Empowerment is one of Embrace’s core values. We want to offer refugee women what they need in order to make their own decisions regarding their health, care for their family to the best of their abilities, and then show the way for others in their community to do the same. Therefore, one of the most important parts of our program is hiring refugees to educate, interpret, and guide women from their community throughout the process of pregnancy, birth, and postpartum.
Pet Pet – Pet Pet is from Karen state in Burma. Pregnant with her first child, Pet Pet came to us a year ago eager to learn everything she could about pregnancy, birth, and parenting. She is a quick learner and quickly started sharing the information she received with other women around her and inviting them to our classes and mom’s circles. Now, we employ her to interpret for the classes, doctor’s appointments, and even births. She also helps to empower other women by teaching them how to take the bus to their appointments and advocate for themselves in the medical system.
Tarumbeta Obed – Yes, Obed is a man. You might be wondering how a male got involved with supporting and educating pregnant women. His involvement with health education for women started long before he came to America, actually. When Obed was a refugee in a camp in Tanzania, he started out getting menial work such as construction and soap-making/selling, but the leaders in the camp quickly saw his leadership capabilities and asked him to help interpret in their clinic. From there, he was trained to be an HIV counselor helping to educate families on the prevention of spreading HIV from mothers to babies. With his knowledge of 7+ languages, Obed has been helping us with interpretation for classes for the past couple years since we met him and his wife when his wife was expecting her 7th child. Now, he also helps women get to appointments, fill out paperwork, and connect to the resources they need.
Muzhda Oriakhil – We met Muzhda during her first pregnancy. Originally from Afghanistan, she came to America with her husband a few years ago. She is a delightful woman who has much intelligence and insight. We recently hired her to help us reach out to the Afghani community and help in the office with administrative work.
Merry Seing Pai – Merry is a Chin (ethnicity from Burma) woman who was referred to Embrace by her caseworker when her second child was due. We immediately saw what a bold and courageous personality she had and asked if she would be willing to help interpret for our classes. We then came to find out that Merry already had quite a bit of experience educating and advocating for women from the time she was a refugee in Malaysia and worked with a non-profit there to educate and advocate for women in domestic violence situations. Since we first met her, Merry has interpreted for classes, meetings, and appointments, as well as attending the birth of one of the women from her community.