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Sharing the work of the doula all around the globe: Catherine's story

Jacki Branden, Australian Doula College

3 Aug 2023

The ADC has several international students from Europe, New Zealand, Asia and Africa. This is Catherine and she lives in Kenya.

Catherine told us she was volunteering as a developmental anthropologist when she was introduced to supporting women along their birth journey. When she joined her present workplace, she was confronted with the need to assist pregnant teens who were enrolled into their programme and she sought to do so with additional training and became a student of the ADC. Catherine is pictured rubbing the belly of a 15 yr old client in transition and with a big smile, holding a baby girl.


Her educator Jacki thoroughly enjoyed teaching Catherine and the learning she herself gained from doing so. "Catherine came to study through the Australian Doula College from Africa. This was a completely new scenario for me as an Educator and Catherine was tenacious in her requests to be allowed to gain her certificate as a Doula. Through the work which Catherine submitted, I was awarded a glimpse into the world of birth as experienced by a student Doula in rural Africa.

This was so unexpected for me as I’d heard stories, read books and had a basic idea about the conditions under which women were birthing in this country, however, the reality which Catherine wrote about so eloquently in her course work, in no way prepared me for her experiences as a student Doula. The very experience of submitting course work through an internet which, at best, was sporadic, was no challenge for Catherine. The work came in as did the stories of her experiences. It was humbling for me as an educator to read of the challenges and difficulties faced by the women of Africa when pregnant, birthing or receiving education about parenting. Catherine delivered education and support to all of her charges with humility, grace and an understanding of difficulties they may face upon returning to their homes.

It is with great pride, and education returned to me from this exemplary student, that I congratulate Catherine Karanu on her graduation from the ADC as a qualified Doula."


Upon notification of her graduation Catherine wrote:  ‘Thank you ADC for having walked with me in my journey of training for the last three years, the staff members are incredible, my training was awesome”


Another example of the impact that doulas can have on the lives of women all over the world, one birth at a time.

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