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

#RaiseAPen Campaign kicks off

12.11.20

Make Mothers Matter (MMM), backed by key global personalities and organisations, is kicking off the #RaiseAPen campaign with a strong mobilisation video, answering the call of mothers in Afghanistan f

Lire plus

Together with mothers in Afghanistan for the right to education for their daughters

26.11.20

A look back at our online High Level Panel Discussion of 25 November 2020 - Event recording, highlights, how you can get involved in the #RaiseAPen campaign

Lire plus

Care and Education – Cornerstones of sustainable and just economies

04.07.20

UN New York, HLPF - Invitation to a virtual side-event to the 2020 High-Level Political Forum on 16 July

Lire plus
See all the articlesof the category

Latest News from MMM and its Network

Social protection for mothers and children is an investment

08.06.21

ILO's International Labour Conference - MMM's intervention stressed the critical importance, relevance, and legitimacy of realizing universal social protection for unpaid caregivers, especially mothers.

Read more

Why women in retirement age deserve EU’s attention – MMM’s answer to the EU Public Consultation on Ageing and Demographic Change

28.05.21

The resulting Public Consultation initiative aims at gathering feedback from stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities of demographic ageing, taking a life-cycle approach based on intergenerational solid

Read more

“Without Mothers there is no better to build back to”

21.05.21

The COVID pandemic has upended many lives around the world. But according to recent reports, women, particularly mothers, have been bearing the brunt of not just the economic damage but also the increase in Unp

Read more

AFAMMER awarded EESC Civil Solidarity Prize

21.05.21

In 2020, The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) launched a one-off contest as an alternative to the annual EESC Civil Society Prize, to recognise  “those who have gone above and beyond the call of

Read more

“Made in Social Europe – virtual exhibition of good practices” Hosted by the Social Platform Organisation

21.05.21

The 2020 Made in Social Europe exhibition aims to give an overview of many organizations and projects in the European Union that are fighting for a fairer and more equitable society for all. By looking at each

Read more

MMM joins KISANY in celebrating Mothers the whole month of May

06.05.21

We are excited to partner with the KISANY family this May as many parts of the world celebrate Mother’s Day.

Read more