Updated Nov 06, 2020

mothers2mothers: Mentor Mother Model

http://www.m2m.org

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Our founder, a medical doctor volunteering in one of Cape Town’s busiest hospitals, hit on an idea—employ former patients who had successfully adhered to treatment and given birth to an HIV-free child as peers called “Mentor Mothers” to help others walk this same path. This simple innovation quickly caught on and proved effective—helping mothers to stay healthy and allowing children to be born ...
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Our founder, a medical doctor volunteering in one of Cape Town’s busiest hospitals, hit on an idea—employ former patients who had successfully adhered to treatment and given birth to an HIV-free child as peers called “Mentor Mothers” to help others walk this same path. This simple innovation quickly caught on and proved effective—helping mothers to stay healthy and allowing children to be born HIV-free. Fast-forward 18 years and m2m has grown into an organization that employs community health workers across eight African nations, and has reached over 11M pregnant women, new mothers, and children. The mother-to-child transmission rate among our enrolled clients has dropped steadily and is now just 1.3% (2018), meaning we have “virtually eliminated” this transmission for our clients according to WHO guidelines. Our model has been held up as best practice by UNAIDS, UNICEF and others. We have also leveraged our model and the strong relationships Mentor Mothers build with their clients to deliver complementary services that help entire families thrive—such as Early Childhood Development and Adolescent Mentoring. What is more, we’ve achieved all of this while creating livelihood and empowerment opportunities for over 10,000 African women living with HIV, who might otherwise have been amongst society’s most marginalized.
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Stage 5: Scaling

Focus Areas:

Health

HealthSEE LESS

Implemented In:

Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi and 4 MoreSEE ALL

Tanzania, Uganda, Malawi, Swaziland, South Africa, Kenya and LesothoSEE LESS

11,000,000
Lives Impacted to Date
7
Countries Implemented In

Problem

1) There is a shortage of 4.2 million frontline healthcare workers on the African Continent, according to the World Health Organization 2) HIV/AIDS is stigmatized in many communities throughout the world. 3) Women are marginalized in many communities in the countries where m2m operates. 4) Clients are disinclined to seek treatment or adhere to treatment from healthcare workers who don't appear to have a direct connection to them.

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Solution

1) Since our founding, m2m has hired over 10,000 women living with HIV as community health workers. 2) This innovation not only serves to reduce stigma, but enable the women we hire to overcome the challenges associated with living with HIV and empower themselves economically, en route to becoming leaders in their communities. 3) By employing women as frontline health workers, we are shifting the traditional paradigm of men being the primary source of income in families, and providing opportunities for women to empower themselves through education and employment. 4) By only hiring women living with HIV, they are likelier to form a peer-to-peer connection with their clients, which increases the likelihood that a client will gain access to the care they need and adhere to their prescribed treatment plan.

Competitive Advantage

Because we pay the women we hire as frontline health workers (not volunteers), and because we only hire women living with HIV, our model differs from other international NGOs.

Milestone

Nov 2020
Lives Impacted
11,000,000
Date Unknown
Created
Date Unknown
Funds RaisedPENDING
Unknown Amount
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Malawi
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Uganda
Date Unknown
New Country Implemented In
Tanzania