“I trust them with my family. I trust them with my life.”
Kalpana’s bright smile extols the love she has for her precious children. It hides the fact that, in giving birth to each of her seven children, she had to take her life in her hands.
As we sit and talk on the veranda of her small stone house, her youngest child, and only son, 14 month old Aakash toddles around and clambers on her knee. “He’s very hard work, but easier than daughters”, she explains, grateful for help of his older siblings in caring for him, particularly after a traumatic delivery.
Kalpana’s husband, like many young men in rural Nepal, works in Saudi, sending money home to support his family. He was away with work during much of the pregnancy. It was a two-hour walk for Kalpana to reach the clinic for antenatal check-ups.
Labour started in the middle of night and Kalpana knew that something wasn’t right. She raised the alarm with her family, who arranged a stretcher and carried her through darkness, on rocky roads, throughout her contractions to get her to the small rural hospital.
With their help, Aakash arrived safely into the world. Had the delay been greater, or the complications more severe, she would have had to make a 6-hour journey by car to the next hospital. Assuming a vehicle was even available, Kalpana would have taken her life in her hands to make that journey.
Your support means the little hill-top hospital is expanding and upgrading its facilities for mums like Kalpana; extending a lifeline to more women and their children that they might experience the care that brought Kalpana to say: “I trust them with my family. I trust them with my life.”
Show your support for Kalpana, and other mothers like her in Nepal, here today.