Independent Evaluation Produces Exciting Findings
An independent evaluation finds that mothers2mothers' (m2m) Mentor Mother Model improves maternal and infant health outcomes and psychosocial wellbeing. At the same time, it achieves significant savings by preventing paediatric HIV infections, thereby reducing treatment costs. Share
Reaching Out Into the Community This month we would like to introduce you by video to one of m2m’s amazing Community Mentor Mothers (CMMs) – Musana – who tested positive for HIV in 2010 during her third pregnancy, and was helped by Mentor Mothers to overcome the shock of her diagnosis and protect her baby from HIV infection. She is now helping other mothers do the same in communities in East Central Uganda. CMMs, like her, are part of a new m2m programme in Malawi, Uganda, Swaziland, and Lesotho to reach women who haven’t engaged with the healthcare system at their homes and encourage them to seek medical care.
#4BetterHealth: Voices from the Field Only half of pregnant women worldwide access the four antenatal visits recommended by the World Health Organization to improve the survival and health of mothers and babies. "One reason I would see in why women present very late [in their pregnancy] is their economic status. The community we serve here is lower income and so a pregnant woman may listen to advice from neighbours which can discourage them...Then there are those who believe that since they feel fine, they will wait as long as possible before coming in." -- Rahab Njoki, m2m Mentor Mother Team Leader from Nairobi, Kenya Share
m2m Celebrates Red Nose Day Launch with Comic Relief m2m was thrilled to be part of the Red Nose Day launch – a U.K. –wide fundraising event organised by Comic Relief every two years that raises funds to help thousands of people in Africa. Read about the first ever "live" site visit m2m hosted in Kisumu, Kenya, for the 26 January launch.
The Results Are In
Every year mothers2mothers (m2m) evaluates the performance of our country programmes. The results for 2013 are now in and we are delighted to report that m2m clients and their babies showed continued improvement in health behaviours and outcomes, and the performance at sites with an m2m presence surpassed almost all national rates where data are available. Even more exciting, analysis reveals that women who engaged a Mentor Mother two or more times were significantly more likely to adopt healthy behaviours than clients who saw a Mentor Mother only once.
Cycle to Zero
On 25th October, a team of 24 cyclists will take off from Swaziland’s peaceful Usutu Forest and embark on a 250-400 km breathtaking journey across the mountainous kingdom of Swaziland, ending in 'the place where the sun rises' – the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa. They will be participating in m2m’s inaugural Cycle to Zero to raise funds to help m2m eliminate paediatric AIDS by reaching more HIV-positive mothers and their babies with lifesaving education and support.
m2m South Africa Programme Highlighted in IATT Report
m2m’s South Africa Programme received an important endorsement from the East and Southern Africa regional interagency task team (IATT) on the prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV. A report from the 2014 Regional Stocktaking Meeting calls the Mentor Mother model a “best practice” in retaining mothers in PMTCT services, and highlights the South African government’s efforts to integrate Mentor Mothers into the health system (SAMMP project).
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Victoria Beckham Joins m2m to Eliminate Paediatric AIDS
mothers2mothers (m2m) was overwhelmed to find out that Victoria Beckham had chosen to sell more than 600 iconic pieces of her wardrobe to benefit m2m and our work in sub-Saharan Africa. The highly anticipated private online sale begins tomorrow on THE OUTNET.COM and has been generating media buzz for weeks. In order to participate, click here to register on THE OUTNET.COM by Wednesday, August 20th. We had the pleasure of meeting Victoria in February when she visited our sites in Cape Town and spent time with some of the amazing Mentor Mothers we employ. “I was so touched by the people I met and how focused and empowered the Mentor Mothers were -- literally, I have never met such strong women in my entire life. The work they are doing is nothing short of absolutely remarkable,” she said.
A Mentor Mother Takes the Spotlight
m2m Mentor Mother and spokeswoman Irene Nkosi brought many people in the audience to tears at the recent Healthy Women & Children +SocialGood event in Johannesburg, sharing her story of how she overcame childhood abuse and an HIV diagnosis while pregnant, and is now a source of strength and inspiration to other mothers and her community. The two-hour, interactive event was live streamed around the world. Through social media engagement, the event reached an estimated 2.7 million globally. Watch Irene's Speech | Read Irene's Blog
m2m Travels Down Under
m2m was represented at the 20th International AIDS Conference, AIDS 2014, last month in Melbourne, Australia, by staff from our South Africa, Kenya, and Uganda offices. They returned home inspired and enlightened, and we want to share some of their highlights.
