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Jul 28, 2016

Amanda's Story

Amanda
Amanda

“If you are a girl from a poor background, you see your peers having some things, and you want them. Then this older guy approaches you and provides you with everything you always wanted. He gives you something and you have to give him something back. There’s no other way than sex,” says Amanda.

Amanda, age 22 and mother of two, is a Peer Mentor for mothers2mothers' (m2m) adolescent-focused initiative in KwaZulu-Natal, the epicenter of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in South Africa. This initiative draws from the DREAMS initiative, launched by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) in Eastern and Southern Africa to ensure that adolescent girls and young women are Determined, Resilient, Empowered, AIDS Free, Mentored, and Safe.

Rates of HIV infection among adolescent girls and young women, aged 15-24, continue to increase, with up to 7,000 new infections a week globally, according to the 2015 UNAIDS Gap Report. Just as worrisome, the Human Services Resource Council (2012) reported that adolescent girls and young women in South Africa continue to make up 40% of the total pregnant population. These high rates of HIV infection and pregnancy are driven by gender inequalities, gender-based violence, poverty, age-disparate relationships, and limited access to quality adolescent and youth friendly services.

To address these challenges, m2m has hired and trained 25 Peer Mentors between the ages of 20 and 24, including Amanda, to promote HIV counseling and testing, as well as critically-needed safer sex education, among their peers in KwaZulu-Natal. The goal is to reduce HIV infections and HIV-related mortality and morbidity among young women.

Thanks to your generous donation, Peer Mentors like Amanda are positively impacting the lives of adolescent girls and young women in their communities. "I like to be a Peer Mentor to help other young women to have someone to talk to who is their age. They tell us it’s very good to talk to someone who is your age, who understands you, who won’t judge you like your mother. I want to be the shoulders who they can cry on and the person they can talk to. I talk to them about the importance of preventing, testing [for HIV], and using a condom wherever they are."

As part of the International AIDS Conference (AIDS 2016) held in Durban this past July, m2m was invited to highlight its adolescent-focused initiative. m2m hosted a lively intergenerational panel with Johnson & Johnson in honor of their decade of partnership. The panel, Lives Changed on the Way to Zero: A candid conversation with Zolani, teens, and their HIV-positive mothers, was hosted by Zolani Mahola, lead singer of South Africa’s chart-topping pop group Freshlyground. m2m invited Amanda and two other Peer Mentors, as well as three mother-adolescent pairs, to talk about the unique challenges adolescents face navigating sexuality, stigma, and peer pressure to protect themselves from infection. The session was the first of its kind to feature HIV-positive mothers with their HIV-free adolescent children.

Adolescent Panel at AIDS 2016
Adolescent Panel at AIDS 2016
Jul 2, 2015

mothers2mothers Double Your Mommy Report

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Double Your Mommy Picture 1

mothers2mothers (m2m) is an African-based non-profit leader in global efforts to create an HIV-free generation.  We utilize the power of women to prevent mother-to-child transmission of HIV, eliminate pediatric AIDS, address reproductive maternal, newborn and child health issues, and create health and hope for families and communities.  

Since our founding in 2001, m2m has reached over 1.3 million HIV-positive women.  Currently, m2m operates 340 sites in 6 countries.  Last year, m2m employed 942 HIV-positive women as Mentor Mothers and Site Coordinators, educated and supported 384,056 HIV-negative women on how to keep themselves negative, and mentored 100,486 HIV-positive women on how to protect their babies from HIV, and improve the health and well-being of themselves and their families.


DOUBLE YOUR MOMMY CAMPAIGN:

This marked mothers2mothers’ 3rd annual Double Your Mommy Campaign designed to celebrate the special women in everyone’s lives .  

This year, m2m had four different donation options:

  • $25 Feed A Mom & Baby: A $25 donation can help provide a week of nutritious meals to a pregnant mom.
  • $50 Buy A Phone, Save A Baby: A $50 donation can provide a cell phone and airtime for a Mentor Mother in Kenya.
  • $100 A Different Kind of House Call: A $100 donation can pay for one Mentor Mother to do critical community outreach for more than a month in rural Malawi.
  • You Decide: A donation of any amount contributes to helping make the dream of an HIV-free generation a reality.


We are so grateful that our 2015 Double Your Mommy Campaign was a success, and we thank everyone who participated to help mothers, their babies, families, and communities live a healthy life!

Double Your Mommy Picture 2
Double Your Mommy Picture 2

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Jun 1, 2015

Positive Women Living Positively

 

 

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Positive Women Living Positively

Spacer "Mind over Matter" is a pithy way people talk about the importance of a good attitude. But achieving high levels of psychosocial wellbeing for mothers2mothers' (m2m) clients is critical to their long-term health. That is why we are so delighted to share one of the significant findings of a recent evaluation of our programme in Uganda, which found that HIV-positive women who receive antenatal services at an m2m-supported health facility have better overall psychosocial wellbeing compared to women who do not have access to m2m's Mentor Mothers.

To better understand what this means for our clients, we asked Silindile Shozi, a Mentor Mother who runs m2m's programme at Turton Clinic in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, as well as two of her clients, about the improvements they see every day.
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Spacer Community Mentor Mothers Supporting Option B+

m2m's Community Mentor Mothers (CMM), like Aisha in Uganda, reach out to HIV-positive women who have been put on treatment through Option B+, a universal approach supported by the World Health Organization that recommends all HIV-positive pregnant and breastfeeding women be put on triple antiretroviral therapy (ART) for the rest of their lives. We asked Aisha how her clients react when they find out they are HIV positive and must take drugs for life, and how CMMs like her support them.
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Spacer FebruaryArticle3 Results of Uganda Study Praised by Government Officials

m2m's programme in Uganda took centre stage on 10 April at a meeting in Kampala where Uganda's government officials gave high-level support and enthusiastic endorsement for the findings in the recent External Evaluation and Cost-Benefit Analysis.
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