This week, I want to introduce you to a very special friend of mine, Katie Van Marter.
Katie isn’t just a friend, she’s a Peace Corps Volunteer in Zambia’s Northern Province (where, as you may remember, I was also a volunteer). I met Katie when she was visiting Northern Province for her site visit just prior to her swearing in as a volunteer. At the time I met her, I remember thinking, “Dang yo, this chick be rizzle,” which is gangster slang for what I actually thought, which was, “Wow, this woman is going to be a kick-ass volunteer.” (/end attempt at a bilingual blog)
You might be thinking, “Aren’t all Peace Corps Volunteers pretty kick-ass?” The answer is: yes, but some have pressed their boots in the hindquarters of far more problems than others. Katie is one of those volunteers. Her boots be all up in ‘dem problems. (Okay, I’ll stop).
How awesome is Katie? Let’s just say I had to search pretty hard for a picture of her because she’s too busy being an awesome volunteer in her village to take selfies and post them all over Facebook. Other than a potential career as a Goal Zero model, Katie has a lot going on. She’s a health volunteer and somehow has the time and energy to take on pretty much every single project possible in Peace Corps.
Seriously, this gal is the ‘haps. (Seriously, that was the last one).
She does trainings with traditional birth attendants.
And when she’s not busy with that she’s up to her elbows in nutrition clubs.
And as if that weren’t enough, she’s one of the VAC (sort of like Peace Corps volunteer council) representatives for all of Nothern Province. Of course she has free time, during which she organizes bike rides to spread malaria awareness and puts together the GLOW camp for this upcoming December.
You may remember when I asked for your help in putting on that GLOW camp? Well, my fine readers responded in spades and because of your help, here are just some of the awesome ladies who attended.
GLOW camp is a big deal, and Katie is spearheading it this year. Why? Because her awesomeness literally knows no bounds (and because apparently she doesn’t need sleep).
So, why am I telling you all this? Because Katie Van Marter needs your help. Katie wrote a grant to raise money to build a new community maternity ward in her village. For all you ladies out there who have given birth, imagine what that would be like if you didn’t have a clean, comfortable, safe environment to have a baby. Imagine if you were doing it in a dark hut, on the floor, hoping that there would be no complications that might require an impossible trip to the nearest clinic, perhaps many kilometers away. Imagine how big of a deal it would be to suddenly have a safe, clean, well-staffed place to have your baby instead. Katie can imagine it, because she sees that need in her village every day. Thus, she’s helping them to raise the funds to build a clinic.
Her community has already donated more than $11,000USD of in-kind contributions toward this clinic, and they need just a little bit of extra help to make this much-needed clinic a reality. So, Katie is raising some money. How much money, you ask? She needs about $4,500 USD to get her grant funded. If you click on the link above, you can help her out.
At last count, this blog has 870 followers. That’s 870 excellent, loyal, and outrageously good-looking regular readers. That means if each one of YOU joins me in giving Katie’s project just $6USD, she will meet her goal. Or, if you’re feeling extra ambitious, maybe give her $10USD and make up for those readers of mine who are on vacation this week and won’t see this post until later. That’s like, two coffees at Starbucks to give up in order for the women in Katie’s village to give birth in a safe place. People often ask me, “How can we support Peace Corps Volunteers?” This is how. Give Katie a hand in making this maternity clinic a reality, and you’ve helped an actual person help other actual people. This isn’t money to some faceless organization or to sad looking kids on TV. This is Katie, and she’s worth your help (see above).
Need that link again? Here it is: https://beta.peacecorps.gov/donate/project/maternity-ward1355/
One last thing – I need y’all to think about making that donate soon. Like, soon soon! Dry season is happening right now in Zambia, and that’s the best time to make bricks and build a clinic. So, the sooner she has that cash in hand, the sooner her village can finish the clinic and start delivering babies in a safe environment.
On behalf of Katie and myself, thank you for helping Peace Corps Volunteers make a difference around the world.