Ninotte: Making an Impact, One Hope at a Time: Inspired by Emeline Michel’s poem That Trust

Ink and Gouache on paper 

Side by side of day 166

What does it take to make an impact? Whenever I observe culture I am constantly reminded of changes that need to be made, things that must shift. And dwelling on unmade change often leads me to feel somewhat helpless. To make an impact, we must first begin. But knowing where to begin when faced with so many urgencies is incredibly difficult. Perhaps the best way to make an impact is to begin at the very beginning: life, birth.

Ninotte’s impact on the world grows with each new life she helps usher into the world. Her work as a Haitian midwife touches lives not just by helping the new, but enriching lives that are already here through education and simple acts of connection. 

When I first met Ninotte, a while ago now, I distinctly remember the moment when I learned that she had been at around 500 births; she had seen so many first breaths, so many lives begin.

Over the last few years, it’s been surreal to see Ninotte’s process. By listening to her calling, and to the people around her she’s envisioned the Grace Community Birth Center, which is still in the process of creation and already impacting Haiti, one woman, one person at a time.  

And as of the beginning of 2018, I was lucky enough to join the Grace Birth Center advisory board. Each month, I look forward to the video calls when I get to see and hear to see how Ninotte’s dedication, determination, compassion lead her to overcome obstacles. 

Today’s piece was inspired by how strands of Ninotte, strands of her work, are part of countless people’s lives, and not just in Haiti. Today’s piece was also inspired by this section from Haitian songstress and activist Emeline Michel’s poem That Trust

“In the same order
One after another
Another day will come
And change will be
Just be!

If we can look to those who have followed and dedicated themselves to their callings and passions, then perhaps we too can learn to listen, to the world around us, to the world within us. And perhaps by listening, then by acting, we too can make impacts of our own, one step, one life at a time.

Take a minute to check out Grace Community Birth Center, and share what you can, one dollar at a time.