In September of 2010, Children of the Promise added a prenatal program. We see this program as preventative medicine, another way for us to care for the needs of infants in our area without having to separate them from their families. The inspiration and drive for the program comes from a family who has adopted 3 children from COTP. (See their story below)
The program is split up into two groups of 25 expecting mothers who each come once a week to receive prenatal vitamins, rice, beans, and education. They learn about the importance of breast feeding, vaccinations, the nutritional needs of infants, and different developmental milestones. After the baby is born, they return once a month for six months to continue the education and to be weighed. Our program is clearly producing healthy babies and well educated Mothers.
In a country with such a high infant mortality rate, this is an amazing accomplishment! We are so thankful to be able to empower these Moms to be able to raise their babies in a healthy environment and be equipped to know the needs of their child!
The Zumwalt Family
The COTP pre-natal program started in 2009 after lots of soul-searching around how our family could best help Haiti. Our family has been profoundly impacted by Haiti and its people. Haiti is core to who we are as a family as our 3 youngest children were born there. Our responsibility to help did not end with their adoption (Monique & Joeyin 2004 and Fabie in 2010). Monique and Joey were both impossibly tiny when we brought them home suffering from severe malnutrition. Since coming home to Canada they have flourished with good nutrition and lots of family love. Seven years later we adopted their baby sister Fabie who joined us after being evacuated out of Haiti following the earthquake in 2010. Our kids’ birth Mom died as a result of child birth, and her life story was the inspiration behind the prenatal program.
We made a promise to ensure that no woman would have to walk the same sad path in life of our kids’ birth Mom. Poverty, poor education
With the help of many people, we have been able to give a few Haitian families a fighting chance. With the help of Daryl and Sarah Huniuk, we took the first step by ensuring mothers had ac
Prenatal has grown under the leadership of its Haitian staff. Haitians have taken alead role in the program. Renel, Marie Lourdes and Papito, from the start have managed and run a program to help the local community beyond the gates of COTP. They are building a better Haiti one heathy mother at a time!
Since the start family members, friends and corporations in Calgary and Vancouver have helped with the on-going funding of the program. Over the past 3 years this has allowed us to help 590 Haitian mothers. It has allowed us to supply roughly 2.5 tons lbs of beans and rice annually as well as pre-natal vitamins. It has allowed COTP staff to share basic prenatal and early baby-care education.
In 2012, we have been able to broaden the program to provide our Haitian mothers with the ability to generate an income to help care for their families. Through a partnership with Fokanze, our Haitian mothers can access micro-credit and some basic business education. Prenatal has proven that we can save lives, mother and child, plus keep families together. Now we have partnered with Fonkoze to provide mico-loans to break the cycle of poverty as well.
All the great things that happen in a prenatal class in Canada or the USA, like information exchange and forming life-long friendships and networking,
Doug and Deanna Zumwalt