Giving the mother of all Christmas gifts

Lima cradles her healthy baby Jyot (Caritas Australia)

With more than 300,000 women dying each year in childbirth or as a result of complications in pregnancy, Caritas Australia is focusing on safe motherhood this Christmas.

According to the latest UN estimates, about 830 women a day die while giving birth or through difficult pregnancies.

Since 2008, Caritas Australia has worked with Caritas Bangladesh to deliver the Safe Motherhood initiative that sees Caritas training midwives and providing healthcare and health education to women and children.

Lima, 23, is one woman who has been supported by the Safe Motherhood initiative. Lima has given birth three times, but her first child did not survive.

“My dear daughter died on the second day,” Lima said.

Lima described her second birth as an equally “frightening experience” due to a lack of support from her untrained birth attendant. When Lima fell pregnant for the third time, she was fearful for her own safety and that of her unborn baby.

A local woman, Monika, had recently trained as a midwife through the Safe Motherhood initiative. Monika’s expert care meant that Lima felt safe, supported and confident while bringing her daughter Jyoti safely into the world.

This Christmas, Caritas Australia’s Global Gift campaign is raising money to support aid and development programs across Africa, Asia, the Pacific and within Indigenous communities.

Richard Landels, Caritas Australia’s Head of Engagement and Sustainability, said: “Christmas is about giving and sharing. It’s about connecting with the ones that you love the most, as well as our brothers and sisters across the world. There are three gift cards available - food, water and sustainable livelihoods. Global Gift purchases go towards community projects that help the most marginalised globally including women and children.”

Details: Caritas Australia on 1800 024 413 or visit www.caritas.org.au/globalgifts.

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Protect the miracle of motherhood this Christmas with a Caritas Global Gift (Caritas Australia)

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