How One Organization Is Changing The State Of Maternal Health Worldwide

"There's a lot of unknowns when you're pregnant," states blogger and stylist LaTonya Staubs in the video below. "I just can't imagine not being able to receive support and security in my health and my baby's health," she adds, tapping into the exact concern that Circle of Health International (COHI) is working to eliminate for women, especially mothers, worldwide. Founded in 2004, COHI is a nonprofit aid organization working specifically with female refugees. Some of these women are pregnant or already have children, and they've been displaced from their communities and are in need of health care. In some cases, they've lost access to even the simplest necessities for raising a baby — diapers, midwives, even food. More than anything, founder Sera Bonds says, COHI aims to facilitate productive, supportive relationships between these women and larger organizations that can give them the care they need. Given the concern around NGO aid reaching those who need it most, COHI's work as a sort of middleman makes a huge difference. These efforts involve COHI representatives working "on a grassroots level," as Molly Guy of Stone Fox Bride, who is involved with COHI, describes it. It takes time and an incredibly personal effort to develop the kind of trust necessary to interface between a mother and her doctor. By making these connections, COHI remains a small, community-based organization that can focus on long-term improvements within communities in crisis. As Bonds explains, "change happens one mother, one birth, at a time." In the past decade, COHI has already served communities within the United States and abroad — delivering supplies, training thousands of healthcare professionals, and even rebuilding an entire birth center. Watch the full video here, and then click through if you'd like to donate to COHI's cause.

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