Yesterday I joined our midwife, Cecilia, and our translator, Selsabel, as NPI opened operations at the Elpída Home for Refugees. When we first entered, I was blown away by the facility. Unlike Sindos and Kalochori where each family occupies a tent, at Elpída each family has its own room within the building. The space is spartan, but there is access to indoor plumbing, kitchen facilities, a women’s area, and recreational zones for kids. A post by Meredith, Volunteer.
Elpída opened just a few weeks ago, and about 160 people currently live there. Elpída has capacity for about 700 people, so we at NPI are looking forward to getting more involved as the site develops and grows.
We had a great turnout for our first day on-site. Two pregnant women who were past their due-dates came for assessments. Cecilia performed sonograms, inquired about their medical history, and offered advice. Watching the expecting mothers ask Cecilia questions and voice their concerns really demonstrated just how valuable NPI is at these refugee camps. During pregnancy, women need all possible support, and times of crisis and stress call for the utmost care and sensitivity that Cecilia and Selsabel provide.
Several breastfeeding mothers also came for assessments with their babies. Cecilia recorded the weight of each child and counseled the mothers on how to optimize their children’s nutrition. We were happy to hear that the mothers understood the importance of breastfeeding and the risks associated with bottle feeding and infant formula.
NPI’s debut at Elpída gave me a unique perspective of establishing a project from the start and offering new services that were previously unavailable to mothers. It was really special to watch Cecilia and Selsabel instill trust and confidence in our new patients. We are hopeful that as Elpída expands our collaboration will help restore the sense of security and dignity of families fleeing war.
Find out how you can help NPI reach more mothers and children today.