"The midwife is recognised as a responsible and accountable professional who works in partnership with women to give the necessary support, care and advice during pregnancy, labour and the postpartum period, to conduct births on the midwife’s own responsibility and to provide care for the newborn and the infant."
~ International Confederation of Midwives
Newlife School is US-based school that offers academic and clinical training at our birthing center located in the Philippines where we’ve been working for almost 30 years. Both the clinic and school are part of a Christian mission organization comprised of Western missionaries and a wonderful group of Filipino Christian workers numbering approximately 80 people.
The school is operated as an extension of our birthing center which is the largest charity-based birthing clinic in the Philippines serving almost 15,000 patients annually. The clinic serves families living in impoverished conditions who cannot afford quality maternal healthcare. We simply desire to show women and their families God's mercy and kindness in a practical way as Jesus taught. The hands-on and deeply relational skill of midwifery is proven to be a powerful avenue to bring God's love and kindness to suffering people.
Our clinic enjoys an interdependent relationship with Newlife School in that student tuition fees help fund the clinic. Therefore, knowing that each student's tuition is directly serving impoverished families, enrollment in Newlife can be deeply fulfilling.
In addition to midwifery training, our mission organization has extensive experience involving church planting, tribal ministry, evangelism, community development, youth adventure programs, agriculture, primary health care, bible school training, etc.
Finally, each student functions as a 'missionary' while enrolled in our school because it's based on the mission field. Our hope is that many of our students will consider serving in developing countries upon graduation.
To date, we've seen our graduates serve in the following countries: Nigeria, Afghanistan, Nepal, India, China, Yemen, Sudan, Cambodia, Haiti, Solomon Islands, Chad, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, Indonesia, Zambia, and Pakistan.
We place a high value on the skills that a Christian midwife has to offer regarding missionary service in developing countries. Several years ago, we extended the length of our program from 2 years to 2½ years in order to provide a more concerted emphasis on cross-cultural mission training in addition to midwifery education. This actually came about after we surveyed ALL Newlife graduates asking if they would suggest adding six months to the program which would allow more time to focus on missions training as a separate module aside from midwifery education. The response was overwhelmingly positive in support of the modification because they believed it would greatly enhance each student's preparation for overseas missions work after they graduated from Newlife School.
THE FIRST SEMESTER FOCUS for all incoming students involves language learning, cultural orientation, Great Commission awareness, and introduction to midwifery. During the first two months students work with language tutors who train them how to acquire crucial language skills that can be applied to any culture. The third month focus is helping students understand the value of the Great Commission and how to share their personal testimony supported with scriptures highlighting the Gospel message. Students are then given a life impacting opportunity to experience 10-14 days living in a provincial community with some of our full-time Filipino Christian staff leaders. The experience may be likened as an introduction of life as a missionary where they meet new people, share their personal testimonies, and demonstrate God’s kindness in a cross-cultural setting under the oversight of national Christians who are assisting them to discover what missionary life is like.
This initial first few months provide a solid foundation that significantly helps empower and enhance each student's ability to interact with our patients as a missionary. At the end of the three months students will transition to the midwifery academic program of study. Students will also be given opportunities throughout their training to visit other missionary-based midwifery clinics and participate in rural outreaches.
Newlife School was set up to equip and empower young ladies to learn valuable midwifery skills while at the same time making a difference in the world.
For every woman who dies in childbirth, around 20 more suffer injury, infection or disease – approximately 10 million women each year. Most of these deaths are avoidable and could be prevented by having a trained birthing attendant available.
Every 60 seconds, at least one woman dies from complications related to pregnancy or childbirth – that means 529,000 women die every year according to the World Health Organization.
"While motherhood is often a positive and fulfilling experience, for too many women it is associated with suffering, ill-health and even death. The major direct causes of maternal morbidity and mortality include haemorrhage, infection, high blood pressure, unsafe abortion, and obstructed labour."
~ Source: World Health Organization
In the Philippines for example, only 60% of women give birth with the assistance of a trained and qualified birth attendant. The maternal mortality rate in the Philippines is 120 deaths per 100,000 live births compared to that of 20 deaths in developed nations. 3,000 women die annually from pregnancy related causes in the Philippines. Approximately 33,000 newborns die annually.
Due to the unique set-up and location of our facility we are well equipped to train midwives to work in developing countries. Each student acquires valuable experience in providing maternal/newborn healthcare cross-culturally to families living in poverty. We desire that our graduates might consider volunteering for other medical mission organizations operating in countries where the need for skilled midwives is so prevalent.