Debbie Cornwell has dedicated more than 25 years to her service in the medical field where she envisioned becoming a director of a maternal childcare unit. That all changed when Debbie stepped foot in Uganda and set the foundation for her own nonprofit, Labor of Love.
Over the past three years, Debbie has traveled to Uganda four times as the Assistant Executive Director for Beyond Uganda. Each time, she returned home knowing she was destined to do more. She just didn’t know exactly what her mission was to be.
Debbie has a background and expertise as a nurse in maternal childcare units and was a lactation consultant for the past two decades. She used her extensive knowledge and expertise in the medical field to support her efforts on medical mission volunteer trips and efforts with Beyond Uganda. Through her service with Beyond Uganda, she has sent approximately 400 birthing kits to Uganda and led medical missions to help those needing medical attention.
At first glance, a birthing kit is simple. It contains healthcare necessities such as soap, plastic gloves, gauze, pieces of string or a clamp to use for the umbilical cord, a zip lock bag, a reusable menstrual pad and more. Debbie soon realized just how important and essential these kits were for the mothers-to-be of Uganda.
“I heard that the individual in-charge of outreach for Beyond Uganda had visited a hospital on Women’s Day. This individual was featured on the radio in Uganda and talked about birthing kits and how beneficial they were for women. The response was overwhelmingly positive from the people of Uganda. Just by hearing that message, I felt God was saying, ‘See, this is bigger than you think.’ That realization was scary and humbling at the same time. I knew then that the medical efforts and birthing kits were very important and much needed in Eastern Uganda. I just didn’t realize how much of a need there truly was,” says Debbie Cornwell, founder of Labor of Love.
During a recent trip to Uganda in 2018, Debbie volunteered to lead a medical mission team. She and her team examined more than 1,000 people in four days. There were so many people that the medical team simply could not exam them all and had to turn many away. That’s when Debbie realized how great the need was for medical care in Uganda.
“I remember seeing a mother who brought her sick child to the clinic where we were volunteering. The child tested positive for malaria and was so sick. We provided her with transportation to get to the hospital because she didn’t have any money. After she arrived and got the medical attention she needed for her child, we were told that the baby would have likely not survived if we were not there to help.”
Debbie returned home from Uganda with a humbled heart and a mission. She started a conversation in the community about her wishes for a nonprofit that specifically offered health and wellness care for the people of Eastern Uganda. She gained donations and fundraised to give her organization, Labor of Love, a strong start.
Labor of Love provides prenatal care, birthing kits, blood pressure checks, wellness checks, and medical testing for diseases including HIV, Malaria and Sickle Cell Anemia. The nonprofit organization will also educate about antenatal care, drug management and overall health and wellness. If serious medical attention is needed, the clinic will refer patients to nearby hospitals to ensure they receive the medical attention needed.
Through these efforts, Debbie and her team are dedicated to enhancing the quality of people’s lives in Uganda by providing preventative healthcare. Her vision is to expand her nonprofit organization to have a physical clinic and mobile units that have the capability of reaching secluded villages. This will help contribute to elevating the people of Eastern Uganda so they can form a self-sustainable country in the near future.
To support Labor of Love, individuals can volunteer to work with the organization and assemble birthing kits, help with fundraising efforts, apply to become a board member and provide donations. Contact Debbie Cornwell for more information at email@example.com
“For God is not unrighteousness to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward his name in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” – Hebrews 6:10
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