Sylvia Bahr is founder and currently president of Dar a Luz Honduras.
In March 2019 Sylvia received the HRiC Champions Award by the organisation Human Rights in Childbirth in recognition of her twelve years of work in Honduras to improve conditions for women and their families in Honduras.
In 2007, life brought Sylvia Bahr to the labor ward of the public hospital in La Ceiba. She was dismayed and deeply touched by the conditions and started to support the women in every way she could. She worked long-term shifts, days, nights and weekends in the hospital and supported 10000 of women volunteering her time since then. She started developing childbirth education materials and programs specific to the culture and the birth environment in the hospitals of Honduras.
Later, she traveled throughout Honduras to explore other hospitals and regions and to distribute the developed educational materials. She created midwife groups in the countryside and established relationships with hospitals and maternity care providers throughout the country. She created seminars and trainings to improve obstetric skills,to create concious about basic human rights as well as to advocate for humanized conditions. Also she introduced the concept of ¨doula¨ into the Honduran hospitals and education system.
At the moment her work consists in create and implementing programs and strategies to improve maternal health care and to create more concious about birth, meetings with key position holders, introducing childbirth education into the health care system, collaboration with universities and in holding lectures and trainings for example to healthcare providers, medical and nurse students.
Dar a Luz Honduras
Back in 2009, Sylvia founded a non-profit association in Germany to support her efforts in Honduras. In 2010, she began the search for volunteers to assist her work, which is known in Honduras as Dar a Luz Honduras.
Through to Dar a Luz Honduras, thousands of women in Honduras have received empathic care during birth, and many are provided with basic childbirth education – a service that were formerly non-existent. Also many healthcare providers recieved seminars and hands on trainings to improve quality care and obstetric skills.
In 2018 , after a long bureaucratic process, Dar a Luz Honduras has become a government recognized non-profit organization.
Deep out of my heart thanks to all the wonderful volunteers who came to Honduras or who are helping from their home countries to support this work! A special thanks to all our local supporters. And thanks to all the wonderful people who are there with moral support and to all the ones who support with donations, so more and more transformation can happen.
Our activities are diverse, ranging from:
CURRENTLY WE FOCUS TO SUPPORT VICTIMS OF HURRICANE ETA Y IOTA / SUPPORT FAMILY THROUGH THE CURRENT CRISIS CAUSED THROUGH THE LOCKDOWN / SUPPORT PREGNANT WOMEN/MOTHERS IN EXTREME POVERTY
- Introducing-Program for Respectful Maternity Care and Human Rights during Childbirth-into-the-healthcaresystem-and-hospitals
- Holding seminars and trainings to healthcare providers and medial and nures students about Respectful Maternity Care and Human Rights during childbirth, midwifery-skills, Obstetric Violence, Doula Care
- Introducing our childbirth education classes in local facilities
- Providing labor support in hospitals
- Hold doula trainings
- Providing seminars and tools for rural midwives and train new birth attendants
- Preserving the knowledge of traditional midwifery
- Improving the physical environment of labor and delivery wards in the public hospitals
“One of the greatest gifts about learning another language is that it provides key insights and perspective into one’s culture. For example, dar a luz, (literal translation ‘to give light’) is the expression used in Spanish when referring to a woman giving birth. What an exemplary phrase to describe one of the most precious moments in a woman’s life!”