Global Midwife Education Network

As I graduated college with grandiose dreams of movie stardom and fame, a dear friend was continuing her education so she could become a midwife. At the time it seemed pretty hippie dippy but kind of cool at the same time–feeling like if I was a mother-to-be and knew I was healthy and strong, I’d probably want to do a home birth and go with a midwife instead of hospital. As my friend advanced in her studies and eventual practice, I learned vicariously much more about infant mortality and childbirth practices in different cultures (and a little more gynecology than I’d bargained for).

The Global Midwife Education Network (GMEF) provides long-term, sustainable training, supplies and medicines to women in rural, isolated communities of the developing world. These women are then able to provide care for pregnant women and children in their own community. GMEF also focuses on expanding educational opportunities for girls to promote sustainable community-based development for future generations. GMEF’s practices are community-based and participatory, focused on the specific needs of every community.

In the remote Atlas Mountains in Morocco the organization began a program this past fall, serving 30,000 local villagers who have no access to medical care. In the Altiplano of Bolivia, where maternal and infant mortality is highest of all the Americas, a year-long midwife training program begins this summer, which will begin to turn those numbers around (and will simultaneously train the community on sanitation, clean water, and nutrition education).

Ushering new life into the world is an awesome responsibility and honor–and every mother everywhere deserves to be honored and cared for during childbirth and infant care.

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