Women’s Support Center – Passage of Armenia’s New Domestic Violence Law

Summer-Fall 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the Women’s Support Center’s e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of current activities. Below WSC highlights the work carried out in the past few months to ensure the safety of women and children, victims of domestic violence, and advocate for change. Engage with WSC by following Facebook, website, and contacting WSC. Women’s Support Center would love to hear from you!

NEW DOMESTIC VIOLENCE LAW

Since the passage of the new Domestic Violence(DV) law in Armenia, we have been working intensively on developing mechanisms for Police and Social Workers to facilitate the law’s monitoring and implementation. This is an ongoing process to improve services for DV victims and to ensure the prevention of DV cases. Tragically, during the first 6 months since the law was passed, and since police started to record DV cases, hundreds of cases of domestic violence have been reported. These include 9 DV related deaths, which is an extremely high figure within this timeframe and context.

 

WSC lawyer, Nona Galstyan (middle) working with Ministry of Social Affairs on DV law mechanisms

INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS

The new DV law and the recent democratic changes that have taken place in Armenia have increased interest on behalf of international organizations. June was a particularly busy month. We met with gender experts from UNICEF, the Open Society Foundation, the Council of Europe, Romania, and the US Embassy.  The Armenian Bar Association Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department, and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian from Los Angeles visited  and exchaned information with our staff.   A very productive and interesting exchange took place that lead to a gained awareness on California state practices for DV cases.

Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian

ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY VISIT

Interns of the Armenian Assembly and Director Arpi Vartanian visited our center to get better acquainted with the WSC’s work, as well as with women’s rights and gender equality issues in Armenia. A lively discussion ensued.

Armenian Assembly Interns Orientation at WSC

TRAINING

We continued training Police and Social Workers.  Additionally, World Vision selected the WSC to train 442 doctors, educators, and social workers in 13 regions in Armenia. This offers us further exposure to the regions, and allows us to creating valuable contacts and foster collaborations.

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Kybele, Inc. Leads Innovative Program in Ghana

As a former board member of Kybele, Inc., I cannot contain my joy in seeing all of the great accomplishments in advancing women’s health care in labor and delivery.  A million kudos to all of the volunteers and our friend Dr. Medge Owens for her tireless dedication to expanding the good work to save mothers’ and infants’ lives around the world. Keep on Pushing!      

KYBELE LEADS INNOVATIVE TRIAGE PROGRAM IN GHANA

By Erin Pfeiffer
 
As a part of the USAID Systems for Health initiative in Ghana, Kybele will be training Master Trainers in our innovative Triage Implementation Program. The Systems for Health Project (July 2014 to June 2019) is working with the Ghana Health Service to strengthen its efforts to reduce preventable child and maternal deaths. A critical piece of this effort is obstetric triage — equipping high-volume health facilities to prioritize obstetric emergencies in hospital units to reduce delays in receiving treatment.
 
The Triage Implementation Program aims to help hospital administrators and clinical personnel understand the concept of obstetric triage and how it can be used to improve outcomes for the mother and baby. Other objectives include setting up an obstetric triage system in the hospital using color coded wristbands, decreasing wait times for women to be seen and treated upon arrival at the hospital, prioritizing care for the sickest women, and improving care planning and documentation.
 
This month, our Kybele team—consisting of physician master trainers and an implementation science expert—is testing our innovative training package at the high-volume Tema General Hospital for appropriateness and usability. Staff will be mentored and coached so that they will have the capacity to provide technical support to other facilities as needed. Ultimately, Kybele will develop a toolkit and guidelines that Ghana Health Service will be able to use to implement the triage package in district and regional hospitals across the country.

Photo Top Left:
Dr. Fiona Bryce and Midwife Cecilia Tetteh introduce the Obstetric Triage Implementation Program at Tema General Hospital. September 2018.
Photo Bottom Left:
Midwife Cecilia Tetteh coaching new triage clinical champions at Tema General Hospital. September 2018.

