Kasia Bailey Partnerships Manager at mothers2mothers
mothers2mothers (m2m) is a UK based charity that helps to deliver health, hope and an HIV-free generation in sub-saharan Africa. They do this by training and employing local women living with HIV as community health workers called Mentor Mothers. These Mentor Mothers support women, children and adolescents to access vital health services, education and support.
Salt-Water began working with m2m in 2017 and last year we were delighted to launch the first ever m2m sandal; from every pair sold £5 goes towards the cause.
In this month's edition of 'In Their Shoes' we chat to Kasia Bailey, Partnerships Manager at m2m, about her role at this brilliant organisation.
How long have you worked at m2m?
I have been part of the m2m family since 2017. After 15 years of working for a very well-known high street brand, I took a sabbatical and went travelling around South Africa, Namibia and Botswana. Life was never the same for me after that. The experience allowed me to build my confidence, appreciate what really made me happy and help identify my core beliefs. I never went back to my retail job and shortly afterwards started my career in the charity sector as a fundraiser.
What is the best part of your job?
Meeting the Mentor Mothers is definitely the top spot. These awesome women are the source of my inspiration. They are incredible role models, putting a face to empowered, strong and healthy women living with HIV.
I also love building authentic and creative partnerships, just like the m2m x Salt-Water one. I am incredibly proud to represent m2m and the Mentor Mothers. Raising both the profile and money for the organisation is critical in delivering the impactful results.
Since 2001, m2m has reached over 11 million women and children under two and seen the virtual elimination of mother to child transmission of HIV amongst its clients for five years in a row. Incredible! Why do you think the model is so successful?
It is successful because it is peers helping peers. Who better to support you than someone who is also walking in your shoes? From the same community as their clients, Mentor Mothers have a deep understanding of the social and cultural challenges their clients face on their journey to good health. The trusted relationships that Mentor Mothers develop cannot be compared with any other service.
However, Africa’s health systems are under tremendous strain and the continent has a shortage of 4.2 million healthcare workers.
This is felt by families, communities and nations, who are losing women, mothers and children to causes which are mostly preventable. 2 out of 3 mothers who die during pregnancy or birth are located in sub-Saharan Africa. Almost 400 children a day contract HIV in sub-Saharan Africa during pregnancy, childbirth or the breastfeeding period.
There is an urgent need to build robust and sustainable health-systems so that we can create health for all by 2030 – the global deadline to make our world a fairer, safer, more equal place. By doing just that, m2m is helping to lay strong foundations for the next generation and ultimately break the cycle of inequalities.
If Salt-Water fans are inspired to get involved at m2m, what can they do to support you?
We have a calendar of exciting events from our Carols by Candlelight concert (see below for more info) to panel discussions on International Women’s Day. If they'd like a challenge, we have a range of fundraising events including a four day cycling adventure, the London Marathon, the Royal Parks Half and Ride London. You can get more info on our website www.m2m.org
We also have our Wonder Women T's. This is a chance to support m2m and celebrate the Wonder Women in your life; friends, sisters and mothers. All of the women who inspire you with their strength and courage, and fill your life with love and laughter. Find out more HERE
Finally, we love working with companies to create meaningful partnerships that together create change and achieve mutual benefits.
If you want to donate to us, partner with us, join us, talk about us or cycle with us, you can contact me at [email protected] - we'd love to hear from you!
What is the best Christmas present you have ever received?
In 2013 I set myself the challenge of running three marathons and raising £3,000 for a charity. For my Christmas present my husband made a surprise book with photos and captions from my friends and family congratulating me on achieving my goal. It was an incredibly thoughtful and romantic gift. I didn’t even get halfway through the book before I was sobbing.
What's coming up at m2m?
We are all really excited to be hosting our Candlelit Carol concert on Monday 2nd December in the beautiful setting of St Paul’s Church, Knightsbridge. This wonderful event brings together m2m’s family and friends and promises to be the perfect way to kick off the festive season. We would love to share our story and see all the Saltie fans, so if you are interested in coming along, you can get your tickets HERE
And finally, if you could walk in someone else's shoes for the day whose would you choose?
Oh that’s tough….earnest Kasia would say Michelle Obama but fun Kasia is thinking more Ru Paul. Can I have two days?!