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Monday, June 27, 2016

"The Game Changers" (Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese & Patricia Paddey)

TITLE: The Game Changers
AUTHOR: Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese & Patricia Paddey
PUBLISHER: Ancaster, ON, Canada: SaveTheMothers.org, 2016, (225 pages).

Mothers are more important than we think. Protect and empower mothers and we will see how the culture and society improve by leaps and bounds. Without downplaying the role of fathers, the fact is mothers general play a bigger role in a child's development more than anything else. From childbirth to nursing; and from caring at home to making a living for the children, mothers have a specific position which no father can honestly replicate. Right from conception, every child is already intimately connected with the mother. After all, a baby generally spends 38 weeks developing inside the mother's womb. Granted, in places in the West, medical care, children's welfare, and healthcare infrastructures are readily available, the same cannot be said for other developing countries like East Africa. According to reports, about 303,000 women and girls die needlessly from preventable causes., particularly pregnancy related situations. According to obstetrician Jean Chamberlain Froese, 99% of all pregnancy related deaths occurred in developing countries. If the poverty index and survival rates of people are already low, it is even worse for women and young girls. The three critical areas that lead to such fatalities are the three delays, which Froese calls, the "Foundational Triad" are:
  1. Delay in Decision-making
  2. Delay in Transportation
  3. Delay in Medical care

Working with local health officials and key leaders in the country of Uganda, Froese is convinced that the key is education. In 2003, she started a training program to highlight ways to improve the health systems and infrastructure. Called "Save the Mothers," it is not about infusion of foreign expertise but a partnership with local professions to help the indigenous people help themselves. The beautiful thing about this book is not techniques or methodologies but stories of real people. These are not just stories of neglect, abuse, or injustice inflicted on women. It is about ordinary people extending a simple hand of assistance. It is as simple as Ivan Godfrey Tibenkana offering to give a pregnant woman a ride to the hospital. It is as challenging as trying to change the cultural climate that tends to be discriminatory to women rights. There is Allen Nankunda Babihuga who is passionate about sharing healthcare knowledge with a largely illiterate population. The areas that SaveTheMothers organization are working in are extensive. From governments to local communities; medical care to water supply; education to equipping locals to help themselves, the book is filled with stories of individuals and photos of them in action. 

I am thankful for the passion and compassion of Dr Jean Chamberlain Froese and the clear writing style of Patricia Paddey. Together, they share about the ministry of SaveThe Mothers to educate the rest of the world. Very often, we do not get enough of good news and real down to earth stories of charity work in developing countries like in Africa. Some of us may even think that Africa is too far away for us to be concerned about. Truth is, God's love is global. Jesus didn't just die for the prosperous nations. He died for all.

The vulnerable women and children in Africa need hygiene and healthcare knowledge. We in the west need information on how to communicate and share that. They need water infrastructure knowhow. We can help supply that. They need their governments to act. We can enable our leaders to facilitate the processes. They need strategies in order to maximize their limited resources. We need wisdom on how to help them, not just giving them a handout. They have lots of people who can help. We need to find ways to harness and help them to help themselves. These are what SaveTheMothers and the many individuals in the book are doing. In the dark continent, Froese is one little light that is shining bright and strong. Paddey is helping to extend that.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me courtesy of the publisher and Graf-Martin Communications in exchange for an honest review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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