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Apr 12, 2017

The Big Day

mothers2mothers (m2m) is pleased to share an update focused on the funding of our adolescent programme in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. In addition to support from our wonderful GlobalGiving supporters (thank you!), m2m recently received support from ICAP.

On their 24th global annual Charity Day, ICAP donated 100% of the day's revenues and commissions to charity. m2m was thrilled to be chosen as one of 200 beneficiaries. What made it even more thrilling is that the funds donated by ICAP to m2m will target our adolescent programme, which serves one of the most vulnerable populations affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa: adolescent girls and young women. It is estimated that nearly 7,500 girls, defined as those between the ages of 15 and 25, become infected with HIV each week.

The ICAP funding will build on the programmatic scope of m2m’s adolescent health/RMNCH (reproductive, maternal, newborn, child health) programme, enabling m2m to further develop a multi-layered network of HIV prevention, care, and treatment services for adolescent girls and young women, operating synergistically across households, schools, health facilities, and communities.

During ICAP Charity Day, m2m Founder Dr. Mitch Besser, m2m Trustee Samantha Bond, and some of our wonderful celebrity supporters became brokers, negotiating hard and closing big deals. In addition, m2m teamed up with HRH Prince Harry’s Sentebale to host a #BiketoBeatHIV Cycle Challenge, bringing attention to young people affected by HIV in sub-Saharan Africa.

I encourage you to watch the ICAP Charity Day video to experience the day for yourself and to learn more about how m2m was involved.

As always, thank you so much for reading and for supporting m2m's peer approach to reduce HIV infections and HIV-related mortality and morbidity among adolescent girls and young women.

Warmly,

Gwendolyn

Jan 23, 2017

Meet Sanelisiwe

Sanelisiwe with Ndaba Mandela
Sanelisiwe with Ndaba Mandela

Happy New Year! I hope you have enjoyed getting to know two mothers2mothers (m2m) adolescent Peer Mentors, Amanda and Lumgile, who were featured in our last two project updates. m2m recently produced a video about our adolescent programme and as a thank you for your support, we would like to share it with you

The video provides more background about the adolescent programme in KwaZulu-Natal, the epicentre of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa, and features Sanelisiwe, a former m2m client and current adolescent Peer Mentor. Sanelisiwe is 22 years old, HIV positive, and a mother of three young children.

Referring to education about sexual health and HIV, Sanelisiwe says, "in the Zulu culture, it's just so wrong to talk to your parents about such things. And the only way to fight against that is to engage with the youth..." m2m's adolescent programme does exactly that by providing adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) with someone to talk to that is closer to their age. Peer Mentors empower AGYW with information they can use to protect themselves. They teach AGYW that if they have become sexually active, they should use protection so that they won’t be faced with an early pregnancy or be infected with HIV. Peer Mentors also teach AGYW to know their worth as a woman and not let other people define it for them.

Sanelisiwe is very busy as a mother of three, Peer Mentor, and global advocate for HIV and adolescent health. On the eve of World AIDS Day last month, Sanelisiwe spoke on a panel at the STOPAIDS Conference in London. Her fellow panelist, Ndaba Mandela, the grandson of Nelson Mandela, had also travelled from South Africa to advocate for adolescent sexual health.

Sanelisiwe says, "my dream is to ensure that every single young woman out there achieves their dream." Your support of m2m's adolescent programme is helping her dream is coming true.

Warmly,

Gwendolyn Burke

Oct 24, 2016

Empowered Adolescents

Lumgile
Lumgile

mothers2mothers (m2m) turned 15 earlier this month (we can't believe it either!). As we move into our "adolescence" as an organisation, it's only fitting that we have evolved to fight the growing HIV/AIDS epidemic among adolescents. It's our duty to ensure HIV-exposed children thrive and grow into healthy, HIV-free adolescents and young adults with the skills and knowledge necessary to protect the next generation from HIV. Along with celebrating our fifteenth birthday, we're also celebrating you, our cherished supporters!

We are delighted to report that we reached 176,325 adolescent girls and young women (AGYW) with our services last year. That number will greatly increase this year as we continue to expand our adolescent program. In order to combat the acute rise in the rate of HIV infection among AGYW (7,000 new infections per week globally according to the 2015 UNAIDS Gap Report), m2m's adolescent program provides age-appropriate, sensitive, and empathetic support to adolescents in safe and confidential environments.

Last time we updated you, we shared Amanda's story. We hope you remember Amanda as the courageous young woman that she is. This time, we'd like to introduce you to another m2m adolescent Peer Mentor in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. Lumgile is 24 years old and a mother of two.

"I think it's important for young women to have a peer to talk to because they are scared to talk to their mothers. They are freer to talk to somebody their own age.

For the girls who are HIV positive, I teach them that they should have hope that there are more years and I give them support. And for those who are HIV negative, I teach them the importance to stay negative because we want to keep the new generation AIDS free.

I had two boys when I was in school. I was so scared, confused. I thought my life is going to be a mess. Some of my clients are like me, and I tell them I have children, and you can carry on with your life. We need to achieve those dreams. If you have a baby, your life isn't over."

We hope that Lumgile's reflections on her work with m2m have touched you in some way. Thank you again for your support!

Warmly,

Gwendolyn Burke

 
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