I was tagged earlier this week by a running blogger at Inspiring and Healthy Running to answer the question: Flamidwyfe is a midwife currently living and working in Asia. My question to you: What has been your most touching moment in Asia so far?
And here’s my answer. There are A LOT of them, given that I’ve been in a lot of Asia. But the most touching has to be last year, almost exactly a year ago, on May 5, 2011.
May 5th is International Midwives Day. Midwives all over the world celebrate the day with picnics, rallies and community/consumer awareness activities. I celebrated mine in Hangzhou, China. I work here now, but last year I came to do a water birth training conference. Last year’s theme was “Midwives Walking to Durban”. The International Confederation of Midwives, an organization that represents more than 250,000 members all over the world, holds a conference every 3 years. Last years conference was in Durban, South Africa and as a symbol of solidarity, they asked that we “walk to Durban” on Midwives Day.
I gave a lovely speech, if I do say so myself. I focused on the UN Millennium Goal #5, Improving Maternal Health. I am passionate about improving maternal health. By doing so, we improve the outcome of newborns. My speech was an impassioned plea to improve the prenatal care that we give women, including diet and nutrition education, and at the end I said, “Let’s all stand and hold hands and take a walk to Durban”… everyone in the room stood up, applauded and then took hands (after the translator said it in Mandarin.. lol) and the first one up was the CEO, Suzong. We took a 1 km walk in solidarity of midwives all over the world. Here’s 2 pics that I took, the CEO is the man just behind me… yes, that is ME in the teal top… LOL
I can’t begin to tell you how touched I was when everyone stood up and grabbed hands. An American guy that use to work here told me that they wouldn’t “get” it and no one would stand up, much less take a 1 km walk outside… Well they did GET IT I fought back tears and felt so supported in my passion for midwifery.
International Midwives Day is this Saturday. I work in Hangzhou now. We are planning a big event on Saturday, with a speech, slide show presentation and consumer awareness. The midwives I work with here are gaining more respect each day. I am hoping that with continued international awareness midwives everywhere will be valued and respected for the work they do and the passion in which they do it.