Fifteen years of saving lives
To celebrate 15 years of saving lives – Juliet Stevenson, our patron, made an appeal on BBC Radio 4. You can hear it on the BBC website or read it below.
I became a patron of Women and Children First because I believe all mothers should have a safe pregnancy and childbirth. I was lucky to give birth safely to two healthy babies but I can imagine so many things that could have gone wrong if I hadn’t had good information, support and medical care.
Since it was founded 15 years ago to reduce preventable maternal deaths, Women and Children First has saved more than 5,000 lives in Africa and Asia. It does this through a simple, low cost solution: safe motherhood women's groups.
Lead by a trained facilitator, women meet monthly to talk and share information about pregnancy and childbirth.
Word gets around - what one woman learns, she will pass to two or three others. Village meetings share group learning and soon there is wide practical support for mothers-to-be.
For Innocent, a 15 year old girl Ugandan girl, finding out she was pregnant was traumatic. She was afraid of how her family would react. When she finally told her parents, help from her mother’s women's group was invaluable. They explained the dangers for a teenager during pregnancy, encouraged Innocent’s parents to take her to antenatal care and to add fresh vegetables to feed her a balanced diet. They lent the family money for the things Innocent needed in hospital for the birth.
Innocent said: “When I returned home after giving birth, I was worried that my family wouldn’t accept me. But they did. My grandmother really took care of me and my mother taught me all that she had learnt in her group about immunization and nutrition and newborn care.”
Women and Children First saves lives in places you may never visit and rarely hear about, but you can make a difference.
£50 will pay to train a facilitator and run a safe motherhood group for a year.
With Mother’s Day approaching, what better gift could you make than to help mothers share knowledge, and so provide hope for a whole community?
Please make a donation and share our appeal, as we are making a huge difference with very few resources.
Patron of Women and Children First