Project #7100

Embrace Infant Warmers Impact Babies Lives India

by Thrive Networks

Dear Friends,

Last July, Embrace merged with Thrive Networks, an international NGO pioneering evidence-based programs and technologies in health, water and sanitation, and education for underserved populations. Together our goal has been to reduce the unacceptably high newborn mortality rates in countries around the world. Recently, Thrive Networks made the strategic decision to refocus its resources on Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos, deepening the organization’s long-standing presence in the region. As part of this transition, Thrive Networks’ Newborn Health Program— including Embrace— will complete its programs in Benin, India, the Philippines and Uganda during the third quarter of 2016.

Embrace’s programs in India have grown significantly since we first began distributing infant warmers to local clinics in Karnataka in 2011. We are proud to have served under-resourced community health centers and hospitals in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Gujarat, Bihar and Uttarakhand. Among our accomplishments, in Raebareli, an under-resourced district in eastern Uttar Pradesh, over 7,265 hypothermic infants have benefited from an Embrace warmer and we have provided intensive side-by-side education and training to over 8,655 mothers and 3,817 health care workers. Embrace is now completing a district-wide partnership with UNICEF in the impoverished state of Bihar, which will have allowed us to reach over 1,500 low birth weight and premature infants, 9,000 mothers and 2,500 health care workers. The Embrace infant warmer device will continue to be manufactured and distributed by Phoenix Medical Systems in India.

Since 2008, the GlobalGiving community has contributed over $245,794 to Embrace’s programs in India. Your overwhelming support has allowed us to help many more newborns survive and thrive.

With gratitude,
The Embrace Team

Uma and her son
Uma and her son

Dear Embrace Community,

We would like to share a story with you that came to us recently, reminding us once again why we do the work we do. Enjoy.

Once she felt labor pains, Uma, a young mother in Bihar, India, went to her local clinic to give birth. But she was frightened when the baby did not cry after delivery and wasn’t able to breastfeed. Although her son was a normal weight, he was severely hypothermic. Luckily, the attending nurse, Ms. Chandni placed the baby in the Embrace warmer. Two hours later his temperature had already risen two degrees, and he was beginning to cry softly. Yet, he still wasn’t able to breastfeed. The nurses decided to send him to a nearby hospital for further care. Although many clinics transport newborns in just a blanket, these nurses were able to use the Embrace warmer to transfer the boy and still keep him warm.

The following day, Uma’s son was doing well: his temperature was normal, and he was able to breastfeed comfortably. The health staff said that the Embrace warmer had saved the baby’s life by ensuring that the warm chain was not broken during transport. Uma and her husband were overjoyed that their baby was healthy.

Thank you again for joining us in this important effort to help vulnerable newborns survive and thrive.

Jane Chen, Embrace Co-Founder, and President Obama
Jane Chen, Embrace Co-Founder, and President Obama

Embrace Co-Founder, Jane Chen, reflects on how Embrace’s mission transcends political lines.

Dear Friends,

In June 2014, I was invited to the White House to present Embrace’s work at the first ever Maker Fair. There I met President Obama and had the opportunity to share with him our work at Embrace. At that time, we had helped 60,000 babies.

Just a few weekends ago, I had the chance to meet President Obama again. Accompanying one of our biggest supporters, Brad Freeman, to the Alfalfa events in Washington D.C., I ran into our President and mentioned Embrace’s work. Immediately, President Obama remembered Embrace exclaiming, “You guys make those sleeping bags for babies!” He asked about our progress and was thrilled to hear that we have now helped over 200,000 babies around the world.

It was also wonderful to see Marc Benioff, another incredible supporter of our mission, at the event. I had the chance to meet President Bush and Dick Cheney as well, who congratulated us on our work. During one of the event lunches, I had a lengthy conversation with Colin Powell; he encouraged me to keep doing what I’m passionate about.

Through these incredible meetings and conversations, I realized that helping vulnerable babies is a humanitarian cause that everyone can rally behind, regardless of political stance. At Embrace, we’re so grateful to have the support of people from all different walks of life. With this support, we hope to expand our efforts to reach 1 million babies in some of the most challenging parts of the world.

Nothing makes me more proud of our work than the story of Nathan, the first baby we helped in China. Born at 2 pounds, Nathan was abandoned at birth and rescued by an orphanage in Beijing that kept him in an Embrace infant warmer for 30 days. Nathan survived, and was later adopted by a wonderful family in Chicago. He just turned 4 years old last week, and is a happy and thriving little boy.

Thanks again for being a part of our incredible journey to give love to babies everywhere!

Jane Chen
Embrace Co-Founder

With Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State
With Colin Powell, Former US Secretary of State
Nathan's 4th Birthday Celebration!


Dear Friends,

2015 has been an extraordinary year. We celebrated another incredible milestone: over 200,000 low birth weight and premature infants have now been treated with an Embrace warmer worldwide. We’ve also provided intensive one-on-one education on hypothermia and newborn health to over 32,000 mothers, family members and health care workers.

We are immensely proud of this work and grateful for all those who have supported us along the way. But we’re far from finished. We keep looking forward, asking, “How can we reach more babies before it’s too late?” This year alone, 5.9 million children under the age of five died; nearly half were newborns. The majority of these kind of deaths are preventable, but they continue because many infants and mothers lack access to adequate care.

In July, Embrace joined Thrive Networks, an international nonprofit with more than a decade of experience saving newborn lives. Thrive Networks has treated more than 400,000 newborns in over 350 hospitals across 10 countries.

We know that together, we will save more lives than we ever could apart.

Through our joint efforts, we will launch programs to reduce newborn death, illness and disability through introducing a comprehensive package of equipment, training, education and support. Embrace, together with Thrive Networks, is now able to address more than just hypothermia; we will address a broad range of key health issues causing newborn deaths, including preterm birth complications, respiratory distress and infection.

Our first two projects are launching shortly, and we’d like to invite you to be a part of this new initiative to reach more babies, mothers and communities.

This holiday season, I hope you'll consider giving the gift of life-saving health care to babies in need.

With Sincere Thanks,

Alejandra Villalobos
Executive Director, Embrace

P.S. Every dollar you donate will be matched up to $50,000— doubling the power of your gift thanks to a generous Thrive Networks Board member.


Where Embrace and Thrive Networks Operate
Where Embrace and Thrive Networks Operate

Dear Friends,

I am excited to announce that Embrace has taken a huge step forward in its commitment to advancing maternal and child health around the world. Embrace has joined Thrive Networks, an innovative network of nonprofit programs committed to social change. Together we want to dramatically reduce the unacceptably high newborn mortality rates in countries around the world.

Both Embrace and Thrive Networks believe in integrating technology with training and education to support health workers and families in low-resource settings.

By joining together, we can accomplish far more than either of us could on our own. Specifically, Embrace's infant warmer and training programs will be integrated into Thrive Networks' full suite of health solutions to treat a wide variety of life-threatening conditions.

The Embrace India Program continues, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you over the coming months. Please contact me directly at with any questions.

With Gratitude,

Alejandra Villalobos
Executive Director



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Organization Information

Thrive Networks

Location: Oakland, CA - USA
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Alejandra Villalobos
Oakland, CA United States

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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