Sunday, February 07, 2016

Albuquerque Offering of Letters Workshop on March 12

Please join us on Saturday, March 12, for our 2016 Offering of Letters workshop, at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 5301 Ponderosa NE (map) 9:30 - 12:00 Noon.

This year's letter-writing campaign, entitled "Survive and Thrive," urges Congress to prioritize support for  global maternal and child health programs, emphasizing nutrition. We will view the video for this year's campaign, review resource materials and answer questions.

Our featured speaker  is Hellen M. Mbithi, a pediatric nurse at the University of New Mexico's Children's Hopsital. Hellen, a member of St. John XXIII Catholic Community in Albuquerque, was born and raised in the small village of Ngai, in the Eastern Province of Kenya(See her full biography below).  She will tell us more  about how a lack of nutrition in for mothers and infants can impact the development of children. Hellen wil also tell us about the challenges of rural communities like hers in finding adequate health care, and how she is working to improve access to medical care in Ngai.

In 2015, 20 churches in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Las Cruces, Gallup and Truchas participated in our Offering of Letters, generating more than 2,000 letters to Congress on an initiative to renew the Child Nutrition Act and protect feeding programs for children. We hope to match or increase the numbers this year, both in terms of the number of participating churches and the number of letters generated to Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham, Rep. Steve Pearce, Rep. Ben Ray Lujan, Sen. Tom Udall, and Sen. Martin Heinrich.  We have created an Event on Facebook for the Offering of Letters workshop. 

Our Featured Speaker
Hellen M. Mbithi was born and raised in the small village of Ngai, in the Eastern Province of Kenya, in Eastern  Africa. After completing secondary school, she travelled to the capital city of Nairobi to train as a nurse. After graduating with an associate’s degree in nursing from the Cicely McDonnell School of Nursing in 2003, Hellen worked as a Registered Nurse and Midwife. She worked at Nairobi Hospital and Muthale Mission Hospital between 2003-2006.

In 2007 Hellen journeyed to the United States and after passing the NCLEX started working as a RN in Texas. She later worked as a travel nurse visiting several states specializing in dialysis.

In 2009, Hellen was attracted to the warm desert climate of New Mexico. She began working at Fresenius Medical care in 2009. Since 2010, she has also worked in pediatric infusion and dialysis at The University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital. Hellen enjoys taking care of both adults and pediatric patients, compassionately helping those with acute and chronic renal conditions.

Hellen has a passion to help the poor and the sick. Having lived in Kenya most of her life, Hellen knows first-hand what it feels like to go to bed on an empty stomach. This first hand experience inspires her to work hard to bring needed changes in her village. Having witnessed so many children die of malnutrition, and having witnessed pregnant mothers or their babies being lost in childbirth - Hellen has a passion to save lives as a nurse and a midwife.

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