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Bend midwife set to travel overseas, help Syrian war refugees


Bend midwife Kelsey Wright has helped in the birth of hundreds of Central Oregon babies. But in October, she’ll travel overseas to deliver her skills to serve the needs of war-torn Syrian refugee women and newborns.

“Ever since I was little, I’ve had this desire in my blood to go into Third World countries and help improve their maternity outcomes by supporting the local midwives there with resources, training and education,” Wright said Thursday as she packed her gear.

Wright’s journey is part of a five-week program through “Midwife Pilgrim,” a U.S.-based non-profit dedicated serving global communities through maternity services.

Wright said her career as a midwife in Bend has prepared her well for this journey.

“They don’t have the access to medical care that we have here,” she said. “There’s a dozen midwives in Central Oregon and twice as many obstetricians, and they can go and get care here. But over there, there might be one doctor and two midwives for thousands available for them. So I feel like it’s fair to do my share.”

According to the UN Refugee Agency, about 4.8 million refugees have fled Syria alone and are now seeking asylum. Of the women, it’s estimated that 1 in 10 are pregnant.

Wright said she’s hoping her journey is a way for Americans to understand the urgency that these refugees have.

“This is an opportunity for Central Oregon to raise awareness about refugees,” Wright said. “They have nowhere to call home. It is culturally so different from us. But at the end of the day, it’s a mom and a baby and a dad and a toddler, and a 7-year-old kid that wants to go to school. And it’s not always what we think it is.”

Wright said she is anticipating that her trip overseas will help birth a new, healthier generation.

“I am expecting my life probably will never be the same, and I’m really hoping I’ll be able to make a difference,” Wright said.

if you are interested on helping Wright on her journey, you can donate at her crowdfunding page:

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