One of the most amazing things I have witnessed as a result of my work both as a blogger and as a mom is the power of the incredible support women provide other women. It is there every day in little ways in my life, like the neighbor who does an emergency school pickup or the friend who delivers a store gift card when The Husband’s out of work and she knows we are strapped for cash.
All around me women are doing for other women. We hold eachothers babies so someone can run an errand. We take in whole broods of children so parents can get some time alone, for work or play. We comfort and console and lend our time and talent whenever we’re needed as neighbors or parents or friends. In business, women mentor and brainstorm. They cheerlead and sometimes poke and prod us into moving ourselves forward.
Women are a force to be reckoned with and this is the reason I was so excited to be part of promoting an organization that is harnessing that very force.
Mothers2Mothers is an organization founded on the idea that mothers helping mothers can save lives. Pretty powerful stuff isn’t it? In 2001 Mothers2Mothers started training mentor mothers to help educate and inform their fellow moms in an effort to end the transmission of HIV from mother to child and save the lives of both.
Were you aware the there are 900 children born a day that are already infected with HIV? I remember growing up AIDS and HIV were topics you heard about every day. Then, slowly they lost their front page cache and we now hear about them in context of “over there”, existing in lands far, far away to people much different than us. Quite honestly, it seems in America, we don’t pay too much attention to AIDS at all anymore.
But as woman, it seems my duty to start paying attention. I mean, 900 children are born every day already infected? That’s too many, no matter where they’re born. Nearly all babies acquire from their moms either through childbirth, or nursing and will likely die before age 2 if their HIV goes untreated. And how about their mothers? AIDS is one of the leading causes of maternal mortality in Sub-Saharan Africa, leaving millions of children not only alone, but left to be discriminated against and not receiving proper healthcare, education and other services.
Enter Mothers2Mothers and their trained Mentor Mothers. What they know at M2M is that yes, medicine does exist to help end the HIV and AIDS epidemics, but as they so eloquently put it, “Medicine does not equal medical care.”
So, they’ve set about medically caring for the women and children in Africa through the mentor mother program. These women have, since the inception of M2M, helped over one million women and children in nine different countries in Sub-Saharan Africa and inspired two other programs in countries beyond. All this through mothers helping mothers. Pretty rad if I do say so myself.
In the future, I will be working a bit with Mothers2Mothers, writing blog posts and otherwise promoting the work that they do. I’ll even share stories on this here blog from time to time of some of the amazing women involved in Mothers2Mothers programs. Please, go check out their website for more information. It will be worth your time.