Latest News

Amplifying the Voices of Girls and Women

14 June 2019

The m2m team at Women Deliver.

In early June, mothers2mothers (m2m) joined forces with other organisations and individuals committed to achieving equality for girls and women at Women Deliver—the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health, rights, and wellbeing of girls and women, which took place in Vancouver, Canada.

One of the issues we were delighted to see discussed repeatedly at the conference was whether community health workers (CHWs), such as our Mentor Mothers, should be paid for their efforts. These discussions followed on the heels of a resolution approved by delegates at the World Health Organization’s World Health Assembly recognising that CHWs have a key role to play in delivering primary healthcare and that “investing in CHWs generates important employment opportunities, especially for women.”

m2m was founded in 2001 on the belief that Mentor Mothers should be paid and, since that time, we have created more than 10,000 jobs for HIV-positive women as CHWs in sub-Saharan Africa. Emma France, m2m’s Global Development and Strategic Engagement Director, pressed the issue at a session hosted by the Pfizer Foundation, saying: “We believe it is critical to women’s status, to all of the things this conference stands for, that women are paid. Is this not the time to pledge an end to the expectation that the most vulnerable women aren’t paid?”

m2m’s booth in the exhibition hall.

As well as participating in important conversations, we also had the opportunity to share our work and impact with individuals from around the globe at our booth in the busy exhibition hall. We demonstrated how the theme of the conference—power, progress, change—is reflected in our work. More specifically, m2m believes in the power of the women we employ as Mentor Mothers. These women are making progress in the fight for better health, especially against AIDS, with the achievement of virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV among our enrolled clients for four years in a row. And they are achieving positive change in the health and wellbeing of the women and families by supporting them to access vital, lifesaving medical services and stay in care.

Among the other highlights, m2m Spokeswoman Nozi Samela spoke on two panels. And a film featuring four m2m Mentor Mothers—produced by Elisa Gambino of One Production Place and funded by Johnson & Johnson—premiered at Women Deliver’s Film Festival.

We asked Nozi to share her highlights of the conference:

Q: What was the highpoint of the Women Deliver conference for you?

Nozi Samela in the exhibition hall.

The highpoint for me was seeing how many organisations around the world are engaged in different activities to reach one goal—ensuring that women and girls all over the world have equal opportunities.

I met incredible young women at the conference who are not just the future of our world, but are having an impact today and we need to recognise that. I really loved it when Natasha Wang Mwansa, an 18-year-old Zambian activist who spoke during the Opening Plenary, said that women don’t need to be empowered, but instead they need the world to amplify their voices. They already have powerful voices, but they need to be heard.

I also realised that I’m now part of the older generation, not part of the youth. I’m happy to know that there is another crop of empowered young women who have already stepped into our shoes. That made me become further committed to ensure that their voices are heard one way or another.

Q: What are some of the interesting things you learned?

I had the opportunity to learn what other organisations are doing and how we could use some of their experiences and learnings to better shape our programmes. One of the organisations I met makes menstrual cups for girls and women, which are reusable alternatives to tampons and pads. I’ve already had conversations with some of our team on what we could do to make menstrual health part of our programme.

Q: You spoke on two panels. Tell us about what stood out for you on the panel about how person-centred and respectful care can improve maternal health?

Nozi Samela speaking on panel hosted by WHO, University of California San Francisco, University of California Los Angeles, and the White Ribbon Alliance.

In the discussion I participated in, women from different parts of the world talked about their experiences giving birth. It was humbling to hear what other women went through during pregnancy and birth and how similar our experiences are, especially when we don’t have all of the information we need. I talked about how having support from m2m Mentor Mothers, who are women also living with HIV, enabled me to be an assertive person in the labor ward. That helped me make sure my voice was heard and that I got the information and treatment I needed given my status and my child got the best possible start to life.

Q: What was your key takeaway at the second panel you participated in on the challenges facing girls and women at every stage of life and investments that can have positive impacts on their health?

Nozi Samela and other speakers on the WHO panel.

