Statistics with the Tears – The Mother & Child Project {book review}

  The Mother & Child Project is a collection of essays intended to raise awareness about how we can improve women’s health globally simply by providing education about family planning and basic health, access to effective birth control methods, and advocating for educating girls. 

Here are some quotes to give you an idea of the book: 

Elizabeth Styffe: 

“The statistics of maternal and infant death are gut-wrenching, vivid, and real. One in thirty-nine women in sub-Saharan Africa are dying during pregnancy and childbirth. There is a moral mandate to provide accurate information and resources necessary for life while honoring a woman and family’s cultural and faith values. Through no fault of their own, 222 million women have limited ability to influence the timing or spacing of their pregnancies, leaving these women and their children vulnerable. 
When a woman’s cries and wailings are heard, the numbers stop being just statistics and become the stories of real people. Numbers are numbing. As one Rwandan woman told me, “Numbers are statistics. Numbers are statistics with the tears wiped off.” p.65

Juliette, a health volunteer who trains church members to because trainers voluteering in their own communities, as quoted by Elizabeth Styffe: 

“There are medicines and methods to help you. we must be more intentional in preparing our bodies for our babies, for theier sake and for ours. I am a Christian, and I use pills to help me. There is nothing wrong with using techniques or tools. I’m not interfering with God’s will if I take medicine. When there is information and resources for timing annd spacing of pregnancies and I withhold it because I am afraid of offending others, I telling people they can die.” p.67

Sherry Surratt:

“Every mom wants good things for her child and to be the best mom she can be. Every mom wants her baby to grow up healthy and to have opportunites. Every mom has hopes and dreams for that perfect being she holds in her arms. The difference is the knowledge and resources that are avaiable to her from the point at which she gives birth.” p111

Jennie Allen: 

“Women and men of faith, let’s take care of the mommas. Because we will take care of all the babies when we do.”p. 215

Many of us are privileged to be able choose to use birth control or not, situations that support our choices, access to excellent medical care when we are pregnant, etc. We can choose to avoid birth control if we want, but we can’t assume we know what is best for others based on our own situations. Our worlds are not the same as many mothers in the world, but our desire for safe and healthy familes carries across the cultural and economic divides. And we can help each other by advocating for a different kind of international missionwork. 
Basically, instead of handouts, it’s time to empower and educate women to give them more control over their lives.

This book to realize it was well worth the read especially if you are just realizing you do’t really know anything about it. At first I was overwhelmed by the obvious campaign behind the stories and essays, but they eventually won me over. 

You can follow and join in advocating for the poor and needy through the Hope Through Healing Hands website, at @HTHHglobal on Twitter, or on facebook


I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review from 


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Linking up with Literacy Musings Monday!

3 thoughts on “Statistics with the Tears – The Mother & Child Project {book review}

  1. “…statistics with the tears wiped off.” Powerful words and sad ones. We cannot ignore…and the world is so filled with so much that we just cannot ignore. The question I ask is “How can I… one person…not ignore so much?” I must let God show me His way for my journey. But ignore…no…I cannot.
    Thanks for sharing this. I have a dear friend, a health educator who is involved with a woman’s agency in DC. I want to share this book with her.


  2. It’s sad that some mothers and children do not receive the nutritious food and healthcare they need. Thanks for linking up to Literacy Musing Mondays.


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