Every day 800 women die due to largely preventable causes during childbirth. That number is mentioned everywhere maternal health is mentioned and championed, but it always bears repeating. Until the drastic maternal mortality numbers decline the data must remain front and center. Mothers’ lives depend on us knowing the facts.
Over the past few decades maternal health numbers have effectively decreased by 47 percent, but we still have a long way to go especially in sub-Saharan Africa where most maternal deaths occur.
Large, international NGOs and governments have put their influence and resources behind saving more mothers’ lives. But, this is a big world in which we live where there are many women who still do not have access to quality prenatal health care and who must resort to delivering their babies at home which can often be fatal for them and their newborns. Some expecting mothers, especially in the poorest sub-Saharan African countries, do not have any other choice but to deliver at home due to a lack of access to health workers and proximity to a health facility.
There are countless organizations that are working diligently to ease the burden on expecting mothers in low-resource settings and are striving to save more lives. While decreasing the number of maternal deaths may seem like a Sisyphean task in the short term, there are organizations that save mothers’ lives every day! Every life matters even if the data points don’t show significant change quickly enough.
Here are five organizations we think are doing phenomenal maternal health care work and that deserve to be supported especially during this giving season.
The Safe Delivery App is a groundbreaking mobile training tool, which can save mothers and newborns in Africa during pregnancy and childbirth. The app is developed by Maternity Foundation in cooperation with leading scientists from University of Copenhagen and University of Southern Denmark.The app aims to improve the quality of maternal and neonatal care in developing countries by teaching birth attendants in hard-to-reach areas how to manage normal and complicated deliveries through animated clinical instruction films.They are raising $100,000 to scale the app. Donate to their campaign at www.indiegogo.com/projects/the-safe-delivery-app-a-life-saving-mobile-app.
Jacaranda Healthis a social enterprise and operates as a 501(c)3 in the US. Their mission is to transform maternal health care in East Africa and make pregnancy and childbirth safer for women and newborns. “Jacaranda Health aims to provide respectful, patient-centered, kind and high-quality care during pregnancy and childbirth,” says Amie Newman, Jacaranda Health’s Director of Communication and Development.That’s why we love their work! Donate at jacarandahealth.org/our-approach/jacarandas-model/donate.
Every Mother Countshas teamed up with CrowdRise to raise essential funds to save more mothers’ lives in the seven countries, including the United States, where they work on maternal health care and prevention of maternal deaths.
Every Mother Counts was launched with the intention to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for every mother. Donate at www.crowdrise.com/EveryMotherCounts-Tower.
Midwives for Haiti: When we hear about mothers who die during childbirth they most likely succumb to hemorrhaging (bleeding to death). This is particularly sad because hemorrhaging, in most cases, is preventable. In low-resource settings, however, hemorrhaging takes the lives of countless women and it doesn’t have to happen. Midwives for Haiti has put together a program that specifically addresses postnatal care. Many women who delivered at Hospital Ste. Therese in Haiti where they work, either received no postnatal care or were sent home four hours after delivery. That is highly unacceptable and deadly.Donate at midwivesforhaiti.org/projectpostnatal.html.
Zero Mothers Die is a global partnership initiative that is equipping pregnant women in developing countries with unique mobile phones to give them access to healthy pregnancy information and healthcare that could be just a phone call away during emergencies. Their aim is to bring mobile technology solutions to pregnant women to empower them with information and enable them to seek care when they need it most.Donate at www.indiegogo.com/projects/zero-mothers-die-mobile-phones-for-pregnant-women.
We know there are countless organizations that are working with mothers to keep them alive before, during, and after childbirth, but we can’t mention them all. Please list other maternal health organizations in the comments.
We are always thrilled to work with some of the best NGOs and nonprofits in the world. Today, we are announcing our newest partnerships with Oxfam America and Kangu. We look forward to working with Kangu to spread the word about maternal health and healthy pregnancies in developing countries in both Africa and Asia. And we look forward to working with Oxfam America to raise awareness about food security, poverty, hunger and injustice.
