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Celebrating Wonder Women with tea!

9 April 2019

The beginning of March marked the official launch of mothers2mothers’ (m2m) Wonder Women Teas in the UK, and what better time to do it than in lead up to International Women’s Day. We were absolutely thrilled to have had the support of leading Instagrammer, author, and blogger Clemmie Hooper, aka @mother_of_daughters, who hosted a beautiful kick-off celebration at Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Garden Room with panoramic views of London.

Delicious treats baked by Juliet Sear with a bespoke logo designed by Cheryl Rawlings. Photo by Dave Benett

Building on the British custom of “Afternoon Teas,” a traditional pause for tea and cake in-between meals, the m2m Wonder Women Teas are an opportunity to celebrate the Wonder Women in our lives who inspire us, whether it be our mothers, siblings, friends, colleagues, or even ourselves! Gathering around biscuits, cakes, and tea, guests had a chance to learn more about the work m2m is doing across sub-Saharan Africa.

It is no secret that m2m’s Wonder Women are the inspiring HIV-positive women we employ as Mentor Mothers. They work tirelessly in clinics and communities in sub-Saharan Africa to provide lifesaving health education and support to women, children, and families to ensure they stay health and thrive. Since m2m was created in 2001, we have created over 10,000 jobs for HIV-positive women as Mentor Mothers and, together, they have served 10.5M women and children under two. These incredible women are celebrated each time someone hosts an m2m Wonder Women Tea. So we were particularly delighted to have m2m Spokeswoman Relebohile Leoatha from Lesotho at Clemmie’s m2m Wonder Women Tea, to join in this great celebration of the potential and achievements of women. Relebohile talked about what it felt like to fall pregnant and test positive for HIV when she was just 15 years old, and how m2m Mentor Mothers helped live positively.

Host Clemmie Hooper and m2m Spokeswoman Relebohile Leoatha . Photo by Dave Benett

 “My life changed when I met mothers2mothers. The women I met had gone through the same journey as me and so could support me in a way that no one else could. My pregnancy was so much easier with Mentor Mothers by my side.”

As a midwife and a mother to four daughters, the stories and impact of m2m Mentor Mothers particularly resonate with Clemmie. This is why she invited 20 guests and friends to celebrate the power of sisterhood and the power of their platforms to effect change. It was great to see the excitement in the room with guests pledging to host their own m2m Wonder Women Teas, including Alex Jones, Alice Olins from the Step Up Club, and Kat Farmer!

 

Clemmie Hooper and Relebohile Leoatha speak at the m2m Wonder Women Tea at Bourne & Hollingsworth’s Garden Room.
Photo by Dave Benett

Talking of her personal connection to m2m’s work, Clemmie said: “As an NHS (National Health Service) midwife in London, I have a lot of experience of caring for women who are HIV-positive which is why I felt such a strong connection to mothers2mothers. The term midwife literally means ‘with woman’ and this Wonder Women Tea is such a great opportunity to celebrate women.”

We were so excited to have Cheryl Rawlings, a contemporary illustrator who designed the m2m Wonder Women Tea logo, attend Clemmie’s tea as well as baking expert Juliet Sear who kindly provided delicious treats including m2m cupcakes!

By holding a fun and friendly get-together, you can join in a global movement to support m2m Mentor Mothers while celebrating the women in your life who inspire you with their strength and courage. We’re talking friends, sisters, aunties…and let’s not forget you!

m2m Spokeswoman Relebohile Leoatha with guest Candice Brathwaite and her mother Junnie Grant. Photo by Dave Benett

It doesn’t have to be in a fancy venue, it can be at home with friends and family, a pack of digestives, and a teapot. Clemmie is going to host another tea in early May in her home for local friends to show that you can host one anywhere. Simply choose a date, invite your friends, and drink some tea. You can download your Wonder Women Tea pack here.

For more information on hosting your own tea email: community@m2m.org

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