Mothers of Innovation
m2m Mentor Mothers are featured in Geraldine Bedell’s Mothers of Innovation report that looks at “mother-innovators around the world, both commercial and social, and seeks to identify the skills and capabilities that connect them.” The report was launched at the Mothers of Innovation Conference that took place at Microsoft HQ in London on 19th June and included speakers from all over the world. Read the report.
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Without Fathers, There Wouldn't Be Mothers (or mothers2mothers!)
For all those who always ask us, "Where are the fathers?," this is your answer...and what an extraordinary story it is! "I am uneducated. I only speak Sesotho and a little bit of English. But I have big dreams for my children." - Seipati Mariti, Lesotho We hope after you meet Seipati and are moved by reading his story that you will honour all the special fathers in your life by making a donation so that, next year, more men across Africa will be able to celebrate Father's Day with healthy babies.
A Negative Father Lives Positively
"In our culture, pregnancy is thought to be a woman’s business and men stay away from it all. Usually all we do is ask, 'how is my child?' But I decided to be different." - Majara Mopeli, Lesotho In addition to providing education and support to HIV-positive women and their partners, m2m is also there to help couples who test negative, stay negative. Meet Majara Mopeli, a mechanic from Lesotho whose story of fatherhood will inspire you and warm your heart.
Hlengiwe's U.S. Adventure
Last month, m2m spokeswoman and Mentor Mother Hlengiwe Lwandle left her home in rural KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, and headed off on a whirlwind U.S. adventure. It was a trip full of many "firsts" for Hlengiwe - her first international flight, meeting with a CEO, NYC subway ride, Broadway musical, margarita, and the list goes on. During her journey, Hlengiwe posted daily about these firsts on our Mums the Word blog, including what it was like to give her first big speech at the Moms +SocialGood Summit. You can watch an interview she gave after that speech with J&J's Sharon D'Agostino, read her speech and see photos of her trip at the links below. Watch the Interview | Read Hlengiwe's Speech View Photo Diary
m2m Board Member Funds Groundbreaking Research
m2m is delighted to recognise Board Member Debbie Bickerstaff and the Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center at Miller Children's Hospital in Long Beach, CA, for the groundbreaking research they have funded, resulting in the second infant born with HIV to be cleared of the virus. While doctors are not yet calling the baby cured, there is no evidence of disease present in the child's system and there is great hope that this will continue. The Bickerstaff Pediatric Family Center is also celebrating 18 years of zero perinatal HIV transmission. Congratulations Debbie! To read more about the research in the New York Times, click here.
Sign Up to Save a Life!
Sign Up to Save a Life is our new campaign to keep more HIV-positive mothers and their babies healthy and raise awareness about our lifesaving work. It costs you nothing and we need your help! For each new free signup to our newsletter between March 31st and April 14th, a generous anonymous donor will give m2m $10, up to $10,000! Every $10 that we raise can help one mother protect her baby from HIV and stay healthy over the course of her pregnancy. What an incredible way to make a difference! This is what you can do: Ask your friends/family/co-workers...everyone...to sign-up for our newsletter. The best part is that it is free for you and free for them and every sign-up can help protect a baby from HIV.
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Sarah and Oliver: All You Need Is Love
At mothers2mothers (m2m), love is key to all that our Mentor Mothers do. Whether supporting other mothers living with HIV and ensuring their babies are born healthy, or giving of themselves in their communities, every day these mothers selflessly offer their love and support to other mothers and their families. But who supports them? How do they find the strength to deal with their own HIV status, challenges within their families, and still have the energy and tenderness to give? Often times, they have someone special in their lives who gives love and support to them. In honour of Valentine's Day, we asked all our Country Directors to send in their favourite love storiesâ€¦and we share some special ones with you. Happy Valentine's Day!
"My name is Oliver and I am a resident of Muhoroni in Kisumu County (Kenya). I am married to Sarah, the love of my life, who is a Mentor Mother working for mothers2mothers. We are a discordant couple."
Breastfeeding Safely with HIV
For mothers the world over, breastfeeding a child can be both an incredibly bonding and challenging experience. But for a mother living with HIV, the decision whether or not to breastfeed her baby can be confusing and overwhelming. mothers2mothers teamed up with UNICEF to create a beautiful glimpse into this important issue.
A Chance Encounter Bears Fruit for m2m
You never know where a chance encounter will take you, or what can grow and develop from seeds planted in a five-minute conversation. When mothers2mothers sat down for tea with Sir John Hegarty, Founder of BBH, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world, we never could have imagined where that conversation would end up. Eight months later, what started as little more than a creative brainstorm in a teacup developed into a fruitful pro-bono relationship.
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Communications & Development Officer