She is a health worker, a mother, a teacher.
Grace is devoted to solving on of the most urgent issues in rural South Sudan. She trains midwives to save babies and moms in a country with one of the world’s highest maternal mortality rates.
Grace partnered with International Medical Corps to pursue advanced midwifery and leadership training, paving the way for her to educate other midwives in South Sudan. In a country where up to 90% of women give birth far from formal medical facilities and without the help of professionally trained assistants, midwives can be the difference between life and death. With just 307 registered midwives available for a population of millions, midwives like Grace have a remarkable impact.
Grace shared the inspiration behind her career as a midwife with GlobalGiving:
“I am a daughter of the newly born nation of South Sudan which has experienced more than five decades of civil war. I was born during the war. I grew up in the war. And I am still experiencing the war. They say in my country, if you go one night without hearing a gunshot that is considered a peaceful night’s rest.”
At the age of 6, Grace was forced to move to a refugee camp were she met a group of nurses:
“What motivated me to choose this career was the nature of their life-saving work. And honestly as a young girl, I just absolutely loved their uniforms.”
“My father was killed during the war. Our home burnt into ash. I was forced to look for a job at the age of 11 to earn my school fees. But I worked hard. And went on to receive my degree in nursing. Since then, International Medical Corps saw the potential in me. I was able to continue my training.”
“As a midwife, the smile of a mother hearing her baby cry for the first time moves me more than words can express.”
“Dealing with life is not an easy thing in South Sudan. But as a health worker, as a mother, as a teacher, I can see that we are making progress.”
Today, Grace helps oversee the school’s strategic plan to provide quality learning opportunities for nurse midwives, and is being mentored to take on the role of school principal. Thanks to her leadership and hard work, 48 midwives and 20 nurses to date have graduated from the school and are providing care for expectant mothers and their newborns every day.
This is a story from GlobalGiving’s Voices from the Crowd series.