KYBELE WINS PRESTIGIOUS PEOPLE’S CHOICE AWARD FOR SAVING LIVES AT BIRTH AND ADVANCES TO FINAL ROUND!

By Erin Pfeiffer
 
Kybele’s innovative work has been recognized by Saving Lives at Birth as a groundbreaking approach for improving outcomes for pregnant women and newborns in poor, vulnerable communities around the world. Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development—launched by USAID, the Government of Norway, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Grand Challenges Canada, Department for International Development (DFID), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA)—aims to find the best tools and approaches to help mothers and newborns during their most vulnerable hours and has become one of the most renowned initiatives in the global health community. Over the last seven years, Saving Lives at Birth has sourced and supported 115 distinct innovations and seen individuals and organizations gain global accolades for their achievements.

Based on Kybele’s highly successful pilot triage work in Ghana, we proposed a scale-up of our innovation triage package for Saving Lives at Birth funding. This July, our proposal, “Addressing the Third Delay: Scaling Up an Obstetric Triage System to Reduce Delay and Improve the Quality of Care in High-Risk Referral Hospitals in Ghana,” was selected as a finalist and will now move forward for final deliberations and negotiations. With nearly 500 applicants for the award, Kybele is honored to advance to the final stage of this highly competitive review process. This distinction puts our project in the top 5 percent of applicants.
 
As a part of the advancement of our proposal, Principle Investigators Dr. Medge Owen, Dr. Rohit Ramaswamy, and Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh participated in the Saving Lives at Birth DevelopmentXChange in Washington D.C. — an event that showcases the most innovative initiatives from around the world and brings together some of the most cutting-edge models in the sphere of maternal and newborn health. Event participants took part in capacity-building sessions, networking, and meetings with experts and potential collaborators. Drs. Owen and Srofenyoh successfully provided an oral defense of our proposal before a panel of experts, and Kybele was thereby nominated to move forward to award negotiations.
 
Moreover, Kybele won the vast majority of the 1,700 votes for the People’s Choice Award — winning “by a landslide,” according to the award organizers. As a part of this award, Kybele will receive $5,000 in strategic communications support from Weber Shandwick, a global engagement and communication agency. The support will be customized around Kybele’s needs, including strategic message guidance, targeted earned media outreach and social media support. Many thanks to all of our supporters who voted for this recognition of our worthy cause!

Photo Top Left: Dr. Medge Owen accepts the Saving Lives at Birth People’s Choice Award.
Photo Bottom Right: Dr. Emmanuel Srofenyoh in front of the Kybele Booth poster.

KYBELE PARTNERS WITH NETWORK FOR GOOD
TO SAVE THE LIVES OF BABIES

Kybele has recently partnered with Network for Good to utilize their fundraising tools and create an easier way for individuals to make contributions to Kybele.
Check out our end-of-year giving campaign and see why we are raising $50,000 to SAVE BABIES.

DONOR SPOTLIGHT: KYBELE RECEIVES SIZEABLE CONTRIBUTIONS FROM IMD, INC. AND EPIMED

IMD President, Walter Zohmann at the 2018 SOAP Conference in Miami, FL.

Kybele is grateful and pleased to announce the recent support from International Medical Development (IMD), Inc., for its $1,000 donation at the 2018 Society for Obstetric Anesthesia and Perinatology (SOAP) conference in Miami. Based in Huntsville, Utah, IMD is a specialty needle company focused on spinal, epidural, and combined spinal epidural (CSE) techniques; amniocentesis; as well as lumbar punctures and myelograms. IMD President Walter Zohmann presented the donation to Kybele.

Kybele would also like to acknowledge EpiMed for its generous donation of 200 epidural mini kits and a simulator to teach neuraxial techniques at our programs in Serbia and Bosnia. EpiMed is the manufacturer of effective and high-quality products to assist with pain management (acute and chronic pain), regional anesthesia, and original equipment manufacturing. EpiMed’s in-kind donation is valued at approximately $7,400 and was graciously presented by John Roschuk, director of regional anesthesia products.

