This year we are partnering with an amazing group of women in Juarez, Mexico for our summer border campaign. We first learned of their efforts through a woman named K who, well, kind of does it all. She helps run a shelter in the city for migrant women who have experienced sexual assault, many of whom became pregnant as a result.
The facility houses 20 women and children, as they wait on court dates for their asylum cases. Sometimes these cases take upwards of a year or more. She is also currently working with a place across town that assists the pregnant migrants who are Covid positive, so that they can keep the families at the other shelter uninfected. Last weekend, Mel and I went down to find out what the needs were for these centers and how we could best support these women's efforts.
I don't think I've truly finished processing all that we saw just yet. At first, the needs seemed great, but I realized most of the things they required were quite small and could easily be provided by our badass prolife feminist community. Nothing about this campaign is political. It's about people. Real human beings that have been through things most of us couldn't even fathom, but they are so, so resilient and they just need a little bit of support from our lady gang.
We went. We took notes, and here are the ways we found that we can support these amazing women and their children at the border:
AMAZON REGISTRY- This list is full of items that are needed for the shelter and quarantine facility in Juárez. Some items are big (recently their refrigerator went out and they’re having to borrow a local restaurant's drink fridge to keep their produce and dairy cool... which it is not really doing very well). Even if you can’t cover the full cost, just kicking in a few bucks will go a long way. Other items on the list are for the babies and children, as well as some items for the birthing kits for expecting mamas. We actually took about a dozen down already and they're already going to use! These women are so so grateful to have these items to add just a small bit of comfort to their recovery.
Check out the registry here: Campaign Relief Registry.
MONETARY DONATIONS - Most of the migrant women at the center do not qualify for government healthcare. This means for many of them the first time they are able to see a doctor is when they are in labor, because it is illegal to turn them away at that point. We know that here in the states a lack of prenatal visits can greatly impact birth outcomes and mortality rates for both the mother and the child, so your donations will help them access cash pay visits that could literally save their lives and the lives of their children.
They also often cannot afford pain meds (which are only $30 US dollars in Juarez) during delivery, or the initial cost of labor room care.
This is huge when it comes to supporting these women.
Because so many of them became pregnant through rape, being able to alleviate even a small amount of their pain and discomfort during labor is true compassion. These mother love their children, because that’s what these babies are. THEIR CHILDREN. Not the predator’s. I was able to hold one of these precious babies last weekend and apologies to my own kids, but it was the most perfect baby I've ever seen. And her mother was such a warrior.
Your donations will help them after delivery as well so that they will be able to receive follow-up care and any needed medication. It will also go toward keeping this vital facility running. I can't rave enough about the selfless people who run it. They are able to feed the 20 women and children who live their for just $300 a month, and they all volunteer there for free. So any amount you are able to give will go incredibly far. 100% of the donations that NWF receives in July will go directly to this initiative.
And finally, another way to help....
VOLUNTEER - There are a couple of different ways to volunteer, both from home and in-person.
We need Spanish speaking people who can work from home to help translate documents for migrant women seeking asylum. You would need to be someone with the emotional bandwidth to handle some incredibly heartbreaking stories as well as a very high skill level when it comes to detail and written translation. One migrant had their application rejected because the word “can’t” was typo’d as “can” on the paperwork.
If you are interested in physically going to Juarez and assisting at the center you would need to be able to commit to at least one week of being there. You would also need a valid passport and the ability to cover your travel expenses to Juarez and back. Lodging and food will be provided. You don’t have to speak Spanish, but it would be helpful. Also, if any men are interested in volunteering in Juarez, there is a builder who is working on housing people with dignity and no Spanish speaking would be required. Women could also obviously volunteer for this position as well, but for men this would be the main opportunity for you to help out, as we are mostly looking for women to work inside the shelter with the mothers since almost all of them have experienced sexual assault.
(Also a huge plus would be any doulas or midwives that could physically come to the shelter when they have women expecting.)
If any of these seem like a fit for you, please message us and we can get you in touch with a volunteer coordinator for more details!
Covid-19 Relief Efforts
NWF - Dallas put together 75 "Lady Kits" for families in South Dallas. This area is known as a food desert, so women and girls have less access to basic feminine hygiene and reproductive care supplies.
We were also very grateful for the opportunity to help Abide Women's Health Services in getting necessary supplies to babies and mamas through their "contactless porch drop offs" of essential items like formula, diapers, baby wipes, and breastfeeding support.
Our human dignity doesn’t begin at birth and it doesn’t end at the border…
While our official #B2B campaign has ended, if you'd like to continue supporting families at the border, please consider donating the one of the wonderful centers helping them relocate after detainment. Below are the current needs and Amazon Wishlists for each facility. Your donations make a HUGE impact.
***When sending items from an Amazon list, make sure to select the address for the center you are sending to. If the address is not listed, we have included it below so that you can change the shipping address when you checkout on Amazon. Thank you!***
El Paso Respite Center - Ship to: Annunciation House, 1003 E San Antonio Ave, El Paso, TX 79901
Brownsville Respite Center - Ship to: (currently unavailable, will update shortly)
Laredo Respite Center - Ship to: Catholic Charities, c/o Joe Barron, 1701 Main Ave, Laredo, TX 78040
McAllen Respite Center - Ship to: c/o Sister Norma Pimental, 111 S. 15th St. McAllen, TX 78501
“The Bottles 2 The Border Initiative has been partially supported by a grant from the Consistent Life Network, an international pro-life, pro-peace coalition. New Wave Feminists is proud to be a member of the Consistent Life Network.”
Other NWF Humanitarian Initiatives
The Great Texas Tampon Haul!
In response to Hurricane Harvey