Salt-Water Europe X mothers2mothers
Mother's Day is just around the corner and to truly celebrate, Salt-Water Europe are exceptionally proud to announce their partnership with mothers2mothers aka m2m.
On an ongoing basis, we will be raising money & awareness for this fantastic charity and to kick start our series of campaigns we will be donating £5.00 of every sandal sold this Mother's Day Weekend (9th – 11th March) to m2m.
As a Mother to two, and captain of her own start up - our CEO wanted to find a charity where she felt our work at the family lifestyle agency craftymothers Ltd could really compliment. Rachael feels extremely strongly about female empowerment and being financially independent. As a privileged educated woman of the western world, she knows how fortunate she has been in seeking short term funding from a high street bank, but still found the hoops and hurdles hard to navigate. She started thinking how much harder would it be to start your own business or seek the support in a career where jobs and rights for women are more limited.
When she heard an inspiring talk by Emma France about m2m and their astonishing work, Rachael knew this was the charity she wanted to support.
Just £1000 could help a local HIV-positive mother to participate in m2m’s two week intensive Mentor Mother training. This training provides women with in-depth information about HIV, prevention of mother-to-child transmission, maternal health, nutrition and other critical health issues. Becoming an m2m Mentor Mother can open a world of opportunities to some of the most marginalised women in the world. By helping them to take their step on the career ladder, you can unlock their potential to become leaders, entrepreneurs, educators and role models in their communities.
mothers2mothers (m2m) is an international NGO that unlocks the potential of women in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate paediatric AIDS and create healthy families. Their goal is for every baby, wherever he or she lives, to be born HIV-free and for every child to grow up with a bright future.
In 2016 they trained and employed over 1,600 local HIV-positive mothers as frontline healthcare workers in sub-Saharan Africa. These women, Mentor Mothers, have an intimate understanding of the social and cultural challenges of living with HIV. This makes them uniquely effective in providing education and peer support on HIV and other critical health issues. As paid, professionalised members of the healthcare team, Mentor Mothers are proud, economically independent women who become role models in their communities.
Before the work of m2m gained traction, rates for paediatric AIDS were as high as 40%. Now only a few years later, that statistic has dropped to as low as 1.6% among m2m's enrolled clients. Their programme and its effect are incontestable.
In countries like Malawi, where there is only 1 Doctor to 60,000 residents - access to healthcare is chronically limited. When it can take days to walk to a clinic and only minutes to be seen, the responsibility of aftercare for patients diagnosed with HIV is passed directly to them. Often shell-shocked by the news and with the fear of stigma riding high, these women are left vulnerable and alone. Therefore the work & support m2m provides to mums in need, is a virtual lifeline to their wellbeing, their family's wellbeing and keeping their community healthy.
Here is Eviness's story in her own words –
My name is Eviness Kumbani.
I am 36 years old. I found out that I am living with HIV back in two thousand and eight.
I was four months pregnant and my friends advised me to go to the clinic early. HIV was the last thing we were thinking about.
When I was told I have HIV, I felt very sorry for myself.
I thought I was going to die.
I did not understand why I had the virus.
The nurse told me that I would have to tell someone in my family about my status but I just couldn’t bring myself to do that.
I was afraid of what people would think of me.
Those days, stigma against people living with HIV was very high in Malawi.
Like me most people associated the virus with someone who slept around and in my mind this is exactly what they would think of me.
When the rest of my test results came back, they showed that my immune system was not strong enough for me to live without antiretroviral treatment. I decided to tell my mother as I needed her to come with me to the counselling sessions.
It took time for her to understand that HIV would infect anyone, regardless of how many sexual partners they have had in the past.
Sadly, some of my family members distanced themselves from me because they thought I would infect them.
When I was started on treatment, I still had not told my husband. I was really afraid of how he would react. Deep down, I knew that he would blame me, even though none of us knew our status before we met.
Then, one day, my husband found my medication and threw it all in the toilet.
He also refused to go get tested.
I had to choose right there - my marriage or my health and that of my unborn baby.
I chose life.
After he packed up and left, I wondered how I would raise a child alone. Fortunately, my sister was there for me and she supported me financially.
When my son was still a baby, I met Mentor Mothers from mothers2mothers. I was amazed by how they talked freely about their HIV status in front of a crowd.
It was an inspiration. I saw that mothers2mothers was hiring at my clinic and I was accepted as a Mentor Mother.
I have been working for mothers2mothers now since two thousand and nine.
I have helped save many babies from getting infected with HIV, just like my son who is HIV negative.
And I have been a role model to hundreds of women and families who would have lost hope.
- £5.00 of every pair of sandals sold over the Mother's Day Weekend (9th March - 11th March) will be donated to mothers2mothers in a one off payment.
- For only £1,000 we could help m2m train a Mentor Mother.
Together, if we can raise £1,000 this weekend we can help train a Mentor Mother just like Eviness for a whole year.
Shop Salt-Water Sandals to help make a difference now.
Thanking you in advance for all of helping us to help mothers2mothers. This is only just the beginning...
* £5.00 of every pair of sandals sold over the Mother's Day Weekend (9th March - 11th March) will be donated to mothers2mothers in a one off payment.