In This Issue
Coconut Tangerine Salad
Around the World
come on the trip to Kenya in a future newsletter!
To enjoy past newsletters, visit the archives:
Attention Aspiring Midwives!
You will love the flexible, thorough, distance academics
course offered through Charis Childbirth!
Check it out!
Want to serve childbearing families as a Certified Doula or Childbirth
Become trained and certified through Charis Childbirth!
Take a look
at our unique certification process!
If you seek a school that offers the convenience of self-paced distance
learning, personal mentors for each student, a commitment to the highest
excellence in education, a family-like network of students and birth
professionals, and education from a Christian perspective, Charis may be just
the right fit for you!
We at Charis are extremely grateful for our wonderful members.
This past year, your dues have made it financially possible for
us to creatively correspond with people in areas of the world
where internet is spotty at best. Having all forms of
communication available for us is essential if we are going to
successfully train birth professionals in the far reaches of the
earth. As our community of members grows, there will be more
funds available for even more world-impacting outreach. Thank
Membership is due every December 31 for the coming calendar
year. So, if you became a member on or before December 31,
2016, your dues should be mailed by the middle of December,
2017, to be sure it is received in time. If you become a member
sometime in 2017, then your membership renewal is not due until
December 31, 2018.
You can send your
membership form and $30 dues to:
2575 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., Suite 3
North Port, FL 34289
For more information
for course description and outline.
2575 N. Toledo Blade Blvd., Suite 3
North Port, FL 34289
Kristin Schuchmann ~ Executive Director
Susan Oshel ~ Director of Midwifery Studies
Look us up
here to Subscribe
Everyone is welcome!
Enjoy our newsletter every other month. We welcome comments and suggestions! If
you need help with your opt-in mailing or wish to send Newsletter articles or
Our Director's Heart
Kristin Schuchmann, Lilian Achieng
Lilian's son, Surprise, and her mother who is a midwife.
Making a difference that will benefit
generations to come...
Incredible people are everywhere. No matter where you go, you will find them;
and, often, where it is least expected. Some people live where there are
opportunities to cultivate their gifts in ways that get attention from the
world. Others live where there is corruption to the extent that their talents
are squashed and hidden by poverty over which they have no control. Some people
silently use their brilliance to be a light in ways that do not get the
attention of the internet or anyone outside of their immediate family or
neighbors. On my recent trip to Kenya, everywhere I went, I was surrounded by
brilliance of every form and fashion. Our team had the honor of getting to know
government officials, community health volunteers, midwives and traditional
birth attendants in the villages and slums and big cities, mothers and babies,
women who are not mothers, married men, single men, pastors, business men and
women, hospital administrators, and other health workers.
Every single person we met was incredible. It amazed us at how much they are
able to do with so little. The ones working in the clinics and hospitals are
working for little or no pay and with inadequate supplies. The home birth
midwives in the slums and villages have obstacles ranging from transportation
issues, lack of supplies, resistance from the government through real and
perceived laws and rules that limit their ability to do their work, and rampant
HIV and other diseases. I discovered that a box of low-quality, non-sterile
gloves costs the same there as I pay for a box of high-quality, non-sterile
gloves in the US. That could be an entire week's income for some, making it
completely cost-prohibitive to use gloves. And, sadly, all the midwives and
healthcare workers felt under-appreciated for all they do to help their
As difficult as it is for the healthcare workers, the stories from the mothers
painted the saddest picture of all. Mother after mother told us of the horrible
abuse they endured during labor at the hands of hospital staff. They are
routinely beaten, slapped, and kicked if they make noise or do not conform to
what they are told to do. Some are also neglected to the extent that their
please for help from staff are ignored and they deliver all alone in the
hospital room fearing for their and their babies' lives. The ones who deliver at
home with midwives have stories of being treated well, but they are afraid of
complications and not being able to get to the hospital in time. Many told us
they would absolutely choose a home birth if they were certain that their
midwife was able to handle those complications.
The underlying problem we identified is that women are simply not valued. It is
so deeply ingrained in the culture that it is not a problem that can be fixed
overnight. So, what can be done to sustainably improve maternity care and birth
outcomes in Kenya? Our approach must be multi-faceted and steeped in great love
for the country and her people. It is essential that Kenyans be the primary
message-bearers. The vision is currently in the early stages of gestation, but a
few things are coming together already. First, we must train Kenyans as midwives
and as teachers of midwifery. Secondly, we must identify Kenyan men who truly
see women as God sees them and who have caught the vision for passing that value
on to the men of this generation and the next.
We are extremely excited to have connected with dozens of practicing midwives in
hospitals, villages, and slums who have a hunger to learn. They are eagerly
awaiting more education! We are already planning what skills would be most
appropriate to teach in each of the settings and are preparing for next year's
trip. Eventually, I will not be needed for the trainings. We now have several
Kenyan Charis midwifery students who are working hard to be ready to be the
teachers in the future!
Several men have already said they want to be part of the solution! One is a
pastor who is a loving husband and father whose baby was born while the hospital
completely neglected his wife, one is a hospital administrator with hopes of
becoming a doctor, one is an entrepreneur who has offered land on which we will
be able to build a birth center, and one is a chief of a village who has
travelled internationally and sees that empowering women is key in coming up
with solutions for Kenya's problems.
Thank you for praying for us as we travelled! Please continue praying for our
Charis students in Kenya and for the Charis staff as we plan for next year's
trip. We are very excited about what God is doing and the many doors He is
opening for us to spread the Gospel and improve the lives of people all around
the world in ways that will continue having a ripple effect for generations to
Love and blessings,
Kristin Schuchmann, LM, CPM
Executive Director, Charis Childbirth, Inc.