KYBELE SPOTLIGHT ON ELIZABETH COLBURN

By Elizabeth Colburn
 
I am originally from Maryland and grew up traveling the United States playing softball competitively. I have wanted to become involved in medicine since the age of 3, when I called 911 to save my great-grandmother’s life following a traumatic fall and did what I could to comfort and assist her until help came. In high school, I entered a four-year biomedical program, which further cultivated my interest in medicine and drove me to pursue the pre-medical track at Wake Forest University for my undergraduate studies.

While taking an anthropology class at Wake Forest, I found I have a deep passion for global health and viewed it as the perfect way to combine my interest in medicine with my enthusiasm for travel and love of helping others. Before graduating, I had the amazing fortune to cross paths with Dr. Medge Owen while shadowing at Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center, where she told me about the incredible work of Kybele and offered me the opportunity to join the team. This was a dream come true. It provided me with a chance to gain direct experience in the two fields I am most passionate about while working with an inspirational team of leaders on cutting-edge global health work that impacts the lives of mothers and children around the world.
          
I began working with Kybele in an administrative capacity in December and plan to continue working as I take a gap year to apply to medical school. Since working with Kybele, I have had the opportunity to travel to Mexico for our 2018 Team Leader Summit, represent Kybele at a variety of events, and work with Novant Health to develop their global health agenda and assist with research in women’s health and wellness. Most importantly, I have met truly incredible people who have further fueled my passion for both medicine and global health, and I am excited to apply the lessons I have already learned through Kybele to my future medical career and see where my future work with Kybele takes me.
 
We are glad to have you on board Elizabeth!

QUILT DONATION AND RAFFLE

Earlier this year, Kybele received a beautiful handmade quilt from longtime SOAP member Dr. Pamela Webb. The quilt was made from numerous t-shirt designs of past SOAP conferences. Dr. Webb, along with Forever Sisters Quilting, constructed the quilt with the thought of helping Kybele to raise funds. A blind auction was held during the 2018 SOAP conference, and the winning bid of $2,500 went to Dr. Barbara Leighton.
A HUGE thank-you to both Pamela and Barbara for your continued generous support of Kybele.

RECENT KYBELE PUBLICATIONS

The following Kybele articles have recently been published:
 
Kallam, B., Pettitt-Schieber, C., Owen, M., Agyare Asante, R., Darko, E., Ramaswamy, R. (2018). Implementation science in low-resource settings: using the interactive systems framework to improve hand hygiene in a tertiary hospital in Ghana. International Journal for Quality in Health Care, 1-7.
 
Goodman, D. M., Srofenyoh, E. K., Ramaswamy, R., Bryce, F., Floyd, L., Olufolabi, A., Tetteh, C., Owen, M. (2018). Addressing the third delay: implementing a novel obstetric triage system in Ghana. BMJ global health, 3(2), e000623.
 
Floyd, L., Bryce, F., Ramaswamy, R., Olufolabi, A., Srofenyoh, E., Goodman, D., Pearson, N., Morgan, K., Tetteh, C., Ahwireng, V., Owen, M. (2018). The introduction of a midwife-led obstetric triage system into a regional referral hospital in Ghana. Midwifery, 61, 45-52.

UPCOMING KYBELE EVENTS

SEPTEMBER 13-17 – Kybele trip to Novi Sad, Serbia: Dr. Shahla Namak’s ALSO course with a team of instructors on September 15 and 16. ALSO, which stands for Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics, is an evidence-based multidisciplinary training program that prepares maternity health care providers to better manage obstetric emergencies.
 
SEPTEMBER 29-30 – Project CURE master trainer course for helping mothers survive (bleeding after birth) | Woodridge, Illinois
 
SEPTEMBER 30-OCTOBER 6 – Kybele site visit to Siberia.
 
