MATERNAL LIFE INTERNATIONAL
We are committed to creating a more just and peaceful world through building healthy marriages, providing women with safe birth and helping children grow up within a secure and loving family.
To be whole. . . . To be together. . . . To be holy . . . To be family
This is our dream . . . This is our mission
Our work goes to the foundations of human development:
· Providing married couples with the formation and skills necessary to be caring, self-giving, communicative spouses
· Providing health care professionals with the training and resources necessary to provide safe and peaceful births
· Providing mothers and fathers with the knowledge and skills to be good parents
· Providing women, couples and families with basic health care education, empowering them to make good health care decisions.
COMMITTED SPOUSES------------SAFE BIRTH-----------CHILDHOOD SECURITY
This is the work of Love: “Love is simultaneous mutual regulation, wherein each person meets the needs of the other, because neither can provide for his own. Such a relationship is not 50-50-it’s 100-100. Each takes perpetual care of the other, and, with concurrent reciprocity, both thrive. For those who attain it, the benefits of deep attachment are powerful – regulated people feel whole, centered, alive. With their physiology stabled from the proper source (LOVE), they are resilient to the stresses of daily life, or even to those of extraordinary circumstance.”
Our work is life-giving:
There is a sacred space in human existence which begins at conception and ends at natural death. We value, honor and protect that space in all that we do.
· Within that sacred space, we work to insure all women have access to essential obstetrical care so neither they nor their baby die from a complication of childbirth.
· Within that sacred space, we specifically focus on the first 1000 days of life and how we insure mothers receive adequate nutrition and comprehensive prenatal care during this time. After a woman delivers, we focus on postpartum care and support for breast feeding and healthy infant nutrition.
· Within that sacred space, we help couples provide “security and attachment” and prevent adverse childhood experiences such as domestic violence, child abuse, neglect and drug and alcohol use.
· Within that sacred space, we help couples make good health care decisions – from immunizations to care of emerging chronic diseases such as diabetes and hypertension.
Our work is “couple based:”
A marriage is a “we” and not a “you” and “I.” In that “We,” women are valued and protected and the couple becomes the foundation for healthy human and social development
· Women are more likely to receive prenatal care and skilled birth attendance if they have supportive partners
· Families do better with committed husbands and fathers who work with their wives in creating economic, food and emotional security in their homes
· Children realize greater educational success and social well-being when their fathers are present and involved in their lives
Our world desperately families in which husband and wife love and respect each other and work together for the good of their children. Within such a family, children flourish and mature into caring, motivated, giving people so necessary for the well-being of society. In the absence of love and security, children never realize their full potential and are much more prone to physical, mental and emotional trauma which they carry with them the rest of their lives.
The “We Paradigm”
If you want to go fast, go alone; If you want to go far, go together
At Maternal Life International, we want to go far! We want to see health and human development be life-giving and sustainable. Getting there takes a radical change in how we approach things. It has to be a “WE” and not an “I.” Human beings can only be healthy in the context of healthy relationships.
· It is the healthy relationship between a mother and a child growing inside of her that allows a baby to realize their full potential
· It is the healthy relationship between a husband and wife which allows women to be safe, secure and valued.
· It is a relationship of security and attachment between mother, father and child which allows children to become integrated human beings.
· It is a relationship of respect and dialogue between health care providers and those they serve that creates trust within communities.
The “WE” approach is written into the fabric of our work:
· Our “Faithful House” program helps couples form a healthy “WE.” They learn to be faithful and respectful, how to improve their communication in regard to sex, money, parenting and household responsibilities and how to improve their food and economic security.
· Our “Safe Passages” obstetrical training program focuses on developing health care competencies which embrace the “WE” of caring for both mother and her baby. The same midwife who is trained to recognize and manage toxemia is trained to resuscitate a newborn baby who is not breathing. And the same midwife is taught to involve men in the support of their pregnant wife!
· Our “Couple Bead Method” of family planning educates both husband and wife to understand and recognize the fertile and infertile phases of a woman’s menstrual cycle. Using this knowledge, the couple works together and shares the responsibility of family planning – without the side effects of hormonal based contraception.
“You cannot believe the difference these programs make. You know now we have better lives!”
Judith, Faithful House teacher, Diocese of Kasese, Uganda
MLI Affiliates: Working at the Grassroots
MLI has affiliates and staff in Uganda, Tanzania and Haiti. Magnificat Maternal Health, a California based affiliate also works in Nigeria. Over the course of our history, we have provided training and resources in 12 different African countries and Haiti.
· MATERNAL LIFE UGANDA: In Uganda we have a staff of six led by Gonzaga and Paskazia Lubega. The Lubega’s have been the lead trainers for many of our programs and are recognized throughout Africa for their experience and expertise in African marriage and family life. They provide training throughout Uganda and in many other places in Africa. Working with the Lubega’s and their team, our “Faithful House” program has now been incorporated into the overall mission of the Uganda Catholic Medical Bureau.
