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Ruth's Story: “We discuss problems and deal with them”

Thanks to supporters like you, women in Malawi have come together as a community to solve the health issues they face. 

Your donations mean that women like Ruth have been able to empower people in their community. You can support the continued training of women like Ruth by donating below.

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Ruth's training led to her becoming the leader of a community group. 

She explains:

“In the group we discuss the most serious problems facing our community and work out strategies to deal with them." 

“One of our aims is to prevent the mother-child transmission of HIV. A big issue is the number of women who give birth at home because the health facility is far away." HIV Positive women who give birth at home are more likely to transfer their virus to their children.

So, Ruth explains. "The group discussed the issues and encouraged people to go for regular HIV testing so they know their status." She adds, "We encourage women to deliver their babies in the health facility, so we lobbied for funds for a bicycle ambulance.

Data shows that as a result of these activities, more women know their HIV status and are delivering their babies at a health facility when the time comes. All of this reduces the risk of transmission of HIV from mothers to their newborns. 

Ruth also emphasises the power of the group to bring about wider changes - how women can bring the community together to solve the problems themselves, making for direct, sustainable changes. 

She said, “We have organised households to paint words and phrases on their homes about the problems we face, so everyone can think about how to solve them in the community.”

Ruth takes pride in the achievements of the group – including establishing a group vegetable garden and setting up a village loan scheme – enabled by kind supporters like you.

In Malawi, the work of Women and Children First has meant that women like Ruth have been able to empower their community to enact real change and make access to good health, and health facilities, more a part of everyday life.

Women and Children First is continuing vital work in Ethiopia and Uganda, and providing life-saving support to projects in Asia and Central America. This is thanks to the kind generosity of our supporters.

Donate here to help us reach more women across the globe.

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