Today I want to begin telling you the astonishing story about a silent reality for women all around the world, but particularly the women of Jinja, Uganda. It’s a world that’s not even fathomable to many of us who’ve grown up in a first world country. Over the next month, every Sunday, I’ll take you through my journey of discovery and insight into the maternal health crisis facing Uganda’s young mothers. I urge you to dialogue with me in the comments below about what you read and even invite you to step outside your comfort zone by sharing with those in your circle this story of hope and triumph. Let’s begin.
A month or so ago while checking up on my Instagram account’s likes and follows, I came across some heart-clicks from a user named, @hopeforwomenafrica. I was quickly intrigued as I saw the profile photo of a gorgeous woman with a big smile and strong eyebrows, standing next to other beaming women, while also straddling an adorable little boy on her hip. I tapped to find out more, and the photos and captions that followed were beyond me.
Hannah Hems is the person behind the username @hopeforwomenafrica and is also the Project Manager for Hope For Women in Crisis (HFWIC), located in Jinja, Uganda. HFWIC is a fascinating organization that provides emotional services, spiritual guidance, and physical assistance to teen mothers who’ve survived rape, incest, and/or abandonment from their family and are now facing a high-risk childbirth alone. I was instantly struck by the enormity of HFWIC’s mission and had to get first hand insight to share with you gals. I quickly booked a Skype call with Hannah and HFWIC’s founder and was able to get an interview with both of them.
Hope For Women in Crisis was founded by the utterly astonishing woman, Lyzette Kasigwa. In 2012, Lyzette experienced the slow and painful death of her unborn child inside of her, while lying on an operating room table in Jinja’s community hospital. After being abandoned by her primary doctor and without the required supplies to have her cesarean performed by the available physician, Lyzette was forced to lay there in waiting, resulting in the loss of her baby.
Next Sunday will be the first installment in the series, Hope For Women In Crisis : : The Silent Yet Deadly Reality for Uganda’s Mothers. You will have the opportunity to read my interview with Lyzette, where she details her experience in the community hospital, mourning the death of her third child, creating HFWIC’s maternity home with just $30, and what her dream is for serving the women of Uganda. In the later weeks, Hannah will share how she came to partner with Lyzette in serving with HFWIC’s village outreach, hospital services, and maternity home, as well as how she became the foster mother to two gorgeous tots (remember that adorable boy from her profile pic?), abandoned at less than one year old.
You don’t want to miss these heart-pounding stories. See you next week.
We women, this “Global Tribe of Women”, are ones with hearts that ache for the souls beyond our soil. We desire to live lives of purpose and enormity. We aren’t satisfied with watching injustice and being silent. We are activists and profound thought leaders. Let’s illuminate the story of Hope For Women in Crisis and the women it serves. I urge you over the next few weeks to share with your friends and link on your social media accounts each of the HFWIC articles. I challenge you to be on the front lines of change. Open the eyes of the women in your community. In order to change our world for the better, we must bring those who don’t know, the individual stories of REAL people. I want every one of you and every one you know to see Lyzette, Hannah, and each of the women in their care as your sister, mother, cousin, or friend, not simply a face on an “organizations” web page.
If you haven’t already signed up for the Global Tribe of Women Newsletter, please do so now. By doing this I get to know you better and help you find unique ways to support and partner with the fascinating women I interview. By signing up for the newsletter I also know that you don’t mind receiving regular updates about future partnerships and upcoming interviews. Joining the Global Tribe of Women is an opportunity for you to state that you’re an activist for women’s access to healthcare, education, equality, and humane treatment. Don’t wait to join this tribe of like-minded females.