The Second Time Around: Mission Trip #2

ImageRecap: On January 3rd 2013, we arrived at the Lungi International Airport with deep optimism. A year had flown by right before our eyes faster than imaginable, since we conquered our first mission at Bo Government Hospital. And now here we are embarking on our second mission at Princess Christian Maternity Hospital (PCMH) in Freetown, Sierra Leone. PCMH is also known by many within the Sierra Leonean community as ‘Cottage Hospital’, the largest public maternity hospital in Freetown. After becoming familiar with PCMH and witnessing it’s needs first-hand, we felt very comfortable and confident in selecting it to be the recipient of the sterile birthing kits and incentive packages.

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Upon arrival at PCMH, we were introduced to the Matron, Margaret Mannah and our leading supporter based on the grounds of Sierra Leone, Medical Superintendent and OBGYN, Dr. AP Koroma. Ms Mannah insisted that we take a tour of the PCMH wards, including those for admitting (triage), antenatal care, labor, and postpartum. As we were exposed to the different departments and introduced to many of the PCMH employees along the way, Ms. Mannah shared with us the effects from current Sierra Leone maternal health laws, detailed procedures of the hospital and of course specific needs and preferences that the hospital would like to request. She shared the same passion as us YWC members, particularly focusing on safer quality of care for healthier mothers and infants. She spoke with great optimism of improvements that are soon-to-come.  Well, “soon-to-come” could not have been near enough because we, Yehri Wi Cry, were here now and ready to help in any way within our reach. We witnessed that they only utilized one bookshelf worth of medical supplies, that included less than 10 pairs of sissors, forceps, and very limited amounts of tools needed to deliver a baby. They also used a chlorine and soap water solution to cleanse these tools after usage, only to re-use them. Hence, PCMH was more than deserving of the 100 of medical birthing kits we were providing.

While observing one of the wards, we came across a young girl who had just given birth a few days before our arrival. Ms. Mannah explained to us, that her family had abandoned the girl because she was unmarried and bore a child at such a young age. Circumstances such as this one happen to occur frequently at PCMH. The best the hospital can do is provide temporary shelter while fellow young females within the same age in America are fortunate enough to have options that will assist them in such situations. We felt great empathy for her but it was a pleasant sight to see her face light up as we handed her more than just an incentive package but enough baby essentials that would last her for at least the next three months for her newborn bundle of joy.

Thursday January 10, 2013, we made our official delivery to PCMH. We were supported by Sierra Leone’s leading broadcasting network, Sierra Leone Broadcasting Corporation (SLBC), as they televised the delivery relaying our mission as an organization and intent of our delivery to PCMH. SLBC’s presence was truly amazing because it also helped us raise awareness, to the Sierra Leonean expecting and current mothers, about the resources being provided to them free of charge. As each of us YWC members hand-placed incentives next to the bed resting mothers, including everything from infant clothing to baby blankets to infant feeding bottles, we were overwhelmed with the joy associated with being the source of joy for others. It was merely a blessing to attend the postpartum wards with not only words of encouragement to soothe these mothers’ worries but with actual tangible goods.

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We also encountered several doctors and nurses attending to the care of the pregnant women. It was clear that there was adequate training but frustration caused by the lack of adequate medical supplies for administering quality care. It was at this point that we truly grasped the fine line between adequacy and inaccessibility. Completion of this second mission trip was not simply an act of charity but our commitment as an organization that we have taken on with genuine passion. Our commitment to the mothers, our commitment to the infants, our commitment to our Sierra Leonean community, and our commitment to ourselves to hold on to the faith of our contribution having an effect on the future development of our beloved Sierra Leone. Image

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5 Reasons Artists Should Submit Artwork to the A.R.T. For Life Campaign

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1. Exposure!
Yehri Wi Cry has supporters throughout  Sierra Leone, DC, Maryland, Virginia and a newly added  Los Angeles, California! Social media and campaigning is a great aspect of our organization. We engage with our supporters through updates on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. Whatever the latest social media trend, Yehri Wi Cry is on it! If your art work is worthy of being selected to participate in this year’s A.R.T. For Life Campaign, you will have the opportunity of showcasing your talents to audiences from the United States to Sierra Leone; as our “cry” is being heard, your art is being seen!

2. A.R.T for Good!
Use your talent for a great social cause! Take your art work to the next level! Affiliation with humanity is the best way of gaining supporters. Although this opinion may be bias, one thing that is for sure is the satisfaction you will gain from helping those in need. There are many individuals striving to raise awareness for the common causes of female empowerment and maternal health in a developing country that there is no way your work would go unnoticed or unappreciated.

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3. Cultural Awareness!
Tangible art is a beautiful form of communication in the sense that it has the ability to speak to so many with little to no word usage. With the simple use of imagery meaning may be conveyed and thoughts may be translated across audiences worldwide.  YOUR art work relating to maternal and infant mortality affecting Sierra Leone may have what it takes to captivate the hearts of those that share the interest of making a difference in the maternal realm of Sierra Leone or better yet Africa in its entirety.

4. Work with Yehri Wi Cry!
Yehri Wi Cry consists of young, vibrant, and energized individuals always willing to think outside the box, and putting new ideas to the test. We can assure you that your collaboration with us will be one that is professional but nonetheless pleasurable!

5. Work with Royal Dynamite!
Talk about business men! As your work is submitted you will have the opportunity to have your art viewed by Royal Dynamite,who’s t-shirt designs are selected by their fan-base; by winning the contest your work will be their latest t-shirt design! A.R.T For Life will give you the unique networking opportunities with these guys and their resources from LA to DC! From Yehri Wi Cry’s perspective our collaboration with Royal Dynamite has been nothing short of amazing and we guarantee yours will be as well.

For More Information Visit: http://www.wix.com/ywcartforlife/ywc-artforlife#!a.r.t.-for-life/vstc3=article-3

All work is due electronically April 11, 2012 at 11:59pm!

Isaac J. Gourdine Middle School Teams Up With YWC For “Blankets For Babies”

“We were doing a science experiment involving lemons in my science class. I was searching the Internet and ran across an organization that talked about making lemonade out of lemons by helping others. I then read about the conditions in Sierra Leone and told my students about some of the problems people were facing there. My principal happened to be in my class and said, ‘Let’s help them!’“ explains seventh grade teacher Denise Cherry.
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