouver un peu de grâce supplémentaire dans leur vie. La vie est difficile partout, mais amplement difficile pour les Haïtiens. Nous souhaitons que les femmes qui viennent à notre clinique puissent trouver la compassion, le soutien et les soins individualisés dont elles ont le plus besoin. En prodiguant la «grâce» sous la forme, de soins professionnels compatissants aux femmes et aux bébés, j’espère voir cette génération régénérée dans l’amour, le respect, et l’éducation.

April at Grace

Here are some images from Ninotte’s most trip to Grand Bassin and the Grace Community Birth Center land on April 8th-9th. Ninotte held classes and postpartum visits and construction was started on the well that will supply water to Grace.

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Ninotte teaching the adults’ sexual and reproductive health class.
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Ninotte teaching the girls’ sexual and reproductive health class.
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Ninotte seeing patients for postpartum visits.
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A postpartum visit.
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Clearing the land for the well.
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Clearing the land for the well.
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Digging the well.
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Eating a meal after working hard.

Please become a donor to Grace Community Birth Center today! All donations are tax deductible and can be made in a variety of ways. The easiest, for those in the US, is our brand new PayPal button:

Donate with PayPal

Donations for Grace are collected through Bay Eye Charitable Foundation, a 501c3 based out of Traverse City, MI. 100% of your donation goes to fund Ninotte’s projects related to Grace Community Birth Center: sex education classes, pre-natal and postpartum visits, Ninotte’s stipend and travel expenses, and construction on the Grace Birth Center land. All expenditures are overseen by the all-volunteer Grace Community Birth Center advisory board.

Classes at Grace Community Birth Center

Hi Everyone,

Ninotte is now holding regular classes in Grand Bassin, near the site of the future birth center. Last month she held classes and conducted prenatal and postpartum visits over the course of two weekends.

Over the weekend of February 17-19 she saw 2 newborns for postpartum visits (11 and 19 days old, respectively), 5 pregnant women for prenatal care, held a teen sexual education class that 68 girls, age 13-21 took part in, and an adult sexual education and family planning class at which 36 women and 1 man were present.

The following weekend, February 24-26, she continued with the postpartum and prenatal care on Friday night and then held the teen sexual education class on Saturday. There were 58 girls present who, on their own initiative between the first and second weekend of classes formed a committee to bring a contribution of 20 cents each class.

Ninotte is continuing to hold these classes (and the prenatal and postpartum visits) in the community structure in Grand Bassin. Meanwhile, construction has begun on the fence around the border of the Grace Community Birth Center property. This is the first step in the construction of the birth center.

Because Ninotte is holding regular, semi-monthly classes and appointments and because she would like to continue to do so in the future, now more than ever we need to create a solid, dependable donation base.

Please make a donation today so that Ninotte can hold classes and appointments next month!

To make a tax-deductible donation please go to the donation page and follow the instructions there.

Grace’s First Sex Education Class

 

Last Saturday at 11 am nearly 100 people ages 15-75 (including four pregnant women) gathered together at the ‘MODEKOB’ association building in the outskirts of Terrier Rouge for Ninotte’s first community class: “Sex Education: Things to Know.” People walked in from all over, dressed in their finest attire for this rare and much needed opportunity. The class ran for 3 hours with a short break for a traditional meal and the distribution of condoms (the highlight of the day!).

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First Class of Grace Community Birth Center

People were fully engaged and asked lots of questions. There is a huge thirst for knowledge about sexuality and motherhood—subjects that are almost taboo in this community. Everyone is looking forward to future classes and to the building of the Birth Center.

A 3-month postpartum mom came to Ninotte after with a tight hug saying: Thank you Ninotte, that was great, I want more of this, please don’t stop! She is breastfeeding exclusively and asked several great questions.

After the class Ninotte met with the pregnant women and did some prenatal consultation. She was able to use a doppler to listen to their babies’ heartbeats.

Due to the huge turn out, next month’s classes will be divided according to age. Targeted prenatal care for the pregnant women will also start next month.

Please donate to Grace Birth Center! Your continuous donations will help us buy teaching materials and allow us to offer participants a small snack. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We love you.

 

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Ninotte and the four pregnant women

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goodbye to 2016

As the year of 2016 comes to its end, Grace Community Birth Center wants to take some time to thank each of you for everything you have helped us achieve throughout the year. Because of your support, love, and contribution we have a loving community, a property, and some money to build a temporary structure so we can begin with prenatal care and community education this coming January 2017.

The community of Grand Bassin, in our last meeting of the year— on December 27th— expressed their strong desire to move forward with the vision of Grace Community Birth Center. As they said, we can’t wait for the structure to be built before starting teaching, let’s start sooner. So we will start in three weeks. Thank you! Your contribution to the project will make it happen.

We believe that tomorrow contains more joy than any yesterday we can recall. Let’s keep working together for tomorrow to be greater.

Haiti has so much to overcome. Therefore, at Grace we prioritize the tiny bit of positivity that is left in peoples’ minds. We are committed to helping them bring change in their lives through EDUCATION, especially sexual education for those of childbearing age and for those who are pregnant. Healthy children in a healthy family for the sake of a sane society.

