About Global Force for Healing
Approximately 303,000 women per year, one woman every two minutes, die around the world as a result of complications during pregnancy and childbirth. 98% of these deaths are preventable.
An additional 2.7 million newborns die within the first month of life of causes that are also largely preventable. The reason is a lack of access to quality care that is skilled, culturally appropriate, affordable, and infused with kindness and love. Women too often travel far distances and risk their lives to receive care from practitioners that do not speak their language or respect their traditions, lack basic supplies, and/or deliver in overcrowded conditions where they do not receive loving attention.
These community-based organizations have demonstrated their effectiveness at preventing maternal and newborn deaths using compassionate, culturally appropriate models of skilled care. They need resources and support to scale their work to provide more women, babies, and communities with life-saving services so that eventually all maternal and newborn deaths and disabilities will be eliminated. Their communities will have thriving, healthy babies and mothers who actively contribute to local wellbeing.
At the same time, small grassroots organizations around the world are currently providing trained, loving, respectful care in partnership with communities that respect their unique needs and cultural wisdom, and are often led by local women.
Global Force For Healing envisions a world where all women have access to quality, women-centered care regardless of where they live, their level of education, or financial status. In this world, all babies are welcomed with love, all mothers are treated with compassion and respect, and all communities are supported to be healthy and thrive.
Credit: Helen Golden
The mission of Global Force for Healing is to end preventable maternal and newborn deaths by supporting the scaling of effective community-based, culturally respectful care and related education in underserved areas around the globe. We are committed to nurturing programs that provide access to quality childbirth and health-related education and services marked by compassion and a commitment to mothers’ “voice and choice” in childbirth and reproductive health decisions. The grassroots programs work in partnership with local communities, are responsive to their needs, and trust in their wisdom.
Nearly half of our 16 Partners have been first responders to critical mamababy needs following natural and human disasters--earthquakes, tsunami, typhoons, hurricanes, and refugee camps of 500,000 people each in northern Uganda and southern Bangladesh. Lacking the financial means to move or support themselves after disasters, the humanitarian efforts from our teams of dedicated health professionals have made the critical difference.
The compassionate birth network we convene is designed to amplify the individual and collective impact of community-based partners through information and resource sharing, joint advocacy and resource mobilization, and direct capacity-building support to help ensure sustainability. Our goal is to support and grow the cadre of these organizations, to eventually saturate the globe with models of compassionate care that eliminate preventable maternal and infant deaths and disabilities, and give mamas and babies the level of respectful care they deserve.
Our Guiding Principles
We believe that love—particularly at this time in the history of our planet—is a primary force for healing, transformation, and sustainability.
We believe that each person consciously sharing and acting upon her/his unique and precious gifts becomes a force for healing.
We believe that trust—the ability to fully rely on a person’s actions and words—is integral to our work.
We believe that transparency—honesty and openness in all interactions—is key to our effectiveness.
Credit: Helen Golden
We believe that even-handedness—treating all people with respect, equality and fairness—is integral to our work.
We believe in the power of true partnership and collaboration.
We believe that generosity—a spirit of loving kindness—is integral to our work.
We believe that diversity and inclusion—honoring the unique qualities of each person and celebrating differences—are basic to creativity and excellence.
We believe that mutual respect—seeing and treating others as we would wish to be seen and treated—is basic to a peaceful world and to our mission.
We envision the Global Force for Healing as a learning organization, which is open to the ideas and perspectives of others.
We believe that the way we do our work is as important as what we do, and therefore our programs, structures, and processes embody the principles and values listed above.
January 2021 Announcement of Board Diversification Intention
Like many nonprofit boards and community organizations, in an effort to better align with our guiding principles and values around Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access (IDEA), Global Force for Healing has committed to a transparent process of diversifying our board with full recognition that: “systems of oppression are individual, institutional, and societal and their effects on people have a long history deeply rooted in” colonial history and culture (see source below). They have dispossessed BIPOC (Black and Indigenious People of Color) of their lands and bodies while often denying their rights to self-determination. This has contributed to underrepresentation on nonprofit boards - even when the work impacts these very communities. We commit to changing this.
Our goals include, but are not limited to, the following:
To “walk our talk” in how we do our work, show up in our relationships (internal and external), and model guiding principles; and
To become an organization worthy of consideration by excellent future board candidates representing IDEA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access)
Where we are at the beginning of 2021:
*We do this work as part of a learning community. Our board committee has reached out to individuals and organizations for collaboration and support on how to engage in the process of diversifying our board.
*We have hired an accountability partner to help us assess where we are and help us design a process to work towards our goals in an authentic, respectful manner.
*We are planning board trainings in early 2021 around being a better accomplice to Indigenous Network partners and affiliated organizations; and, the Movement for Black Lives.
Our commitment to diversity, equity, access and inclusion is sincere. Our 2019 collaborative publication, “Funding Equity” may provide some insight. We acknowledge the lifelong learning involved in uncovering inconsistencies between our commitments and our behaviors. We aim to be transparent in our processes and align with our guiding principles in word and in action.
For more information on our guiding principles: https://www.globalforceforhealing.org/aboutus
Global Force for Healing Board Committee on Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion
This position statement was drafted on the unceded lands of the Shasta, Takelma, and many other recognized and unrecognized tribes who have lived in the Southern Oregon region where Global Force for Healing is headquartered.
Source: Social Identities and Systems of Oppression | National Museum of African American History and Culture