OCTOBER 28 – NOVEMBER 3 – Kybele team trip to Cape Coast Teaching Hospital | Cape Coast, Ghana
NOVEMBER 14 Worldwide Initiatives for Healthy Pregnancies at 36th Perinatal Conferences, Gravidas at Risk Conference of 2018 | Hickory, North Carolina
 
NOVEMBER 14 Kybele merchandise sale event at 36th Perinatal Conferences, Gravidas at Risk Conference of 2018 | Hickory, North Carolina
 
NOVEMBER 26 – Kybele site visit to Bolivia
 
NOVEMBER 27 Giving Tuesday – National day of “giving” – Year End Campaign.

Kybele Board of Directors
Fiona Bryce
Curtis Baysinger
Lisa Councilman Corbett
Lawrence Fordjour
Ronald George
David Goodman
Matt Hatch
Holly Muir
Medge Owen
Melvin Seid
Ann Smith
Leigh Stanfield

Kybele Staff
Sebnem Ucer, Accounts Manager
Erin Pfeiffer, Grants Manager & Program Coordinator
Kimber Whanger, Marketing & Admin
Dayne Logan, Editor
If you would like to nominate a person for the Board of Directors or would like to more information about Board Committee membership, please contact a Kybele staff person.

Kybele, Inc. | 116 Lowes Foods Drive #170 | Lewisville, NC 27023 |  336.549.0774

Kybele, Inc. | kybeleworldwide.org, 336.549.0774, Lewisville, NC 27023

USCIS Message: Update – Certificates of Citizenship for Internationally Adopted Child

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Buffalo Field Office, Child Citizenship Act Unit, prepares Certificates of Citizenship for certain internationally adopted children who enter the United States and are eligible to receive a Certificate of Citizenship under the Child Citizenship Act (CCA). The USCIS Buffalo Field Office processes these certificates for newly arrived children with IR-3 and IH-3 immigrant visa classifications.

The Buffalo Field Office is updating its current process for CCA cases to ensure that it continues to issue Certificates of Citizenship in a timely manner.

Issuing Certificates of Citizenship

Eligible Child under age 14 when they enter the U.S.

Certificates are mailed within 60 days from the date the child enters the U.S.

Eligible Child age 14 or over when they enter the U.S.

The Buffalo Field Office will transfer cases to a local field office where the process will be completed.  In most cases, the local field office will schedule the child to appear for an oath ceremony. The child will take the Oath of Allegiance and receive the Certificate of Citizenship.

Clerical errors on certificates

The child’s information on the certificate should be the same as the information on the child’s legal documents and the immigrant visa issued by the U.S. Department of State.

If the Buffalo Field Office issued the certificate and you notify the office of a clerical error within 10 business days from when the certificate was postmarked, USCIS will address the error.  

If the local field office issued the certificate and you notify the office of a clerical error within 3 business days from when the certificate was issued, USCIS will address the error.

See the Child Citizenship Act Fact Sheet for instructions on how to contact your local field office.

If you have not contacted the field office within the above noted time frames, you will need to file Form N-565, Application for Replacement of Naturalization/Citizenship Document, to obtain a replacement certificate. This form may be filed online with USCIS.

Replacement certificates

Please refer to the Form N-565 application and instructions on the USCIS website  for where to file the form. Do not file the form directly with the USCIS Buffalo Field Office as it no longer accepts the form.

For more information on the CCA process, please visit the Certificate of Citizenship for Internationally Adopted Child webpage.

If your child was admitted into the United States with an IR-3 or IH-3 visa, but has not yet received his or her Certificate of Citizenship and it has been more than 60 days since the date of entry into the United States, please write to:

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Buffalo Field Office (CCA Unit) 306 Delaware Avenue Buffalo, NY  14202

or email childcitizenact@uscis.dhs.gov.

