Mano a Mano’s recent shipments of medical cargo include hundreds of infant layettes, destined for new mothers who come into contact with Mano a Mano in many different ways. Some come to one of our clinics to deliver. For many of these women, the layette is an added incentive to seek pre- and post-natal care and healthcare-attended deliveries, all of which decrease maternal and infant mortality.

Others live in communities in which Mano a Mano has completed school or water projects. Still others live in villages that work closely with us on unique programs.  Martha Condori is one of these young mothers. She asked us to share her story with you.

Martha, her husband, their six-year-old daughter Carlita, and their newborn – Rosalie – live in a one-room adobe house in Vinto, about ten miles from Cochabamba. Every morning, Carlita’s parents pick up the small mattress from the floor where she sleeps and move it outdoors, so the family has space to eat together. Most families in their neighborhood live in similar circumstances.

Martha’s situation, however, is more complicated than most. Due to a rare disease, both of her feet have been amputated. Mano a Mano was able to arrange for her to receive prostheses and a wheelchair, which she uses to accompany her daughter on her 8-block walk to school every day.

Martha devotes many hours weekly to improving the lives of other families in her community: she registers those in deepest need for a program which provides them with dried meats and other nutritious food; she helps sort medical supplies; and she has identified new moms who will receive layettes for their newborns.

Through this video message of thanks, made shortly before she delivered, Martha tells us that she couldn’t afford to have an ultrasound and doesn’t know if her baby will be a boy or girl.

Martha expresses deep gratitude on behalf of her family and the others who will receive the layettes she is holding. She thanks the volunteers who have done everything possible to help her and her baby, even though they don’t know her or the other mothers.

Making Layettes in Minnesota for Shipment to Bolivia

St. Paul volunteers Marian, Mary, Doug, and Barb sort through and organize mountains of donated infant clothing to create layettes (a set of clothing, linens, and sometimes toiletries for a newborn child) for Bolivian newborns. Currently, three groups take on this volunteer project: one which does its work at the Mano a Mano office; another local group that assembles layettes in their homes; and a third that is located in Utah.

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