Reliability and continuity are two of our core goals at Embrace Refugee Birth. Early on in our mission to support and advocate for Refugee mothers during the birthing process, our current vision became very clear. We have always known birth cultures are nuanced and incredibly diverse, but working alongside Refugee women through our years at Embrace has taught us that there is no way for one individual to know everything there is to the birthing process.
Like all areas of health and well-being, there is an infinite tapestry of cultures that make up the birthing experience. We have been blessed through the years to be able to work towards our vision of empowering and training Refugee women as educators and childbirth assistants, but along the way we have been the ones that have learned the most from these women.
Countless New Americans at Embrace have truly revolutionized our programming and continue to do so everyday. Their experiences, wisdom, culture, and ability to authentically connect with Refugee mothers have brought us closer to our mission and vision more than we ever thought possible. As Embrace continues to expand its programming, our focus is in integrating our valuable community members and volunteers into dynamic new staff positions that amplify their voices and reach in the community.
One of these valuable gems within Embrace is Aku. When she first arrived in the Clarkston area, Aku was pregnant and was looking to learn English. She found Refugee Family Literacy and began attending classes. This was the first time Aku connected with Friends of Refugees programming, which she has now become an integral part of herself.
As a midwife in her home country of Togo, educating and supporting pregnant women was a natural part of her work. When she found herself needing that same support through her pregnancy in a new country, she looked to Embrace. After a successful pregnancy, Aku continued her partnership with Embrace by serving as an interpreter for our Healthy Moms class, which she later began leading as a teacher for African community classes. As more mothers connected with Aku, it became evident how Aku’s ability to not only interpret, but to support mothers as a trained midwife, created a mutual trust that truly empowered every mother she worked with. As a community liaison, Aku became a beloved Embrace partner who endlessly served our community.
Recently, the Embrace team was able to welcome Aku as a full time Health Education Manager. In this position, Aku’s unmatched passion for women’s health education can truly flourish, allowing her the opportunity to both actively connect with mothers and develop thriving programming custom tailored for our mothers.
It is these kinds of partnerships that move us at Embrace. Witnessing Aku share her gifts with our team and community with such dedication has uplifted us for years, and we are blessed to now have her as an integrated staff member. We are a better organization with help from strong women like Aku, and we are infinitely grateful for the opportunity to be a part of their journey.