Women empowering women | 2012 Bloggers for Birth Kits report and a thank you

How hundreds of women around the world have rallied to save the lives of mothers and babies in rural Papua New Guinea.

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You guys. YOU GUYS.

How do I even begin to report back on the awesomeness what was (is) the Bloggers for Birth Kits 2012 Mothers Day Drive??!

One of my coworkers delivering clean birth kits to pregnant mamas and birth attendants in rural Papua New Guinea.

How’s this for a start?

  • 1647 shares on facebook, twitter, and pinterest of this post and this page.
  • 68 bloggers (that I’m aware of) posting and spreading the word on their blogs. (See them here on pinterest!)
  • 7009 birth kits raised* by mail and through online donations.
  • 1 midwife supply backpack purchased including essential items for prenatal care, labor, and delivery (doppler, adult and infant resuscitators, scales, etc).
  • 15 birth education resources purchased for our health care team including flip charts, books, posters, pelvic & baby model, etc.

But the birth kits… oh, the birth kits!!

Right now our guest room looks like a post office sorting room. (Or a medical supply distributor’s warehouse?) There are boxes and packages and bags of birth kits that have come in from all over the world.

boxes of clean birth kits

You're looking at about 1400 birth kits right there - just a "small" sampling of the boxes and boxes of birth kits ready to take to the YWAM Medical Ship in PNG.

I’m completely overwhelmed.

And amazed.

And grateful.

Your initiative is inspiring.

Some of the Vintage House ladies on their birth kit assembly day.

It’s not only the clean birth kits that will be placed into the hands of expecting mamas in Papua New Guinea that is so impressive, but it’s also the hundreds of women from around the world (as well as a few men!) that have rallied to this cause and taken these mothers and babies into their hearts.

You have heard the need and responded. You have acted. You have been a voice for these women whose voices largely go unheard.

Friends… you. have. delivered.

Wow. Just wow.

All aboard!

Ryan, the kids, and I leave for Papua New Guinea on Monday to join the medical ship, which is already up there. We will be serving the medical staff on board, serving the ship crew, and serving the people of the Western Province. (I will also be writing stories and capturing images as we go – yay!)

the booker family and the ywam medical ship

We board the YWAM Medical Ship in PNG next week... So excited!

About where we’re going:

Our current work in PNG is primarily in the Gulf Province and the Western Province. According to the World Health Organization, if the Western Province was a nation of its own it would be the second poorest nation in the world.

This is no joke, friends.

A “delivery room” in the Bamu District of the Western Province, PNG. A teammate took this photo just last week.

To make matters even worse, this region has experienced devastating flooding this year, leaving 30,000 people without adequate food and other basic resources. Officials estimate that the number of people affected could increase to 40,000 once assessment teams have reached more remote areas.

Vegetation and livestock have been wiped out and much of the water supply has been contaminated, leaving the area susceptible to increased disease and even—literally—starvation.

We have been donated 1000 bags of rice and 1000 bags of flour to help bring relief to this emergency situation. Now we have the monumental task of discerning how to best distribute it to those with the most pressing need.

What we will be doing:

In addition to helping distribute the emergency aid, we will continue our “normal” work with dentistry, optometry, and primary health care clinics based out of the ship.

As my family and I go, we will not only be delivering some of your birth kits, we’ll also be taking a midwife backpack to our field workers that we were able to purchase with extra Bloggers for Birth Kits donations. The backpack contains essential items for our midwives such as a fetal doppler, adult and infant resuscitators, scales, a midwife apron, headlamp, thermometer, stethoscope, birthing mat, and other basic midwifery supplies.

Along with the midwife backpack, we’ll also be a taking a pelvic model and baby, as well as some books, flip chats, and posters related to birth education to help further equip on-field birth attendants, community health care workers, and the pregnant mamas themselves.

One of our teammates registering patients last week at a primary health care clinic along the Bamu River in the Western Province, PNG.

This is real life.

This is real life stuff, friends – real people (you) making a real difference (birth kits) in a very real area of need (maternal health in the developing world).

While away I probably won’t have internet access. At best I will have it from my phone – enough for perhaps an instagram photo (@adrielbooker) or a facebook status update – although even that will be a small miracle. (We’ll see!) Other than that I will be offline starting next week.

I cannot wait to share more with you when we return!

Dear friends, thank you again for making this year’s birth kit drive so spectacular. You are seriously amazing. I’m completely in awe of what you’ve done, and I’m beyond thrilled to be on my way to hand-deliver some of these birth kits on your behalf.

Bon voyage!


P.S. If you’re still considering how you might get involved, you can see all of the details about Bloggers for Birth Kits here, as well as check out this compilation of Bloggers for Birth Kits FAQs.

*Included in this number are also kits that I’m aware are headed here, but haven’t arrived yet. If you’ve told me you will be sending kits but you’re no longer able, please let me know so that I can make adjust our totals.

About Author

Adriel Booker is an author, speaker, and advocate based in Sydney, Australia who believes storytelling, beauty, and the grace of God will change the world. Adriel has become a trusted voice in areas of motherhood and parenting, Christian spirituality, and global women's issues. She's also known for her work with the Love A Mama Collective—serving under-resourced women in developing nations through safe birth initiatives—as well as her years spent as a Bible teacher and leadership coach. Her latest book is Grace Like Scarlett: Grieving with Hope after Miscarriage and Loss and she's made the companion grief journal available for free. Find Adriel across all social media platforms at @adrielbooker or sign up for LoveNotes, Adriel's 'secret posts' that aren't published anywhere else online. ✌️


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