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.
Stars Come Out for m2m in Londonmothers2mothers hosted a magical evening in London on Thursday, October 3rd to support its vital work preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and celebrating the more than 1.2 million HIV-positive women that m2m has reached in sub-Saharan Africa. Acclaimed singer, songwriter, campaigner, and activist Annie Lennox performed at the event, and internationally-renowned actor Richard E. Grant and successful author, broadcaster, and businesswoman Muriel Gray shared hosting duties. We are grateful to GUCCI for its sponsorship.
However, the night's brightest star was Jane Njoki Peris, a mother of three children who has been living with HIV for more than 20 years. She moved the audience with her stories of almost dying of AIDS, what brought her back to health, and how she now finds inspiration and purpose as a Mentor Mother Team Leader at m2m’s Mathare North Health Centre site in Nairobi, Kenya, helping other HIV-positive mothers lead positive and healthy lives. Jane left the stage to a standing ovation. Read more.
The Proof Is in the PuddingEvery year, mothers2mothers conducts a thorough evaluation of its programme to assess the impact it is having on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and promoting maternal health. This analysis helps m2m ensure that it is providing the highest quality services at all of its sites. m2m is very pleased with the findings of the 2012 evaluation, which show across-the-board improvements in the percentage of its clients following key medical interventions that are critical to reducing paediatric HIV infections and improving the health of mothers living with HIV, compared to the 2011 findings. Read more.
Three Days and $4,000 to GoThere are only three days left in the Skoll Foundation Social Entrepreneurs Challenge and we need your help to raise just over $4,000 to meet our fundraising goal of $25,000 (or £15,000), which can pay for one m2m site for one year in sub-Saharan Africa, and help hundreds of HIV-positive women stay healthy and protect their babies from being infected with HIV. If you haven’t had a chance to support us in the Challenge yet, you still have until Friday, November 22nd at 11:59 a.m. Eastern Time in the U.S.to do so. Additionally, this week’s Bonus Challenge is a $15,000 match. Skoll will match the first $30 of the next 500 donations that any of the participating organisations receive. For those of you who have donated to the Challenge or set up your own fundraising campaign on m2m’s behalf, we send a big thank you for all of your support!
Mentor Mothers’ Exciting New Role:
Earlier this year, 24 Mentor Mothers and Site Coordinators in South Africa participated in a five-day workshop that was a mothers2mothers (m2m) first. In addition to focusing on the prevention of HIV from mother to child, they received training on how to support HIV-negative women and provide education and referrals on a wide range of health issues, including cervical cancer, TB, malaria, and nutrition. Read more here.
Gloria's Adventures in Europe:Gloria Ncanywa – a former Mentor Mother who now supports the South Africa Programme Team at m2m’s head office in Cape Town -- travelled to Geneva and London in June for 10 days. While most of her time was spent meeting current and potential m2m supporters and talking about the lifesaving work that Mentor Mothers are doing, she also had time to take in some sights, including one that she never expected -- a pack of nude cyclists riding through the streets of London. Read more here.
m2m Reveals Refreshed Vision and Mission:As Mentor Mothers’ roles evolve through m2m’s Enhanced Programme Model (story above), so too is the language that guides and motivates our work. Earlier this summer CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo unveiled a refreshed vision and mission for m2m that reflect the inspiring new responsibilities of Mentor Mothers as essential frontline healthcare workers. Read more here.
An m2m Success Story: Preparing for Post-election Violence in Kenya:On March 4, 2013, droves of Kenyans cast their votes in one of the most anticipated general elections in the nation’s history. It was the first time the country went to the polls since the hotly contested election five years ago that resulted in unprecedented levels of violence, the loss of over 1,200 lives, and difficulties getting the most basic services in the period that followed. mothers2mothers’ (m2m) country office in Kenya was concerned that its HIV-positive clients would not be able to access the critical medicine and support needed to keep them and their babies healthy. To make sure that didn’t happen, m2m set up contingency plans and was the only PMTCT (prevention of mother-to-child transmission) organisation to stay open in the two weeks following the election. Read More.
In Appreciation of Fathers
mothers2mothers (m2m) knows that without fathers, there wouldn’t be mothers! In fact, fathers can do so much to help their partners stay healthy and keep their babies free of HIV. Take Robert Kankati in Uganda, whose wife found out she was HIV positive while pregnant. Watch his story here.
m2m’s New Partnership with Influential Bloggers
What do bloggers who write about culture, travel, home decorating, parenting, work, healthy living, fashion, and beauty have in common with the HIV-positive women we work with in Africa? They care deeply about promoting healthy motherhood and making sure that every child everywhere is born free of HIV. This team of eleven accomplished bloggers is supporting our mothers in Africa with an exciting new monthly blog on our website, called m2m Mums the Word. Read more here.
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