CCFC project saves lives, unites a community
Maternal health project is enthusiastically endorsed as villagers share their experiences
By Brianne Binelli, brand stewardship manager, CCFC
Riding along the long, winding dirt road to Arsi Negelle, Ethiopia, it dawns on me that I don't know how my visit to Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) program areas will be received.
As part of the CCFC communications team, telling stories from the field is what I do, so I should know better. Instead, I wonder – how do the children, families and communities feel about our visits and photos? Are they happy to see us today? I begin to regret not bringing edible treats to hand out.
I turn to Sharon Caddy – radio host and CCFC volunteer ambassador who’s here visiting our program areas – and we ponder the situation. Then, as if on cue, curious children check out who's in the car passing through their village. They stop, smile and wave.
Minutes later, we pull up to a health centre and children gather, excitedly posing for selfies with Sharon. Inside, trained midwives share news of the success of CCFC and local partner Bole Bible Baptist Church’s efforts to convince more mothers to deliver their babies at the centre instead of at home. As little as two years ago, four babies were delivered here each month – today that number has grown to more than 100. Mother’s lives are being saved.
It's a victory for the community that serenades us with a welcome song, before local people eagerly take turns telling us about project successes. They're so happy to share; we're excited to listen.
"They believe in what they see, not what they hear," explains Kebede W. Giorgis, CCFC local partner staff. They see the impact being made and want to share. Why would I doubt that?