The Pachamama Alliance, Ecuador, November 2012
The mission of The Pachamama Alliance is to empower indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest to preserve their lands and culture and, using insights gained from that work, to educate and inspire individuals everywhere to bring forth a thriving, just and sustainable world.
The mission of Jungle Mamas, a project of The Pachamama Alliance, is to empower the indigenous women and communities of the Ecuadorian rainforest to ensure safe birthing and the health and well being of the Achuar people. Jungle Mamas seeks to eliminate preventable deaths in childbirth and improve community health of the Achuar people by focusing on health education, family planning, and environmental health improvements. Primary focus is to assure the health of mothers and babies, but work has expanded to include to include programs that promote community and family health, as well as access to drinking water and basic sanitation.
Through a $40,000 grant from Dining for Women, Jungle Mamas will increase the number of trainings throughout Achuar territory, giving indigenous women birth attendant skills to assist traditional community births. Between 170-200 women will be trained and Jungle Mamas foresees directly impacting at least another 170–220 women in dozens of communities. DFW will also provide half the funding for 200 birth kits to be distributed by key people in communities where the trainings are held, reducing neonatal mortality both for women whose births are attended, and those that still give birth alone in the jungle.
Why we love this program:
Jungle Mamas reaches a vulnerable population of indigenous Ecuadorian people in the Amazon rainforest. Traditionally Achuar women give birth completely alone in the jungle. They have no history of using traditional midwives or birth attendants. Lifestyles that are less nomadic and sedentary, have created challenges related to sanitation and community health. With the leadership of an indigenous, all female team, Jungle Mamas is addressing areas of critical need for the Achuar people, stating that maternal health is key to the health of the rainforest and its communities.
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