In 2016, CAM, in partnership with the UNFPA, along with videographers Chloe Ellingson and Charles Atiki Lomodong, set out to document the daily lives of four midwives – two in South Sudan and two in Canada. The idea behind the film was for audiences to understand the benefits of midwifery, and the challenges faced by midwives in both countries and around the world.
Midwives save lives and often much more.
VOICE, CHOICE, CHANGE: The Lives of Midwives offers an intimate glimpse into the lives of four, very different, very complex women in South Sudan and Canada. We follow the midwives as they negotiate a diverse array of personal and professional challenges from difficult births, to coping with non-existent resources, to the ongoing search for respect in their respective midwifery practices.
The 30-minute film features Dora Kunda and Scovia Nalumu, two NUNV midwives based in South Sudan, who struggle to save the lives of women and babies in the nation with the highest rate of maternal and infant death. Nalumu, discusses the resilience of South Sudanese midwives, revealing her personal determination to save a young mother’s life once by donating her own blood. In Canada, we spend time with Jenn Nguyen and Susanna Ku as they follow young families with difficult birth processes while speaking about advocacy, empowerment and shedding light on the realities of working in a profession that few people understand.
“People think we become midwives because we like cuddling babies …. I became a midwife so I can support people and give them a chance to be heard at this time of their life” explains Nguyen at one point in the film.
At times intense, riveting and emotionally raw VOICE, CHOICE, CHANGE. explores the deep-rooted relationships midwives have to their profession, their clients, to other women and to their communities.
“This is why I became a midwife. To save our dear mother’s lives.”