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

Purchase Your Favorite A.R.T. For Life Piece Today!

The Official A.R.T. For Life original artworks are now available for purchase! Click your favorite piece, and it can be yours today 😉 

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Video Recap: Royal Dynamite and YWC Pop-Up Shop

Check out this recap of the fabulous, exclusive shopping event that took place in Washington, DC this past weekend. The event was a collaboration between the gentlemen of Royal Dynamite and the ladies of Yehri Wi Cry as an effort to bring awareness to the issue of maternal and infant mortality in Sierra Leone, through the styles of the innovative Royal Dynamite! The exclusive pop-up shop served as a precursor to the conclusion of the A.R.T. For Life Campaign also headed by Royal Dynamite and YWC. If you didn’t make it out to the event, check out the video to see what you missed! 😉

Meet The Artists Behind A.R.T. For Life & Pre-Bid On Your Favorite Piece

Bidding for the A.R.T. For Life Campaign has officially begun! Take a look at the featured artwork, find your favorite, and use the form at the bottom of the page to place your bid!

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YEHRI WI CRY, INC. AND ROYAL DYNAMITE CALLING ALL ARTISTS FOR A.R.T. FOR LIFE CAMPAIGN

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APRIL 3, 2012: Yehri Wi Cry, Inc. and Royal Dynamite have teamed up to launch the official “A.ltruism R.eflected T.angibly” Campaign to benefit Yehri Wi Cry, Inc.’s mission to alleviate maternal and infant mortality in Sierra Leone. The mission of the “A.R.T. For Life” Campaign is to create an atmosphere of giving back by the hands of the “art lover”. It is our goal to raise awareness on the serious issue of maternal and infant mortality in Sierra Leone through the eyes of the artist while also raising funds to contribute towards Yehri Wi Cry, Inc.’s mission to alleviate the crisis that plagues the West African nation. One in eight women die due to complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and one in five children die before even reaching their fifth birthday. “We wanted a fun and innovative way to draw attention to a calamity that is so ominous over the nation of Sierra Leone. We chose art because it’s something that speaks to audiences universally. It’s a strong method of delivering an important message,” says Yehri Wi Cry, Inc. Co-Founder and Co-Vice President, Nadia Sasso.

“When Royal Dynamite was approached by Yehri Wi Cry to do a collaboration for the ART For Life campaign, the decision to accept was a no-brainer. Their mission of empowering women and children in Sierra Leone aligns closely to our core values and the idea of utilizing art as a platform to raise awareness is what we take pride in as a brand. We look forward to a long and fulfilling partnership towards help Yehri Wi Cry accomplish their goals”, said Royal Dynamite co-founder and director Cecil Valentine.

The three-part campaign kicked off with a launch party at the Lexington Social House in Los Angeles, California on March 16, 2012 and will end on April 28, 2012 in Washington, DC at the 4thAnnual Green White and Blue Sierra Leonean Independence Ball. Artists must electronically submit their works by April 11th to be considered for entry into a Facebook “like” competition; the competition will give fans an opportunity to vote for their favorite pieces.  If chosen, artists will be asked to mail their work no later than April 20, 2012 to be auctioned off at the Green White and Blue Ball on April 28, 2012. Voting for the Facebook competition will take place fromApril 16th to April 23rd. The winner of the competition receives a grand prize of:  a $200 Cash Prize & a Design Printed on a Royal Dynamite T-Shirt ($100 cash and $100 Royal Dynamite gift certificate), and one round-trip ticket to Sierra Leone to join Yehri Wi Cry, Inc. on their next mission trip, courtesy of Air Arik. For complete contest rules visit: The Official A.R.T. For Life Website. Contact artforlife.ywc@gmail.com for more information.

About Yehri Wi Cry

Yehri Wi Cry, Inc. seeks to empower women by providing sterile birthing kits, along with infant-care products and information to encourage women to seek prenatal and postnatal care.

About Royal Dynamite 

Royal Dynamite is an e-commerce t-shirt company that seeks to promote innovative entrepreneurship and community empowerment by engaging artists, designers, and consumers through partnerships and contests.