One of the interesting things I learned on this panel is that while we in global health focus in large part on children, young people, and women of reproductive age, we often forget about the health needs of older, post-menopausal women, who are leaders in our communities, helping to make sure they thrive.

The investment I talked about is employing community health workers, like m2m Mentor Mothers, to help girls and women access health services. African women should not have to take time away from their families working as unpaid community health workers. They have to be paid so they are valued as much as other members of the health team, and are also held accountable to achieve great results.

Q: How was the premiere of the film on m2m?

Nozi Samela being interviewed by a Canadian journalist after the film screening.

That was the part of the conference that made me most emotional. I was part of the production of that film from the very beginning, and it was wonderful to see it shown to people from all over the world. We couldn’t bring the South African Mentor Mothers to the conference, but their voices were heard through the film. Films are a great tool to amplify voices and I was so proud to that the powerful voices and inspirational stories of these four Mentor Mothers could be heard at this important conference.

Are you interested in learning about other events and activities that m2m has planned? Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.












15 October 2019

Team m2m takes on Royal Parks Half

Runner Will gave us a smile as he passed mile 9. Sunday 13th October was a wet and windy day...

14 October 2019

Saluting 11 Years of Raising the Future in Eswatini

“Where there’s a will, there’s a way.” It was true in 1640 when this phrase was first written, and it...

3 October 2019

A British Airways visit with a Flying Start

mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to welcome our partners British Airways and UK grant-making charity Comic Relief at two of our...

3 October 2019

How to Achieve Universal Health Coverage?…Invest in Women

Last week, world leaders adopted what United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called “the most comprehensive agreement ever reached on global...

25 September 2019

mothers2mothers Hosts HRH The Duchess of Sussex

“Talk about important work!” That was the reaction from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, when she was introduced...

24 September 2019

Swimming for Change – Swim Serpentine 2019

On Saturday 21st September, mothers2mothers (m2m) supporters Warren Gething and Vivien Loseby took on Swim Serpentine—the UK’s greatest open water...

22 September 2019

Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Sussex To Visit mothers2mothers In Cape Town

We are thrilled to share that mothers2mothers (m2m) will be hosting Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, in Cape...

19 September 2019

A Wonder Women Tea with a twist!

At mothers2mothers (m2m), we celebrate the Wonder Women employed as Mentor Mothers and it is great to see that our...

17 September 2019

11M and Counting: Introducing m2m’s New Quarterly Report

Over 11M women and children under two reached with life-changing services since 2001. This is one of the key takeaways...

17 September 2019

m2m Patron Candice Swanepoel participates in Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day 2019

m2m Patron Candice Swanepoel on the trading floor during Cantor Fitzgerald Charity Day. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images for Cantor...

11 September 2019

Cycle2Zero 2020 – Uganda Here We Come!

mothers2mothers’ (m2m’s) challenge of a lifetime—Cycle2Zero—is back in 2020 for its fourth edition and we are very excited to reveal...

10 September 2019

The Power of Partnerships for the Next Generation

On Monday 9th September, mothers2mothers (m2m) held its Power of Partnerships event in one of London’s most iconic buildings, The...

29 August 2019

Youth Alive: A New Comic Relief-Supported Programme Tailored for Adolescents

South Africa has the largest HIV burden globally with about 7.1 million people living with HIV. The country also has...

8 August 2019

100 miles for Mentor Mothers – Ride London 2019

On Sunday 4th August, four cyclists representing team mothers2mothers (m2m) took to the streets with over 25,000 other participants to...

29 July 2019

World Breastfeeding Week 2019

1 – 7 August is World Breastfeeding Week! Annually, World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) coordinates and organises the World...

25 July 2019

m2m Shares Knowledge at IAS 2019

Frank Beadle de Palomo at IAS 2019 Frank Beadle de Palomo, mothers2mothers’ (m2m’s) President and Chief Executive Officer, presented three...

