We are happy to announce that the MAMA+ Project has already raised more than $10,000 on the Global Giving site. It means that we have achieved our goal: thanks to your donations we have provided support to 100 HIV-affected babies in St. Petersburg since the beginning of the year.
We are very grateful to all people for their donations and for helping us to disseminate the information! Due to your participation HIV+ women and their young children are provided with child care supplies and milk formula, as well as psychological and social support. These reduce the risk of mother-to-child HIV transmission and increase the chances for the babies to stay in their birth families.
Thanks to your support DTC runs the MAMA+ Center that provides daycare services to 15 children under three years of age. It also hosts group and individual counseling sessions for women, their partners and other relatives on HIV, child development, parenting, child nutrition and other issues. Many women supported by MAMA+ staff have made remarkable progress as witnessed by the following client story.
Irina came to St. Petersburg from Norilsk, North Russia, shortly after finishing school. She entered the Faculty of Mathematics and Mechanics, St. Petersburg State University, and was doing well at first. Soon, she first tried drugs, and became so involved with it that she had to forget about her studies. The girl was expelled from the university. A former university student, she was convicted and imprisoned for the possession and use of drugs. In prison, Irina learned that she was HIV-positive.
Shortly after her release from prison, Irina got pregnant. When she gave birth to a child in May 2012, she found herself alone with no housing and no livelihood. In the maternity hospital, Irina was first encountered with MAMA+.
The project staff provided Irina and her little son Misha with temporary housing by placing them in a Halfway House. Due to the project support, Irina obtained an official status of a homeless person and registered for children’s allowances. MAMA+ psychologist helped her manage her drug-related problems, and she has been in remission for a long time now.
Irina began to visit the MAMA+ Counseling and Daycare Center regularly, participating in sessions of the School for Young Mothers where she obtained parenting skills and learned about the specifics of infant development. Little Misha was regularly brought to the MAMA+ Center, where he was examined by a pediatrician. MAMA+ psychologist and a recreational activities specialist engaged the boy in psychomotor developmental sessions and other activities to strengthen emotional contact between the mother and the son.
To date, Irina has found employment, which has enabled her to rent a room in a communal apartment and provide for herself and her baby. Irina and Misha continue to visit the MAMA+ Center, and the girl is making her first steps as a volunteer, assisting new MAMA+ clients to overcome difficulties and regain self-esteem.
Due to your assistance, we hope to continue MAMA+ Project implementation next year. In 2012, we expect to raise $10,000 for supporting 100 HIV-affected children.
Please consider telling your friends and family about our project - share the link on your blogs or social networks, use the tell-a-friend feature on the project page to email your network, or just bring us up in conversation. You know your friends and family best, so use your own words - tell them why you chose our project and what it means to you.
We will keep you informed about our work, providing you with our regular reports. You will know what your donation has helped fund, what accomplishments we have achieved and what our current needs are.
Doctors to Children,
The MAMA+ Project team