Harambee Village launches capital campaign to raise money for permanent location, free standing birth center

MADISON, Wis. — Madison-based local community care program Harambee Village says it’s taking the next step in eliminating gaps in healthcare service in its efforts to purchase a permanent location.

The organization, which was formed in the mid-2010’s, says it’s attempting to fill a void left in healthcare coverage when South Madison Health and Family Center closed years prior.

Before SMHFC’s closing, Dane County had seen its sharpest decline in Black infant mortality rates, as well as Black preterm birth rates. However according to the CDC, Wisconsin still has the largest disparities in the nation for Black infant mortality.

On Friday, Harambee Village launched a fundraising campaign with the goal of raising $100,000. This money would not only go to securing a permanent location on Madison’s northeast side, but also prepare the group to build a free-standing birth center, as well as expand upon its other programs.

“We are not just stopping with our doula work,” said Executive Director Micaela Berry. “We’re expanding to even greater work with a free-standing birth center, as well as launching a training facility for more doulas.”

“Ultimately, this is an investment in the community,” said Harambee Village co-founder Tia Murray. “When we invest in the health of babies and women and famililes, what we see ultimately is better community health and better population health.”

So far, the group has raised more than $5,000 towards their goal. Both women say Coronavirus has pushed forward the time in which they hope to raise the money.

“Considering what we all are grappling with at this particular moment, this is all the more urgent,” Murray said. “Land acquisition is really going to help us remain sustainable, and really let the community own this work.”

To learn more about how to give, or to learn more about Harambee Village and their program, visit their campaign here.