With them, we are working to build St. Joseph’s Family Life Center - an East African center for regional training and program development.
· MATERNAL LIFE HAITI: We have a staff of three working in Milot, Haiti. They are led by Mr. Jacqueius Joseph, a most dynamic and committed director. He is supported by Mr. and Mrs. Martial Verdieu who are the lead training couple. The program has reached over five hundred couples and now provides “Faithful House” training throughout the Archdiocese of Cap Haiten.
Together we have formed a partnership with another US based non-profit organization called “WoodAid” as well as with the municipality of Milot to build a community training center and clinic. The project is called Secure Foundations and has the potential to change how development is done in Haiti!
· MATERNAL LIFE TANZANIA: Our newest affiliate in Dar Es Salaam is directed by Paschal and Melania Maziku. They are coordinating program development in the Archdiocese of Dar Es Salaam and also working with the adjoining rural dioceses of Njombe, Ruvuma and Lindi. As well as implementing “The Faithful House” and “Couple Bead Method” in Tanzania, we are working with the Little Sisters of St. Francis to build a model “Safe Birth” center at Kilimahewa Health Center. The center will be upgraded to be able to provide life-saving Cesarean section and blood transfusions as well as fetal monitoring and newborn resuscitation.
“I will spend my heaven doing good on earth”
St. Theresa of the Little Flower
Our world needs people committed to good, to heroic, self-giving acts of love: little acts of love and great acts of love. Love is the bridge between heaven and earth. It is selfless, fearless love which will allow us to stand up for human dignity and conquer evil, neglect, poverty and disease. We share this precious love within the great religious traditions:
· “The hands that help are holier than the lips that pray” Hindu proverb
· “And feed with food the needy wretch, the orphan and the prisoner, for love of Him, (Saying): We feed you, for the sake of Allah only. We wish no reward or thanks from you.” Qu’ran 3:1
· “What you do for the least of mine, that you do unto me.” Jesus
· “Learn to do well; Seek justice, relieve the oppressed.” Isaiah
· “The human person is a being for whom the only suitable dimension is love.” John Paul II
Renew the Face of the Earth
“The truths of the spirit can be proved only by what we do about them. “Love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith” – if we should cease to show them in our lives, they would cease to be.”
We ask you with all of our heart to support our work. We are volunteers: 98% of what you give goes directly to our projects and operations in Africa and Haiti. We only use 2% for our administrative and office expenses! We know the difference these projects make. There is no greater gift than to see a mother and baby’s life saved; no greater blessing than to see a healthy, intact family; no greater hope than people working together in solidarity for a good beyond themselves.
How can you help us?
· BECOME A SUSTAINING DONOR: Can you donate to our work each month? Even 5, 10 or 20 dollars a month makes a huge difference. If we can keep our present operations in Haiti, Tanzania and Uganda funded through monthly sponsorships, then we can direct grants and larger donations to our present capital projects (St. Joseph Family Life Center, Kilimahewa Safe Birth Center, Holy Family Community Center and Clinic, Haiti) PLEASE CLICK HERE TO BECOME A SUSTAINING DONOR.
· BE A PROJECT SPONSOR: If you, your family, your community, your parish, your service organization wants to make a huge difference, we are praying for major funders to step forward and help us fund our capital projects. Behind our efforts are hundreds of Ugandan’s, Tanzanian’s and Haitian’s who are praying for assistance – for they know how much good these projects will bring. IF YOU WOULD CONSIDER A MAJOR GIFT, PLEASE CLICK HERE AND OUR STAFF WILL CONTACT YOU.
· BE A VOLUNTEER: We often need volunteer help – in assembling project materials and training equipment. We often have requests for medical and teaching materials for midwifery and nursing schools. And, if you have experience in multi-media or in grant writing, we can use your support and ideas. IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER, CLICK HERE AND OUR STAFF WILL CONTACT YOU.
· BE AN ADVOCATE: Learn about our programs and our model of development. All that we do is based upon respect for the life and dignity of all persons, born and unborn. Learn about safe birth, the first 1000 days of life, the “Couple Bead Method” and get others on-board. We need thousands and thousands of people standing up for the human family! IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE OUR BI-MONTHLY E-MAIL NEWSLETTER CLICK HERE. FEEL FREE TO DOWNLOAD THE TEACHING AND EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES ON OUR WEB-SITE.
Maternal Life International is a 501(c)3 nonprofit committed to improving women and family health care through safe, practical, life-affirming, and innovative medical and resource-support programs. Working since 1997, our staff and volunteers are passionate about bringing to the world practical, evidence based programs to improve marriage and family life and to enhance maternal health and obstetrical care.