Join us in welcoming them to our community of committed moms around the world who believe in using their voices as catalysts for good.
The Case Foundation along with Microsoft and REI are looking for some of the brightest social innovators out there and are giving away $650,000 in grants to prove it. Want to know more? Read on!
As part of its Be Fearless initiative, the Case Foundation, in partnership with Microsoft and REI, is looking for the unsung individuals in communities across the country that have a successful track record of tackling social challenges because their approach is bold, uncommon, experimental and unconventional. The Case Foundation is Finding Fearless.
$650,000 in grants, software and technology prizes and outdoor adventures will be awarded to these fearless change makers.
After an open nomination process, a “Fearless Academy” of judges will award the top 10 submissions $10,000 grants and the next 10, $1,000 grants. All projects will receive a $25,000 software grant from Microsoft and a $100 REI gift card. The public will then have the opportunity to vote on their favorite fearless projects to determine which ones will receive an additional $10,000 grant, an REI Adventure Trip to Bryce Canyon and more.
The Case Foundation and their presenting partners, Microsoft and REI, are celebrating unsung social innovators that have a successful track record of tackling social challenges because their approach is bold, experimental, unconventional and fearless.
If you have been to developing countries or have seen poverty housing in any developed nation you know there are billions of people around the world who desperately need adequate housing. The first Monday of every October has been designated by the United Nations as World Habitat Day. It serves as a reminder to all of us that everyone deserves adequate shelter.
This year’s theme is Changing Cities, Building Opportunities because when cities prosper so do its residents.
Action: Habitat for Humanity is urging everyone to pledge their support for adequate shelter for all. You can sign Habitat’s Pledge to End Poverty Housing to call on key decision makers to:
Recognize the role of housing in communities
Make affordable, adequate housing a priority
Change the systems and policies that lead to poverty housing
The World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger on the planet. They do amazing things every day in every corner of the world that needs the greatest help.
The World Food Programme recently released their 2011 Year in Review. It is well worth a read if you have a chance. According to the report the World Food Programme’s 2011 food assistance reached nearly 100 million people in 75 countries around the world. The vast majority — nearly 83 million — were women and children. They also provided 3.6 million metric tons of food assistance to people in need.
It was also wonderful to read that in 2011 the World Food Programme raised $11.9 million from their online audience. In fact, you can give to the World Food Programme online now. The WFP is entirely funded by volunteer donations.
Never underestimate the power of a woman who can earn her own money and provide for her family.
This statement is true everywhere in Africa and other parts of the developing world. One trait that is perpetually apparent when you travel abroad and visit areas in need is people want to work; they want to be able to buy food and pay for their children’s education and health needs. They want to take care of their home and put money away to save like everyone else. Sometimes this is difficult to achieve in developing nations because of rife poverty, war, and lack of economic opportunities. But there are social enterprise models that tap into the creativity, ingenuity, and work ethic of women who craft beautiful clothes, bags, and wares for purchase.
Mend, a program of the Invisible Children, is one of those social enterprise companies that is giving women a chance to earn money and pull themselves out of the cycle of poverty. Based in Gulu, Uganda most of the seamstresses are former child soldiers or wives of LRA rebel commanders in Uganda who were in power during the civil war.
“We believe our program is unique in its holistic approach to recovery and commitment to sustainable financial independence for our seamstresses, while creating quality, value-added products that people want to own.”
The seamstresses at Mend make beautiful totes made of printed canvas that are meticulously trimmed with leather. Each canvas bag retails for $75 and the blank canvas bag retails for $65. All proceeds from the sale of the basg goes back into the Mend program where women can work and expand their financial earnings and better earn a living for their families.
What is particularly fascinating about Mend is the women are able to earn money from their work and are benefited from the collective work of them all. Be sure to visit the Mend blog to read more about Mend’s work.