By: Lisa DeBenedictis
The 2010 international Women Deliver conference began on Monday, June 7, in Washington D.C.
The conference’s focus is on maternal health, in conjunction with the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, one of which is to significantly improve maternal health worldwide by 2015.
According to USA Today’s article about the conference, some of the highest rates of maternal deaths occur in two of the countries Barakat works in, Afghanistan and Pakistan. In fact, according to the Women Deliver website, one in eight Afghan women will die from complications with pregnancy or childbirth.
At Barakat, not only do we believe that education is the way to become successful and empowered, but we also believe that education is the best way for women to become better informed and aware of both their own health, and the health of their children.
As a result, Barakat has instilled government-backed health care programs at the Mullah Karim Nazar School in Afghanistan (which opened on March 6, 2010) and at the Besh Kappa Surkh School in Afghanistan (which will be opening in September of 2010).
Both schools offer yearly physical and mental check-ups to each of its students, and even parents, if necessary. If an illness persists or becomes severe, Barakat also provides ways to help get the student to a hospital in Kabul. (Read more about Barakat’s Health Program’s updates here.)
Yesterday, the Women Deliver conference began on a window-shatteringly high note, with the announcement of a $1.5 billion donation from the Gates Foundation in grant money for maternal health.
But though a donation such as this is certainly amazing and inspiring, anyone can help.
It doesn’t take much, and it goes a long way: $40 sends a girl to a home-based literacy program for a year, $65 sends child to one of our elementary schools for a year, and $200 provides basic health care for 350 children for a month.
In the words of the Women Deliver’s organization themselves: will you deliver?
Click here to donate now.