Due to organisational changes, we are currently restructuring the website, An updated website will be up in the coming weeks.
We will announce it on our social networks.
Our COVID-19 Response
As we follow the course this pandemic is taking, with every passing day there are more question marks and uncertainty in the world, and of course the activities of Adventurous Midwives are affected.
We are pausing our field operations until further notice. However, we want to let you know that we are committed to continuing specific activities which will help preserve the vision and the vital work of the organization, and we remain ready to move forward as soon as things become clear again.
We will continue to evaluate our plans and activities in accordance with the situation and we will release regular updates that provide information, creative pathways forward and inspiration.
Adventurous Midwives is founded on close relationships with indigenous peoples and particularly traditional midwives, mothers and babies. Until there is a COVID-19 vaccination, we know the state of things will not fully return to ‘normal’, though we have faith that the world will be able to adapt in the meantime. It is likely that remote indigenous communities will not have access to a COVID-19 vaccination until much later, if at all, and the onus will be on visitors and group leaders to ensure that all participants show proof of vaccination prior to contact with these communities. We know there will be more details to hash out once the dust settles, but these are our initial thoughts at this stage.
Currently we are considering the possibilities of engaging in long-distance communications with communities we are working with as well as with local organizations. These communications would help us to understand the state of the communities’ health, and whether there have been cases of Coronavirus amongst the tribes. Additionally, we could gain valuable information regarding their access to health care systems and up to date information. We at AM believe that indigenous peoples have ways to navigate through this pandemic using traditional and ecological knowledge, and trust that they can find practical solutions which fit their own lifestyle and environment. These may include: isolation, sealing off their territories, and passing of knowledge in their own native language.
The Kosua community in PNG and COVID-19:
As of today, the possibility of someone in Bosavi having Covid-19 is essentially zero. PNG has not recorded a community spread case of Covid-19. (There was an Australian mine worker who arrived with Covid-19 and was sent home for treatment and the PNG Government has been monitoring the people he had come in contact with—he didn’t get anywhere near Bosavi or the SHP) If there was an illness outbreak in Bosavi, AM would certainly be informed, and we would let you know.
As a measure of precaution, the PNG Government acted swiftly and has had the entire country in lockdown over the past 5 weeks. All flights were grounded and all non-essential businesses were closed including public transportation. This isolation/lockdown order was well communicated and given the prevalence of mobile phones there, including in locations like Bosavi, most everyone has heard of the pandemic and how serious it is.
AM response to COVID-19:
With Covid-19 impacting travel around the world, and the state of community and individual health, our expeditions will be affected. We are announcing the following changes and updates to our upcoming expeditions.
2020 Expedition to PNG – we are temporarily suspending any further logistic work related to this expedition while we monitor the pandemic and the global response to it. As such, we are postponing the travel date for this expedition to 2021. We continue to follow the situation closely in PNG and remain in communication and collaboration with our contacts there. It is possible that new restrictions could be implemented for travel to PNG or specific regions within the country, in this case, we will work conscientiously within these parameters. We will announce the specific month for the expedition in the future, along with other pertinent updates as we learn more.
2021 Expeditions – we are temporarily suspending all logistic work related to expeditions taking place in 2021, including Amazon and Namibia. These expeditions have not been postponing for the time being, however changes to travel dates may occur and new travel restrictions might have to be observed for these or other locations. We will continue to monitor and track changes in the health or travel protocols for these locations, and the efficacy of traveling to these locations. As new information comes to light we will continue to provide updates for these expeditions.
All applicants who have applied for the 2021 expeditions (PNG/Amazon/Namibia) will be contacted by email to verify that they are still interested and capable in joining the expedition prior to commencing with the selection process. Successful applicants will be announced in July 2020.
Thank you so much for your understanding of these important changes to our plans, and for your ongoing commitment to the projects and mission of Adventurous Midwives.
If you have questions or things to share, we want to hear from you, and are checking our messages and emails and will do our best to respond in a timely way.
Although our work and projects have had to shift in response to COVID-19, our commitment to care and advocate for the health and wellbeing of indigenous mothers and babies and their communities remains unchanged. The work and development of our projects; the Midwifery Initiative and the Cultural Initiative continues to move forward with research and writing all taking place remotely.
The health, well-being and prosperity of their communities is vital to the whole planet. Now, more than ever, Indigenous voices matter.
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Founder, Executive director
Announcing the Adventurous Midwives exploratory expeditions. Join us in building a foundation for our organization
As the World Health Organization (WHO) declares 2020 “The Year of the Midwife”, we are excited to announce “The 2021 Passage Expedition”, a groundbreaking exploratory expedition to build relationships and conduct research with indigenous mothers and traditional midwives in three remote communities in Papua New Guinea (PNG).
The Legacy of the Traditional Midwife:
A traditional midwife is not only there to assist at birth, she is also the transmitter of valuable information and traditional knowledge for future generations to come. She holds oral history that has been shared among women through a form of chanting as well as storytelling, and prayers, which she uses to educate young girls. A traditional midwife holds incredible knowledge of the environment, especially regarding medicinal plants and their uses during pregnancy, delivery, and postpartum. She is also a carrier of valuable and often secretive storytelling which relates to the woman’s world. She is a figure of wisdom and authority, who helps to sustain balance, faith and hope among women in the community. The trust and faith that is given to her by mothers in delivery are important factors in a successful delivery.
A traditional midwife holds the key to the stories, beliefs systems, ceremonies, prayers, and traditions that will be drawn upon in times of complications during pregnancy, birth, and postpartum. She brings all her skills and knowledge to healing mothers and babies and working toward a safe birth for both. She is a critical part of a web of traditions, celebrations and rituals for accepting the baby, as well as being responsible for residing over rituals of a babies belonging and identity.
We believe women have the right to feel safe, to be with the people they choose to with, to trust in their caregivers, and to have autonomy over their bodies and control over their own choices in all aspects of pregnancy, birth and postpartum.
We honor the choices a woman makes for the way she will deliver here baby, whether she chooses to give birth in a hospital environment, in a mud hut, on the forest floor or at her own home. We support women being informed about the choices she has, and about the autonomy that is hers.
In birth practices, as in other aspects of life, we see how the views and practices of westernized societies are too often forced upon other cultures. The way women give birth is changing. Since the hospitalization of birth there has been a decrease in the value and existence of midwives, in some countries midwifery is illegal.
We believe in the importance of safe-guarding these traditional midwifery roles and the women who carry them, along with all of the knowledge, language, and cultural history they hold and protect for future generations.
Traditional midwives stand for the birth rights of indigenous women.
We support the legacy and continuation of this incredibly valuable role.
We believe much can be learned from traditional midwives. They play a vital role within their community; they are the keepers of vast ecological knowledge, stories, ceremonies and prayers, and are responsible for supporting mothers as they bring their babies into the world. The goal of Adventure Midwives is to see this legacy continue.