Thank you journalist Ali Lowe and photographer Phillip Rogers for your wonderful Manly Daily article supporting our training program.

CARE is the keyword for a local who has organised an educational trip to Kiriwina in Papua New Guinea.

Mother-of-two Jodi Lawton, along with Balgowlah midwife Shea Caplice and three others, will head to the small island in a bid to educate villagers about basic and emergency skills needed in childbirth.

In rural Papua New Guinea the mortality rate in childbirth is one in seven, with a maternal mortality rate of three in 1,000 live births.

Mrs Lawton’s Caring for Kiriwina project will bring together 100 women who assist in local births — essentially as untrained midwives — and inform them using fake pelvises and dolls.

Women will be given kits comprising items such as scalpel, pad, wipe and birth certificate, translated in to the local dialect by Mrs Lawton’s father-in-law Ralph.

The women will provide educational talks and distribute birthing kits. Picture: Philip Rogers

“My husband Doug’s family were missionaries in Kiriwina and had their children there. Their whole lives have focused around the island and its people and Ralph’s wife Margaret started helping these untrained midwives. I couldn’t abide the thought of their work falling by the wayside,” Mrs Lawton, 50, said.

Mrs Lawton added a brush with breast cancer herself made her want to help.

“You face death and you think, ‘What am I here for?’ Cancer made me realise there is more to life and that I needed to give back. I feel like it’s my calling.”

Mrs Lawton and her Kiriwina crew — including Ralph and Margaret’s daughter Jenni, who was born on the island, midwife Jacqui Andrews and support representative Vanessa Palfreeman, will leave for the island on April 22.

Manly Daily article 23/2/2017

J903N Caring for Kiriwina seeks support to improve the quality of maternity care services which will save lives of women and babies on the PNG Island of Kiriwina. Our current project is to provide a one week training program in 2017 on Kiriwina in basic and emergency skills in maternal and new born health.

Currently there are approximately 100 Village Health Volunteers scattered around the Island of Kiriwina. Of those, less than 5 have ever received any training in health …care services for women and their new born that focuses on pregnancy, birth and the immediate postnatal period. Most of the Village Health Volunteers rely on handed down knowledge and first-hand job experience.

Our plan is for two Australian registered midwife educators will travel to the island of Kiriwina in April 2017 to facilitate an education program at one of the main villages. The program will incorporate guidelines from the World Health Organisation Safe Childbirth Initiative, and we anticipate that between 50 and 75 Village Health Volunteers will be able to attend the five-day course.

The two trainers will be accompanied by three Australian support staff to assist with monitoring the program and liaison with the local Caring for Kiriwina representatives. The midwife educators and the Caring for Kiriwina support staff are providing their services on a volunteer basis.

Please help, go to http://caringforkiriwina.org/how-to-donate/