Robyn Gobbel, LCSW Presents: Race & Development- Next Webinar with Guest Presenter!

Melanie Chung Sherman, LCSW, a guest presenter will bring an important topic that falls outside of Robyn Gobbel’s area of expertise! 

Building Trust by Addressing the Hard Stuff: Race & Development

Working with children who have experience complex trauma, toxic stress, and/or adoption often means working with children of color.  Melanie Chung Sherman, LCSW will help us tackle this tough topic so we can better support children who experience the toxic stress of racism.

Melanie has expertise in adoption, attachment, and complex trauma.  She’s an excellent presenter and obviously in an hour webinar she will only be able to gloss over the tip of the iceberg.  Nonetheless, this will be an important webinar for everyone:

  • Parenting a child of color
  • Working with children of color (teacher, social worker, case worker, CASA, therapist, Sunday School Teacher, etc.)
  • Feeling uncertain or uncomfortable about how to address the impact of race and racial awareness

As always, webinars are only $14 and you do not have to attend live.  Everyone who registers will receive lifetime and unlimited access to the recordings. You must register by the evening of Wednesday September 12.

All the details and registration is available on this website, so CLICK HERE!

News Story from Serbia: Children From Serbian Homes Are Often Adopted by Foreigners

Source: http://www.rts.rs

Although a large number of abandoned children in Serbia are awaiting adoption, some of their families are never found in our country. Only in the course of 2015, eighty-four Serbian children were adopted by foreigners. Adoption is free and rigorous, according to the relevant ministry, adding that the most interested adopters from Sweden and America are.

Methus is a police detective from Detroit, and his wife Kristin’s nurse. Thousands of miles from America to Serbia, they say, were not an obstacle for them to come to Belgrade and adopt a five-year-old girl.

"At the very beginning, we did not immediately choose Serbia, but when we saw the girl waiting for her parents and all her qualities, we decided to come right now." We chose Serbia only because of the small, talented singer, "says Kristin Van Rahprost, adoptive.

Foreigners admit Serbian children according to our rules and are dictated by the Family Law. Unlike domestic adopters, strangers often take children with special needs as well.

"Our law says that no child can go to international adoption if the former body deciding on it – the Social Work Center – has not exhausted all the opportunities to find adequate adopters among domestic adopters," said Vesna Tekic, psychologist – an adviser at the Ministry of Labor and Employment.

And apart from homes for an uninhabited child, a third of children in the foreign country also go from family to family. Regardless of age, Serbia does not forget.

"What matters is that a foster family sends a message to a child that they love him and that he cares but encourages him to accept a new family because they are now" parents forever, "says Dobrila Grujić, Director of the Family Housing Center and adoption

"They usually have one box, and they call it ‘memory boxes’ in which they put their memories from Serbia, and later with their albums and all the good things they have got here, and the kids when they become aware of it and when they start talking about their own , then they open it and watch them together, "says Zoran Popovic, local representative" Hopskoč adapting ejdžensi "

According to the latest data, there are currently 66 children on the international adoption list. The reports received by the competent authorities in Serbia show that the children are well-off abroad because their family is important, no matter how many miles it was away.

Update: Application for Replacement Naturalization/Citizenship Document

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS) invites the general public and other Federal  agencies to comment upon this proposed revision of a currently approved collection of information or new collection of information. In  accordance with the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995, the  information collection notice is published in the Federal Register to obtain comments regarding the nature of the information collection, the categories of respondents, the estimated burden (i.e. the time, effort, and resources used by the respondents to respond), the estimated cost to the respondent, and the actual information collection instruments.

Continue reading.

Creating a Family Radio Show/Podcast “Surviving The Home Study” with Jeanette Quick of Hopscotch Adoptions, Inc.

home-study-radio-show

The home study is a nerve wracking experience. What should you expect and how should you prepare for it? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Rebekah Hill, social worker and Clinical Therapist in Adoption Services at SAFY; and Jeanette Quick, Home Study Service Coordinator at Hopscotch Adoptions.