15 July 2019

Quality and Impact at Scale—m2m’s 2018 Programme Evaluation Released

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to share the findings of our 2018 Evaluation,1 which shows improved quality and the continued impact...

11 July 2019

LGT and m2m: “Progress, not the Status Quo”

Tom Kagerer, Investment Director at LGT VP Photographer: Eddy Risch, Schaan In the wake of the news that LGT Venture...

9 July 2019

New $1M Commitment from LGT Venture Philanthropy to Help m2m Significantly Increase Scale and Impact

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to announce that our long-standing supporter, LGT Venture Philanthropy (LGT VP), has chosen to deepen their...

27 June 2019

Tackling health inequalities to leave no one behind

mothers2mothers (m2m) was delighted to join long-time supporter Johnson & Johnson (J&J) at the European Development Days 2019—a two-day conference...

14 June 2019

Amplifying the Voices of Girls and Women

The m2m team at Women Deliver. In early June, mothers2mothers (m2m) joined forces with other organisations and individuals committed to...

22 May 2019

m2m Featured in BBC Radio 4 Charity Appeal

Red Nose Day is one of the biggest fundraising days in the UK, and mothers2mothers (m2m) was honoured to be...

21 May 2019

Adventures in the US

Relebohile Leoatha in Chicago. mothers2mothers (m2m) celebrated Wonder Women across the US with a recent visit from Spokeswoman and Mentor...

11 May 2019

Mother’s Day Reflections from Lesotho

This Mother’s Day, m2m Country Director Frida Kabaso reflects on the power of the mothers she works with in Lesotho....

8 May 2019

South African Supermodel Candice Swanepoel Joins m2m as a Patron

mothers2mothers (m2m) is delighted to announce that South African supermodel, fashion entrepreneur, and mother of two young children, Candice Swanepoel,...

9 April 2019

Celebrating Wonder Women!

Celebrate the Wonder Women (and men) in your life, while at the same time joining a global movement to help...

3 April 2019

Voices from the Frontline: Wilbroda Awour Akuro

In recognition of World Health Worker week (1-7 April), mothers2mothers (m2m) caught up with a couple of the community health...

2 April 2019

Voices from the Frontline: Phumeza Dyantyi

World Health Worker Week (1-7 April) is an opportunity to recognise the vital work that health workers are doing around the...

29 March 2019

Mother’s Day celebrations in the UK

The week before Mother’s Day in the UK (31st March), we were thrilled to join forces with Peanut for an...

27 March 2019

Running for change – Vitality Half Marathon

Nathalie Cazals, a 36-year-old personal assistant from France, took part in the Vitality Big Half, a 13.1-mile race across London,...

26 March 2019

Shopping with a ca­­use – Mytheresa Charity Initiative

International Women’s Day, on 8th March, is a day to celebrate Wonder Women across the globe and to recognise the...

23 March 2019

Cyclone Idai: Update on m2m teams in Mozambique and Malawi

Update: As of 3pm GMT on Monday 25 March, we have managed to contact all staff in Mozambique affected by...

21 March 2019

My Immersive Experience with mothers2mothers

Every year mothers2mothers (m2m) holds its annual Immersive Experience – a chance for donors and supporters to visit m2m in...

19 March 2019

m2m launches new Orphans and Vulnerable Children programme in South Africa

Four million children in South Africa have lost one or both parents due to AIDS in the last three decades,...

13 March 2019

Thinking Equal and Innovating for change on International Women’s Day 2019

International Women’s Day is always an important date in the calendar at mothers2mothers (m2m). This year’s theme – “Think Equal,...

5 March 2019

Ten Million and Ten Thousand: Two Major 2018 Milestones for mothers2mothers

With 2018 firmly in our rear-view mirror, we are in the process of analysing data to prepare our in-depth internal...

12 February 2019

New Peer-Reviewed Article Examines Impact of Lay Health Workers programmes including mothers2mothers Model

mothers2mothers (m2m) is excited to share that Dr Kathrin Schmitz, our Director of Programmes and Technical Support, is the lead...