Someone said: Your contribution to Others determines God’s contribution to you. Believe it or not, you are blessed because you bless us. Thanks God! Thank you!

Happy NEW YEAR to you ALL!

We LOVE YOU

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Back in Haiti

We are happy to report that Ninotte is safely back in Haiti after a long visit to the U.S. In all, she spent five weeks in Traverse City, MI, five days in Howell, MI, and eight days with her brother and his family in Florida. She had a amazing time promoting Grace Community Birth Center and meeting many new people and new supporters. Now that she is back on the ground in Haiti, she won’t stop working until the inaugural event of a functional birth center! And all of us here at Grace are so excited to keep helping her along that journey.

Ninotte says:

“As I reflect on my time out of Haiti, I realize how happy I can always be just by helping others. So, the key of my happiness is ‘giving back what I receive.'”

 

Giving Tuesday- Donations Doubled!

Happy Giving Tuesday!

Thanks to a generous sponsor, from now until the end of the week all donations made to Grace Community Birth Center will be doubled, up to a total of $1000!

So come on, Grace Community Birth Center supporters. Let’s raise $2000 more for Grace before Friday!

And, it is now possible to make TAX DEDUCTIBLE donations!

Canadian supporters:

This link will take you to the MNMF donation page where you can specify a donation to Ninotte.

U.S supporters:

Make out a check to ‘Bay Eye Charitable Foundation’ (with a note that it is intended for Grace Community Birth Center) and mail it to 530 W. 11th Street, Traverse City, Michigan 49684. Bay Eye Charitable Foundation is a 501c3 that has kindly offered to take Grace under its wing. So all donations made via this method are tax deductible.

Or, if it is more convenient for you, please make a donation using our PayPal account (not yet tax deductible, but coming soon!):


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Thank you Traverse City supporters!

Thank you Traverse City supporters and friends!

I remain in the condition in which I was called: to serve, not to be served because God gives me nothing I wanted. He gives me everything that I needed.

Your support, contribution, and love for Grace Community Birth Center at the fundraising party in Traverse City, Michigan on November 13th left me speechless. The blessings you have brought through Kathi Mulder (Dance of Life Midwifery) to my midwifery journey since 2011, when she and her daughter Tara met me in Haiti, and now when you have met me in person, are countless.

Your loving energy, hugs, words of encouragement, delicious Haitian food —you have melted my heart. The best part of the fundraiser day was the little girl, pictured below, who came with her grandmother and was the first to put some money in the basket. Her love took all my anxiety away. Her mom bought that Haitian piece of art work she is holding and I witnessed her arguing with her mom that she wanted it to be in her room. That was so sweet! Her sense of love reinforces my convictions about how children are the soul of a society. We can build in them a strong sense of unconditional love so we don’t have to repair broken people in the future.

 kristens-daugherKristen Shook’s daughter- Margo


Thank you, too, to all those who shopped at Oryana on November 10th. They said that it was a record 2% day. $1626 has been donated to the project because of your generosity.

mom-and-ninotte-at-oryanaKathi Mulder and Ninotte Lubin at Oryana CO-OP in Traverse City, Michigan

The world is full of hatred, prejudice, craziness. It’s easier to go there, but you have decided to help improve the lives of other people. It’s a choice. It’s love. It’s deeply appreciated. You are moving with us to help decrease the maternal and neonatal mortality rate in Haiti through prenatal education (I have done it and seen the benefits for vulnerable families), skillfully attended births, and postpartum education. With your help we will be able to educate young people about their sexual lives and support and strengthen families by creating a safe place that respects and supports women and men in their role as parents, in a country in desperate need of the renewal of human values. You are also helping to create a place for young people to learn and practice love, compassion, mutual aid, and a sense of responsibility that will bring a new future for Haiti. They can do better if we help them better.

We do not yet have what we need to start the first phase of the project, but it’s a great beginning. Please continue to donate as you are able. You can make a TAX DEDUCTIBLE (!) donation by making out a check to ‘Bay Eye Charitable Foundation’ (with a note that it is intended for Grace Birth Center) and mailing it to 530 W 11Th Street, Traverse City, Michigan 49684. Or you can donate via the website: gracebirthcenter.org. Stay tuned for a tax deductible donation portal on the website. Coming soon!

Please, as the Haitian Creole proverb said: men anpil chay pa lou (many hands make the load light), consider contributing more to the project.

Special thanks to Dance of Life Midwifery (Kathi Mulder, Katy Hobbs, Kristen Shook, Connie Eccles, Kristen Burgess) for their spectacular organization of the fundraising; Craig Mulder for his tireless help; Michigan Midwives Association for advertising the events. Thanks to Geradine Simkins for her book sales contributions and this beautiful love letter posted below; Kristen Shook, Summer Ison, Tom & Allison Dayton, Katy Hobbs, Flora Biancalana & Bob Brown, Bonnie Spanier, Lisa Franseen, Nadia, Sonja & Amy Moehle for the delicious Haitian meals you made; Thank you E-Minor, who gifted us with beautiful musics, Tadem Ciders for the hard cider and Shorts for the beer. Thank you Kathi Mulder for leading all of that and always making me feel at home!

With unconditional LOVE,
Ninotte Lubin, CPM- Founder of Grace Community Birth Center

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