White Ribbon Alliance is privileged to have the support of many incredible women and men who have joined with us to campaign for maternal health.
Here is a selection of photos of events where our supporters have come together and added their voice.
STORIES OF SUPPORT
Three decades ago I arrived as a young volunteer in Mauritania, North Africa, full of energy and eager to help. I was immediately immersed into the rich culture of the country, was charmed by its people, and the desert life. My new friends invited me into their tents and shared generously with me the very little food they had. This is where I first met Theresa Shaver, a young lady who came from the United States to selflessly support the local community through her midwifery skills. Stationed in neighboring villages, we followed and supported each other in our daily attempts to make a difference.
Many years after my unforgettable journey, I reconnected with Theresa. I learned that with the energy and frustration stemming from her midwifery experience working in countries all around the world, she returned to the United States to found White Ribbon Alliance. The name of the organization piqued my curiosity. I have followed its activity with interest since, and at times, I rolled-up my sleeves and got involved in advising the Alliance on leadership and governance.
One of the things that I learned is that an individual’s opportunity to realize their potential starts with maternal health, for all women have the right to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth. To be blunt, no women should ever die giving life. This is the central belief upon which the White Ribbon Alliance was founded.
I have been a photographer for many years, driven by the power of images to make a difference and draw attention to certain issues. Nine years ago, after having my first child, that issue became the vast disparities in women’s healthcare around the world.
Both of my babies were delivered with the assistance of a wonderful midwife, in the comfort of my home. To this day, I still remember her name: Caroline Flint. Her knowledge, understanding and ability to empower left a great impression on me.
Back then, I had never imagined that millions of mothers around the world did not have access to health services, a hospital or even a midwife.
When I returned to work, I researched organisations that worked on maternal health issues. I was most impressed by the White Ribbon Alliance; their vast global network of members working toward a common goal – to eradicate maternal deaths – really inspired me. Then in 2011, I travelled to Tanzania to see exactly how they worked on the ground and was truly amazed at the scale of the challenges they were tackling. I’m still amazed at the changes their work is helping to achieve; it is really inspirational.
My name is Joanna Vestey and I am a photographer. Please join me in supporting the work of White Ribbon Alliance.