You may have heard a song during this holiday season – “Over the River and Through the Woods.” You know, to grandmother’s house we go song? Well, hopefully you made it to grandma’s house (or those you love made it to your house, grandma!). Hopefully you made fond memories, there were gifts, warm fires, hugs, and plenty of good food.
Please take a moment to consider going “over the river and through the woods” means something far different to an expectant mother in near Dedza, Malawi. For them, “Over the river” can reflect what is about to take place as the first labor pains begin, and the fearful, expectant mother leaves the village, crosses the river, climbs the mountain, and makes her way nearly 20 miles to the nearest district hospital. The trip “through the woods” can be life threatening for both her and her baby. Her only option is to leave early and “camp out” somewhere near the hospital waiting for the pains to begin. This brings a whole new set of potential problems for care, food preparation, and a place to stay until the time comes. Motorized vehicles are a luxury that these women will not see. Here is what the terrain looks like.
The need for a new birthing center in the mountains northwest of Dedza is critical, and the Malawi Project, and Dzidalire Community Development Group need your help. Dzidalire has obtained the necessary permits, charters and surveys. The village people in the area have cleared the land and planted thousands of trees across the property. They have hand-made the bricks for the buildings, and have carved a road up and over the mountain with sheer manpower, machetes, and hand shovels. The Malawi Project has shipped in the equipment and supplies to open the birthing center. All that remains is the funding for construction.
We hope you had a wonderful Christmas. May God bless us and these young mothers in 2014.