Jake’s Diapers is blessed to partner with the St. Bryce Foundation and the St. Francis Emmaus Center to provide cloth diapers to rural Costa Rica, to the Cabecar people. The following is a letter from Colleen about this Diaper Drop!
At the St. Francis Emmaus Center, we offer moms living hours by foot on the Cabecar reserve lands from medical care a place to stay in the last weeks before delivery and first weeks after. In addition, we are creating a program to provide moms and babies with health education and resources in order to raise the base line statistics of the quality of each baby’s first year of life, thus raising the overall quality of that child’s future.
Most indigenous babies are either not diapered or diapered with old clothes which are discarded when they are too dirty to keep using. Many moms buy a few disposable diapers at a time when they get to town, but since it requires hours traveling by foot, that is not that often. Diapers are washed by hand in water collected from rivers in their reserve land. We cannot be totally sure that all moms will take to cloth diapering but the few to whom we’ve introduced it to through our center have been very receptive. We are collaborating in our health education efforts with the indigenous association of midwives and the national medical teams who work in the reserve lands. That collaboration should help us to gain traction and credibility in introducing new practices.
The infant mortality rate among indigenous babies is 40% higher than the rest of Costa Rica. Most of these deaths are from preventable causes. Some things, like exposure, spread of diarrhea, and infections from insect bites, can be aided by practicing cloth diapering.
The Cabecar people live most by sustaining themselves off the land and the small stipends they receive from the government for their children’s education. Work is scarce. They live communally among family members in small wood houses but spend most of their time in their bamboo long huts where they cook over open fires. They have no electricity. Costa Rica provides free national medical care, but the remoteness of Cabecar villages make that access difficult especially in cases of emergency or single moms with children who have no way to leave and nowhere to stay when they get to town. The journey is also arduous and dangerous for moms in the final weeks of pregnancy and newborn infants. This is the purpose of our work at the St. Francis Emmaus Center.
We also collaborate with many orphanages here and other ministries here in Costa Rica as well as in Nicaragua, and we are hoping to launch a team in Tanzania in November of this year, so we could build a wonderful ongoing collaboration with Jake’s Diapers that could get many tiny bums covered!
In addition to cloth diapers, we are also collecting baby carriers to send to Costa Rica as well. If you would like to purchase diapers for Costa Rica, we have a wishlist set up at The Little Bee Co. (http://thelittlebeeco.com/my-lists/view-a-list/?wlid=863). Jake’s Diapers is blessed to be a blessing, and we run on prayers, shares, cash and cloth! We take donations of new and used cloth diapers and supplies, and match them up with babies in need. In addition to cloth diapers, we also help with other urgent needs when we are able. We also have a few volunteers who make cloth diapers for us, so sewing supplies are also a blessing!