Ten years ago, MOMS was invited to go to Sierra Leone. A team of three people spent three weeks there, doing a needs assessment. Since then, MOMS has returned 15 times to train almost 300 women who have saved thousands of lives and changed their communities.
We are proud of our work and grateful for the deep partnerships we have formed with the Sierra Leonean people. We learned many lessons and have taught many.
We will hold two celebrations this fall. One will be at MOMS US headquarters in Gualala, CA. Email us for information. The other celebration will be in November in the small village of Pellie, our very first site. We are so excited. Please join us if you can!
What is MOMS?
Briefly, MOMS is a humanitarian, non-profit agency whose mission is to improve maternal and infant health in the poorest areas of the world.
MOMS' teams build capacity among the women in the rural areas. We teach the traditional birth attendants (their own choice of term) four things:
- To be the bridge between the community and the clinic system
- To make changes to solve women's health problems
- To provide evidence-based maternity care
- To teach their neighbors about women’s health needs, sanitation, and nutrition
For more information, see the MOMS Mission pages.
We love our volunteers. If you are interested in being a Board member or going on a teaching trip, see our Volunteer! page.
- Buffy Price will return for her third trip with MOMS! She is an invaluable team member, with a great sense of humor and a crisp teaching style.
- Cherilyn Porter will make her first trip with MOMS next year. That trip will be special: The first time a grandmother-granddaughter team will work together. And this is not just nepotism: Cheri is finishing her Master’s degree and has solid experience in teaching at several levels.
- Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot will also make a first trip with MOMS in 2017. Cordelia is the founder and Executive Director of the Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health in the Los Angeles Area, and has years of relevant experience.
- Diana Doherty will be our first Irish volunteer. She has significant experience in development in Sri Lanka and other areas of the world.
Spring 2016 in Jendema: The Best Yet!
We have had some really good trips, coming home excited, proud, happy. And we’ve had some where we struggled. Working with the people of Jendema was singular.
The learners, the clinic staff, the elders, the people. Everyone was excited about our presence. Everyone saw the possibilities. Everyone was eager to solve problems. Everyone.
The learners achieved the best statistics: More got 100% and more got As on the exam that with any other group. The lowest score on the exam was 78%.
Mohammed Kpaka, the head of the clinic, said, “I talk with the women every day after class. They have so many ideas they want to try. They are telling me ways to provide better support to the women of the community. This is wonderful!”
Part of what made this trip special is that, at long last, we began training local women to become trainers. After two more sessions, they will conduct the program without the presence of any western volunteers. They will maintain consistency and quality, train more often, and cost less than the western teams.
This has been one of our goals from the beginning of the work in Sierra Leone, in 2006. MOMS values building capacity and increasing independence. Our original vision of the program included creating a cadre of skilled trainers who can carry MOMS model of change agency and maternity care across the country - in a way that is respectful and sustainable.
We still have a lot of work to do. And the work is good and effective.
You can help!
If you want to work with us, see Volunteer! on this website. We need help with leadership, teaching, social media, fundraising, grant-writing, secretarial work, etc.
To help financially, we give you lots of choices: click one of the following links…
Our Accomplishments - with your support!
Since 2006, MOMS' teams have made 15 trips to Sierra Leone, for a total of about 20 months in-country.
- Initial Training: 265 women in seven cohorts
- Continuing Education: 165 women in over a dozen classes
- Helping Babies Breathe: 28 people; eight clinics supported
- Essential Care for Every Baby: 6 people; one clinic supported
- Gardening businesses established: five groups
- Palm oil business established: eight groups
- Clinic built, supplied, and staffed
- Leadership Council established
- MOMS Community Health Workers included in the District Medical Health Team
- Maternal or fetal mortality related to MOMS CHW errors: 0
We have also made two trips to Uganda to teach at Kitojo Integrated Development Association.