Janaki Odh with her 16-day old baby girl Nisha in Joshibunga, a village in Baitadi District, far western Nepal. Sixteen days before we captured this story, she gave birth to a baby girl, Nisha. She had a home delivery, but halfway through she noticed that

In a Remote Nepalese Village, Motherhood Can Be a Matter of Survival

Raising families amidst poverty, war, famine, disease and disaster requires superhuman strength.  Sometimes, even that's not enough.


Janaki lives in Joshibunga, Nepal, 124 miles away from the nearest maternity ward. Although her first five children were delivered safely at home, when she went into labor with her sixth child and it continued for three days, she couldn't stop thinking about her neighbor. 


“There was a woman in the neighborhood – both she and her baby died during delivery," explains Janaki. "So, I was very scared. I was worried about what might happen to me."



Thankfully, a volunteer midwife who trained at the UNICEF-supported health center in Joshibunga was on call to help and stayed with Janaki until her baby, a girl she named Nisha, was born. 


Now, both mother and baby are doing just fine and making regular visits to the health center, where Nisha's getting the checkups and vaccines newborns need.


As for Janaki, she's so grateful for the care she received that she hopes Nisha and her other daughters will one day work in professions that help their community, too. 


"I want some to become nurses," says Janaki, who now believes girls should establish their independence before getting married. "Then the entire village will benefit."


This Mother's Day, consider donating a Mother's Day gift basket filled with everything a mom needs to give her children the healthiest start in life. Gift baskets range in price, from $50 for a newborn kit, which contains essentials like vaccines, baby clothes, blankets and diapers, to more comprehensive options, including a $500 package designed to help an entire family weather emergencies






UNICEF Inspired Gifts are real lifesaving supplies you can purchase in honor of a loved one that UNICEF delivers to help children in need around the world. 


Top photo: Janaka lives in western Napal, where home deliveries are common — but often dangerous for mother and child. While experiencing complications giving birth to her sixth child, Janaka feared the worst, but, thankfully, a volunteer midwife from the local UNICEF-supported birthing center was on hand to help deliver a healthy baby girl. © UNICEF/UN0270422/van Oorsouw