Listen to the podcast here.

Changes to Ukrainian Civil Code Affect Timeframe for Adoptions

Last Updated: July 2, 2018

This Notice Supersedes the Message issued on January 30, 2018

As a reminder, on December 15, 2017, the new Civil Code of Ukraine went into effect, increasing the appeal period of all civil cases, including the appeals process for adoption decrees, from 10 days to 30 calendar days.   After a Ukrainian civil court approves an adoption decree,  the judgement will not go into effect until 30 calendar days have passed to allow for an appeal to be filed.  After this period, adoptive parents may be given physical custody of the adopted child and may then apply for a new birth certificate and passport and finalize the adoption.

NOTE: Adoptive parents may have to wait an additional six to 12 weeks in Ukraine to obtain the child’s passport, birth certificate, and other required documents.  This wait time is in addition to the 30-day waiting period following the final court hearing. Before you travel to finalize your child’s adoption in Ukraine, you should consider these new timelines in your travel plans.

For more information about adoption from Ukraine, including the U.S. immigrant visa process, please review the country specific information page on this website

Please continue to monitor adoption.state.gov for updated information on intercountry adoption in Ukraine.  For questions about this notice, please contact the Office of Children’s Issues at Adoption@state.gov.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/Intercountry-Adoption-News/ukraine-update—changes-to-ukrainian-civil-code-affect-timefram.html

**********Families will need to plan to increase their in country accommodation budgets accordingly.

An update from Save Adoptions

Save Adoptions has been relatively quiet the last few months, but that doesn’t mean we have not been working. We are very proud of the Op-Ed in USA Today written by Chuck Johnson, the President of NCFA and an original Board Member of Save Adoptions.  Two former State Department officials, who figured significantly in the policies leading us to where we are today, wrote a response to Chuck’s Op-Ed with several false or misleading statements. Avoiding any responsibility themselves, they inaccurately stated that Nepal and Cambodia made their own decision to close inter-country adoptions and, together with Guatemala and Ethiopia, closed because of concerns about trafficking, re-homing and other bad practices.

In December 2017, Save Adoptions filed a complaint with the Inspector General of the Department of State citing the designation of IAAME as an accrediting entity, even though they did not meet the requirements of the Intercountry Adoption Act, nor the implementing regulations. I can confirm to you that the investigation into that complaint is active and ongoing! We know that government never moves very quickly, but our persistence will make sure it does move.

There have also been two law suits filed against the Department of State and another, broader law suit, is being planned. Many of you have been involved in contacting your legislators to urge change in the Office of Children’s Issues to bring hope back to children. If you hear allegations against the adoption service providers, please urge them to seek specific facts to support any allegations. THANK YOU and please continue the fight. 

State Department Actions Denies More American Families’ Right To Adopt

No matter where a family chooses to adopt, as an American, where you choose to adopt should not be denied by our government. 

———————————-

Source: www.usatoday.com

Why does the State Department make it hard to adopt children from other countries?

Adoption from other countries is down 80 percent since its peak. Why do we make this hard? America is pro-adoption; the State Department should be, too.

636675224841304441-v1x013-3be4-9.jpg
(Photo: Alexandre Meneghini/AP)

The State Department’s current anti-adoption polices are preventing Americans from becoming parents by opening their hearts and homes to orphans from around the world. These children are in desperate need of loving families, and tens of thousands of Americans are ready to adopt them. Yet intercountry adoption has fallen by nearly 80 percent since its peak in 2004.

This is not what was supposed to happen.

In April 2008, the United States joined the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption, and the U.S. Department of State was given the mandate to improve the ability for the U.S. federal government to assist with intercountry adoptions. Unfortunately, the State Department’s mismanagement of its obligations under the convention has yielded disastrous results:  Children are far less safe, American parents are poorly served, and the Department of State has fractured relations with nearly every adoption stakeholder.

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