Nothing is more precious than the gift of life. And, there is nothing more miraculous than the birthing of a child, bringing new life into being. Prenatal care and safe birth deliveries are practices often taken for granted in America. Yet, adequate prenatal and maternity care is seldom experienced by women in our ancestral homeland of Africa.
Realizing this critical health issue, in 1955, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. began making plans and laying the groundwork to establish a maternity hospital in the east African country of Kenya. The plans for a facility came to fruition in the early 1960s when Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. made a major donation to help finance the construction of the Thika Maternity Hospital in Thika, Kenya, which is now named Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital. The first hospital to open after Kenya gained its independence, Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital continues to be operated by the missionary sisters of the Holy Rosary.
In 1985 members of the Sorority visited the hospital and saw first- hand, an increased population and infant mortality rate in and around Thika. Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. responded by donating over $20,000 in 1985 which was used to establish two additional maternity wards and an administrative office.
Mary Help of the Sick Mission Hospital has grown to 120 beds. It provides affordable prenatal and postnatal care, nutritional education, child immunization, and family planning. The hospital gives prenatal care, including lab work, blood tests, and examinations to more than 200 women daily. The facility also has a special care nursery for babies after delivery. The hospital also serves as an educational institution for nurses and midwives. Over 66 students are trained each year.
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elementary School (CHERETTE, HAITI)
Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., in collaboration with Water in Education International opened the Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Elementary School, The Cynthia M.A. Butler-McIntyre Campus in Cherette, Haiti, June 15, 2013. The Water and Education International Student Collaboration for Haiti Outreach Opportunies for Learning (WEI School) Project was established to provide an adequate school facility to include clean water for school children in Haiti. It is the first of many initiatives to alleviate some of the challenges in obtaining a quality education in Haiti. The remote village of Cherette is located 96 miles southwest of Port-au-Prince.
Dedicated in 2002, the Delta House is a home for children who became orphans due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. It is located in what is now known as Vashti Villiage in Mbabane, Swaziland along with two similar structures. Built to accomodated 12 children and a housemother, the home was made possible with funds contributed by Delta Sorors at the 45th and 46th National Conventions held in Chicago (2000) and Atlanta (2002). Situated in a picturesque valley, an expansive vegetable garden flourishes behind the Delta House where residents (most of whom are adolescents) grow someof their own food. The villiage is sitll a work in progress with an office complex, conference center, church and apartments envisioned for the future.