Thursday, September 6, 2012
Genette to come to the US for MANA conference!
I am so excited to say that Genette got her visa on Tuesday! I really think the efforts at the embassy and some critical emails to the embassy really made a difference. She is the first midwife from the Midwives for Haiti program that has successfully acquired a visa to come to the US. One of the criteria that the US embassy looks at to consider granting a visa is a person's salary. Now, of course, the Haitian midwife salaries are nothing like US salaries. Genette makes $6000 per year. This is not to her advantage in trying to come to the US. The embassy looks at this as a sign that she might see how much more she can make in the US and attempt to stay. I am sure that this is why Esther's visa application was rejected. In my emails to the embassy, I emphasized Genette's commitment and dedication to midwifery in Haiti. She is so deserving of this continuing education opportunity.
I think that this will be a significant step in developing Genette's leadership potential. She is already hired as the Clinical Director of the Midwives for Haiti program and is one of the main leaders of the Matron program. Along with Magdala, Dina calls them the power couple. They developed the Matron program which is a 20 week education program for traditional birth attendants in the small village of Haiti where still the majority of babies are being born. You can see what a difference Magdala and Genette are making in terms of education, empowerment and continuity in the Midwives for Haiti program. By bringing Genette to the US, I am hoping that she will be able to expand her vision of midwifery-learning skills and concepts through the conference and in San Francisco.
If you would like to help fund Genette's trip, please send checks to my address: Maria Iorillo, 206 27th St. San Francisco, CA 94131. Write your check out to Midwives for Haiti and put Genette Thelusmond in the memo line. Thanks!!