Circle of Health International (COHI) is an international humanitarian organization founded in 2004 with the mission to work with women and their communities in times of crisis and disaster to ensure access to quality reproductive, maternal, and newborn care. COHI has responded to eighteen humanitarian emergencies and served over three million women, both domestically and internationally. COHI has worked alongside midwives and public health professionals in post-tsunami Sri Lanka, post-hurricane Louisiana, Tibet, Tanzania, Israel, the Philippines, Palestine, Jordan, Syria, tornado-affected Oklahoma, the Philippines, Nicaragua, Sudan, Haiti, and Afghanistan.
COHI currently supports maternal child health clinics in Haiti, midwives in an indigenous women's forum in Nicaragua, midwifery students and sexual health advocates in Nepal, a clinic for refugees in the Rio Grande Valley on the Mexico/US border, Syrian midwives both inside and outside of Syria, the last remaining hospital in Aleppo, Syria, and works with survivors of human trafficking around the globe. Finally, COHI is a leader in Austin's social enterprise community through its program to address poverty through income generation initiatives focused on textile production of maternal and newborn health related products.
COHI was founded on a the following guiding principles. Intentionally selected twelve years ago, these principles guide the organization in our partnerships, programs, social actions, fundraising, and support of our beneficiary communities.
- Collaboration guides us in navigating interactions with the brave women and children that we serve, as well as with our corporate and business partners and donor relationships.
- Grassroots community-based action is where COHI's work takes place. We work from the community outwards, believing that true social change takes place one individual at a time and that this is where change matters most.
- Non-violence in birth, in sex, in health. COHI advocates for consent on all levels with women deciding when, where, how and with whom they have sex, give birth, and receive health care services.
- Innovation identifies emerging, creative female-focused strategies in social justice, organizational development and management, fundraising, medical, and supply testing and procurement, research, and social enterprise.
- Feminism being the belief that all humans are valued equally guides COHI in ensuring that we engage in programs directed at health of the women through which we reach and support the empowerment of the entire family and community.