The International Cesarean Awareness Network is powered by the selfless efforts of our numerous volunteers. We cannot thank our dedicated volunteers enough for their cooperation and service in assisting ICAN with accomplishing its mission. In an effort to acknowledge some of our amazing volunteers who work tirelessly behind the scenes to offer support, education, and advocacy for the mothers in their area, we have created a Volunteer of the Month announcement to highlight our supporters.
ICAN is pleased to announce Leiko Hidaka, ICAN of the Dominican Republic, as the January 2018 Volunteer of the Month!
What led you to ICAN?
While searching for information on VBACs, I came across the VBAC Project and ICAN’s webpage.
What motivates you as a volunteer?
After learning ICAN’s vision and mission, it felt like I had found a community that shared my beliefs and passion for women’s and families’ rights regarding their birth choices, a place where I could find and provide sincere support, and it just felt like the right place for me to join. It is my belief that women have the right to choose the birth experience they want and are not to be judged nor discouraged, for it is something that will stay with them and have a strong impact for the rest of their lives.
What are your other professions and passions outside of ICAN?
My professional life started out as an Architect working with territorial public policies, moving on to social policies and eventually working for the United Nations Population Fund and later on for the United Nations Development Programme. Sometime in between these last two, life led me into the birth world. I became a birth doula and that’s when my eyes opened up to the great need women and families have for sincere support in this regard.
What moment makes you proudest as an ICAN volunteer and what moment was hardest?
It has only been a few months since I joined ICAN and I feel incredibly honored to have been selected as volunteer of the month! As for my hardest moment, so far most of the things I’ve done within ICAN are planning and organizing, to begin holding meetings in Jan 2018 and spreading the word on ICAN in the Dominican Republic. In this time what has seemed to be the hardest is to realize how many women have such deep wounds regarding their birth experiences, far more than I would have imagined. However, this also fuels my decision and conviction to continue working to provide support and education to help women be empowered and able to avoid having their experiences ruined by the system or unsupportive care providers.
Thank you for all you do, Leiko!