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Do you want to hold my hand?
loving2serve

Yesterday was one of the most amazing days of my life. I've been part of the Kiwanis family for a very long time and I feel blessed to have been able to see the direct effects of what we do.

First we went to one of the clinics where women are vaccinated and give birth.

This baby is almost a month old and came in for her routine vaccinations. The mother had to walk a kilometer to get to the clinic. They dont use diapers in Cambodia so when the child was vaccinated, she went on her mom.

No one is ever turned away from this clinic. If you cannot afford treatment, you are issued a poor card from the government and the clinic does not charge you.

An adorable baby! She's about 4 months old and came in for a routine check up.

So tiny :)


After the clinic, we went somewhere i will remember for the rest of my life.

Within villages like these, UNICEF staff sets up clinics for women and children to come in and get vaccines and education about proper birthing techniques and other things.

UNICEF trains at least two individuals from each village. In this one, the lady in the white shirt and the one in the back in the blue shirt.


Most of the women receive the mnt vaccine while most of the children receive the measles vaccine. UNICEF uses these clinics as an avenue for mnt prevention to make it's way to the villages.

A baby getting one of her first vaccines.

A woman getting an mnt vaccine.

The long line of women and children waiting to be vaccinated. It's so clear that the education UNICEF does is so effective because all of these women want to get the vaccination and more education.

Villagers still coming in

It's always great (but uncommon) for the husband to be involved

I will never forget this. We always talk about how the money we raise goes towards education. Here is the result. One of the trained villagers educating about birthing practices.


Probably one of the most amazing moments I had was when I knelt in front of the line of 15 year old girls who were waiting for their vaccine. One of the girls looked petrified so I asked her, "would you like to hold my hand?" and even though there was a language barrier, she still understood what I was saying and reached for my hand and squeezed it really tight while she got her vaccine. Then the next girl behind her in line asked to hold my hand when it was her turn. These inspirational moments make me love to serve and continue to want to serve for ever!

the village chief was so grateful for our visit, he invited us to look at the local bridge and bagota (temple).


Afterwards, we met back with the two trained midwives from the village and talked to them a little more on what they do. The day before a clinic day, they go door to door letting everyone in the village know about when and where they can get vaccinated. Along with holding these clinics, they also go to women who are pregnant and educate them on safe birthing practices.

After talking to them more, we followed them as they visited a couple families.

One of the midwives training a new couple about to have a baby. This girl is 18 years old and 8 months pregnant. She was pregnant before but she had a miscarriage because she was still working in the fields. Since she had complications before, she was encouraged by these midwives to come stay in the village so they could look after her. Here, she is quizzing her on proper birthing practices.

This was definitely amazing day. I learned so much but most of all, I learned how much these women and children need our help. As you can imagine, these villages are hard to reach and require a lot of resources. That's why the eliminate project is so great and as a Kiwanis family we are totally going to eliminate mnt and help out thousands of women and children :)

I hope you all are just as inspired as I am! If you have any questions about my experience, the clinics, or anything else, please don't hesitate to ask!
--avanti

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