An organization that has touched our soul – One HEART – has worked tirelessly in Tibet to save the lives of mothers and children. (www.onehearttibet.org) Through a comprehensive program incorporating community education, skilled attendant training, physician training and newborn resuscitation, One HEART has labored to reduce maternal mortality in Tibetan communities where the lifetime risk of dying in childbirth had been 1 in 33. This year, One HEART is bringing their program to the Copper Canyons of Mexico, home to the Tarahumara Indians. The Tarahumara inhabit steep terrain deep in canyons that are remote from electricity or comprehensive medical care. When women suffer birth complications, the trek to seek care is treacherous and long. When one young mother was unable to successfully deliver twins at home, six village men had to carry her down the mountainside to reach the nearest road with transportation. The only hospital was still hours away, and though a local practitioner tried to come to her aid, this woman was unable to survive the ordeal. One HEART will be initiating their program in this remote region, and asked WE CARE Solar to develop solar electric systems to achieve better communication and illumination for health care. The solar suitcases we prepared for the first pilot will power walkie-talkies and light, providing mobile communication and lighting in an area that is unreachable by cell phones or power lines. This suitcase was transported last week, and our instruction manual is being translated into Spanish! We love the work that One HEART is doing and hope to sustain a fruitful collaboration.
Update: One Heart board member Steve Germain just posted a short movie about this project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYRRMmzyoxE&feature=channel