Are you interested in learning a little bit more about our programs and considering applying?
What will a doula gain from this experience?
This will undoubtedly be different for each womxn, but our intention is for the participating doulas to learn from a new culture and gain new tools to bring back to their respective communities. There is an expression stating that the purpose of immersive travel is “to make the strange familiar and the familiar strange.” Witnessing a completely different culture’s approach to birth will break down our own attachment to “the way things are supposed to be”. The doulas will gain a quick education in resiliency from these strong mamas and nurses, will learn lessons on the power of non-verbal communication, witness the transition from maiden to mother, and will open their hearts to many new little lives coming earthside.
One of the elements we are most excited about is growing our sisterhood. Womxn from all over the world are coming together to share in this experience. We cannot wait to learn from each other and hear each others’ stories.
We also intend to enjoy Tanzania and Ecuador! We will immerse ourselves in the local land- eat the cuisine, spend a day on safari/ textiles markets, and support local craftspeople.
So, is this volunteer-tourism?
The beautiful aspect of serving like this in a clinic is that we share an entire experience with a woman. Present with her throughout the entirety of her labor and birth, and a day postpartum. Unlike volunteering at an orphanage, for example, the women also get to go home. It's the element of “dropping in and dropping out” of volunteer-tourism that rubs us the wrong way. This is an educational trip designed to deepen our doula practices, and if one mama can go home feeling better about her birth experience, the impact that could have on her family and community is limitless.
In Tanzania, we are partnered with SAFE WATER NOW, and Asheville-Tanzania non-profit that makes ceramic cylindrical water filters that last up to five years. We have provided the clinics with 75 of these filters and sent many midwives and mothes home with them as well. We also financially supported the start of a woman-run sewing collective in the community to make reusable pads and slings to weigh the babies, and the start of a soap-making project, so that all the resources we wish to offer the clinics are made locally available versus us filling our suitcases.
In 2019, we fundraised to purchase an ultrasound machine for the Karatu District Hospital. We hope to do more work supporting their development. They are very excited about having more resources to offer better maternal health.
We hope to establish deep roots with the clinics and staff we will be working with, to make this experience sustainable.
Our partners BOMA AFRICA are a non-profit tourism business, working towards opening a new birth center in their region. We hope that our traveling doulas will further support this project and in time be a regular asset to the new clinic.
Is Wombs of the World a non-profit?
We are working on it! As all things take time, we are making sure we are moving forward with great mindfulness!