My name is Dr. Angie Schuttz. I am a veterinarian from the United States. I travelled with ADRA Nepal to southern part of Nepal that borders with India in the third week of November 2019. We travelled to some remote villages there. My parents donated some money to ADRA Nepal and Help International for the purpose of building birthing centers in poor and remote villages where there is no access to health care.
What motivates me and my family to support in birthing centers in Nepal is our belief that investing in women, their health and wellbeing, is improving the community. When it comes to women’s health, pregnancy, labor and delivery is essential. Still in 2019, women are dying in childbirth. And that is really should not happen.
It’s pretty heartbreaking to see the condition of women in southern part of Nepal. Personally, if I was in that situation, I would want someone to reach out to me and help me.
When I was in that region, people welcomed me with open arms and loved me. I am a stranger to them as I am from another continent. Yet, they poured out their love to me which I really don’t deserve because I am nobody. They really loved me. It was really great to see and understand what type of life they live and how desperately poor they are. It was nice to see that just a birthing center can change their lives. And, we know that birthing center, medical and health care is at the most basic level. It’s motivating for the people who like to donate because when you donate, literally you are saving lives.
I was impressed with the management and construction by the team, ADRA Nepal. The newly constructed facilities are really nice. We saw some other facilities that have not been renovated and built. The need is really pressing there. Among the facilities that were built with the donations, there is proper roof, floor, electricity and water supply and proper medical equipment.
It was also nice to see functional autoclaves and sterilization equipment. One of the greatest things to see was quarters for nursing staff and midwives. They have safe clean rooms, toilets, clean water and a shower. Those facilities are available to encourage staffs so that they can continue to work with women while they are serving.
Nepal is a fascinating place. There is a lot of diversity which really surprised me. There is religious and ethnic diversity. People of Nepal impressed me. They are happy to tell me about their country, they are proud to their heritage. They want to show me around, they even invited me to their house. They poured out hospitality to me. They are warm and welcoming. I am a foreigner from North America. This is something you don’t see in the west anymore.
I would say that if you are interested in donating, certainly you must donate through ADRA. People in ADRA are doing an incredible job. They have maintained transparency by keeping the community informed about how they have managed the resources. So, you should not hesitate to donate.
(The excerpts are based on a conversation with Dr. Angie, a donor for birthing centers in Sarlahi district)