mothers2mothers – How Our Community is Making a Difference

09.12.19

The official theme of World AIDS Day this year was “Communities Make The Difference.” The theme recognises the vital role that communities are playing - both to prevent new HIV infections, and deliver life-saving health services to people living with HIV.

This resonates deeply at mothers2mothers (m2m), an African not-for-profit that unlocks the power of women to dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of women, children and adolescents.

Why mentor mothers?

Our peer-based model is rooted in the communities we serve. Every day, we witness the power of African women employed and trained as frontline health workers who deliver transformative health outcomes in their own communities as m2m Mentor Mothers. Since we began in 2001, m2m has employed more than 10,000 local women who, together, have reached more than 11 million women and children – helping to create opportunities for hopeful and healthy futures, and critically, to achieve their dreams.

Working in close contact with the community

One of these women is Promise James – a Community Mentor Mother in the Mulanje District of Malawi. She works tirelessly – traveling door to door by bicycle to visit women and families at home, supporting them with essential health services and education, and ensuring they stay in care. To spread her message even further, she leads numerous group sessions for women living with HIV and HIV-negative women and men, new mothers, and adolescents, providing education and support tailored to their needs. Topics range from the importance of HIV testing and treatment, sexual and reproductive health, to best parenting practices and early childhood development.

What makes Promise’s messages resonate deeply among her clients is that she is not only from their community – she is herself living with HIV and has overcome many of the challenges that her clients face. She uses her own experiences to build trusting relationships that give her clients the confidence to overcome HIV-related stigma and fears, and access the care they need.

Impact of the m2m mentor mothers

When you realise the difference that Promise is making in her community, it won’t come as a surprise the impact that the approximately 1,700 Mentor Mothers at m2m are creating as a team. Among the highlights – m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among its clients for five years in a row. We retain our clients in care – 94% of our clients living with HIV who started antiretroviral treatment for the first time were still on treatment after a year, compared to a retention rate of 75% in Eastern and Southern Africa. We also help prevent new HIV infections. In 2018, just 0.12% of the HIV-negative pregnant women supported by a Mentor Mother contracted HIV, 30 times lower than a 2014 pan-African benchmark of 3.6%.

Challenges still ahead

While World AIDS Day is a time to celebrate the progress that has been made in the fight against HIV and AIDS, it is also essential to acknowledge the hard work that lies ahead to create a truly HIV-free future. To give you a sense of the scale of the challenge – more than 400 children are still infected with HIV each day in sub-Saharan Africa. Meanwhile, adolescent girls and young women are disproportionately affected by the epidemic with around 6,000 infected with HIV globally each week.

We urge you to support our work and stand shoulder to shoulder with Mentor Mothers, like Promise, to help them to create healthy futures for more women, children, and adolescents across sub-Saharan Africa. If you are interested in learning more about the inspirational work that Promise is doing in her community, please follow this link.

 

This article was written by our associate member m2m on the occasion of World Aids Day 2019

 

Most read articles

Unpaid care is work

08.03.20

International Women's Day - 'Time to Care’, the Oxfam report released earlier this year, put the spotlight on the link between global inequalities and an issue at the core of

Lire plus

Seminar on the role of families in the circular economy – 14 May 2019 EESC Brussels

15.04.19

Make Mothers Matter is organising in partnership with the European Economic and Social Committee a seminar on “the Role of Families in achieving the Circular Economy” on the occasion of

Lire plus

Work-Life-Balance: Eu Parliament voted the new Directive

05.04.19

The EU Directive on Work-Life Balance for parents and family carers gained a very large majority, in the European Parliament on the 4th of April 2019 (490 votes in favor,

Lire plus

Businesses must address the motherhood penalty and its root cause – the imbalance of unpaid care work

30.06.19

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - In an oral Statement to the council, MMM also called businesses to promote a more equitable sharing of unpaid family care responsibilities and work

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Unpaid care is work

08.03.20

International Women's Day - 'Time to Care’, the Oxfam report released earlier this year, put the spotlight on the link between global inequalities and an issue at the core of our work: unpaid care work. We sa

Read more

A conversation with Passy Mubalama

18.03.20

UN New York - On the occasion of CSW64, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women New York sought nominations for its Women of Distinction Awards. Ms. Passy MUBALAMA, Founder and Executive Director of AIDPROFEN

Read more

Portrait of a (working) mother exhibition comes to Zurich

09.03.20

International Women's Day - After Geneva and other venues, the exhibition came to the ETH Zurich, Switzerland's most prestigious engineering university.

Read more

Mother’s health and socio-economic circumstances greatly impact child development

06.03.20

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - MMM drew attention to the impact that a mother’s own mental health and socio-economic status, including her level of education, can have on her children's mental health and t

Read more

Single mothers disproportionately affected by lack of adequate housing

05.03.20

UN Geneva, Human Rights Council - MMM contributed to the discussion on the right to adequate housing by highlighting the economic hardships of single mothers, the difficulties and discriminations they face in a

Read more