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The Mother of All Road Trips

mothers2mothers on The Red Nose African Convoy

On Thursday 23rd March at 9pm on BBC One ahead of Red Nose Day, a documentary following The Red Nose African Convoy will air. The documentary sees six celebrities swap their home comforts for life on the road as they take the British public on a journey to show how the money they raise is helping to change lives every single day.  Among the six celebrities are comedians Katy Brand and Russell Kane who peel off from the convoy to visit Comic Relief funded project mothers2mothers’ (m2m) Rachuonyo Clinic, just outside of Kisumu, Kenya, and visit Beatrice who runs m2m’s site there. They meet with m2m clients and learn how Mentor Mothers, like Beatrice, provide vital life-saving education and support to women, children, and families each and every day. 

Beatrice Masawa is one of m2m’s Mentor Mothers, who are mothers living with HIV and serve as peer mentors to pregnant HIV-positive women and girls. Comic Relief funding in Kenya enables Mentor Mothers to offer emotional and practical support to other mothers on how to stay healthy and prevent passing HIV onto their babies. Through m2m’s peer approach, Mentor Mothers are eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV among their clients and creating healthy families and communities in sub-Saharan Africa. In 2015 alone, m2m Mentor Mothers like Beatrice reached an estimated 860,500* women, infants, children, adolescent girls and young women, and men, across seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.

Beatrice discovered her HIV status in November 2004 when she was pregnant with her second child. She had just lost her husband and her parents, and could not cope with the news. Terrified people would find out her status, she did not follow her treatment, only taking the drugs periodically over the course of five years.

“Finally I decided it wasn’t worth dying this way. I saw an ad for a USAID-funded project that was looking for volunteer peer educators. They would provide a six-week training course for which participants got paid and then in return, we would volunteer for a set amount of time once we were trained. It is when I started volunteering at the health facility that some of the nurses told me that mothers2mothers was advertising for a position…I’m happy to say I got the job because my true journey with disclosure started then. It began with me sharing my experience with clients one-on-one and during support group meetings. Today, I can tell you for sure that I am not the same Beatrice. My role as a Mentor Mother has given me a lot of exposure and I am economically empowered to take care of myself and my family. I can stand in front of people and speak reasonably well. A year ago, I was able to meet the First Lady of Kenya when she visited the m2m booth during a campaign. I explained to her about our organization and our role as Mentor Mothers. She found it amazing that my team and I were beneficiaries of the programme and that we looked so healthy and lively. But most importantly, my self-esteem is healthy.”

It is at Beatrice’s site that Russell Kane meets m2m client Mary Christine and her young son Richard.  He travels with them from their home to the health facility where Richard takes his final, 18-month HIV test that will determine whether he begins his life free from HIV http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p04sjrkn. Katy Brand spends the day with Beatrice and witnesses how important the work of Mentor Mothers is, meeting m2m clients like Queenter, whose husband abandoned her following her HIV disclosure. Katy discovers how Beatrice is helping Queenter make life changing decisions for her and her family.

For more information about mothers2mothers’ work, go to www.m2m.org, FacebookInstagram, and Twitter.

For mothers2mothers Case Studies, Films, High Res photography and interviews please contact jenny@happypr.co.uk or 07957551697.

For more information on The Red Nose African Convoy:

Sarah Fagan, Comic Relief 020 7820 2526  s.fagan@comicrelief.com

Notes to editors 

About Red Nose Day 2017

  • Red Nose Day is back on Friday 24th March 2017 and it’s all about your power to make the world a better place, simply by having a great time.
  • By raising (or donating) cash this Red Nose Day, you’re helping to change lives. That’s because Comic Relief spends the money raised to help the people who really need it most, both here in the UK and in some of the world’s poorest communities.
  • From workplace bake sales and fancy-dress fundraising in schools, to danceathons, quizzes and surreal sponsored challenges, put on a Red Nose and make your laugh matter by doing whatever you enjoy to raise life-changing cash.
  • It all culminates in a massive night of comedy and entertainment, live on the BBC.

About Comic Relief

Comic Relief is a UK charity which aims to create a just world, free from poverty – where everyone is safe, healthy, educated and empowered. Since 1985, Comic Relief has raised over £1 billion. That money has helped, and is helping, people living incredibly tough lives, both at home in the UK and across the world. For information about Comic Relief and the work it carries out, please visit www.comicrelief.com

Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland)

For the latest news, statements and exclusive content direct from the Comic Relief Press Office follow @ComicReliefNews

About mothers2mothers

mothers2mothers (m2m) is a global NGO that was founded in South Africa in 2001 with the mission of ending mother-to-child transmission of HIV and improving the health of families and communities. In the past 15 years, m2m has become a leader in global efforts to end paediatric AIDS, reaching nearly 1.5 million HIV-positive women in nine African countries. m2m trains, employs, and empowers HIV-positive mothers as frontline healthcare workers in understaffed health centres and communities. This Peer Mentor approach has proven to be the key to better health outcomes and reduced mother-to-child transmission rates. It has also created significant savings through averted HIV treatment costs. Additionally, m2m has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV among its clients according to UNAIDS guidelines, achieving an average transmission rate of 2.1% in 2015

One in four HIV-positive women who delivered their babies in countries support by m2m received education and support from a Mentor Mother.* In recent years, m2m has significantly expanded its reach, reaching an estimated 860,500* women, infants, children, adolescent girls and young women, and men in 2015 alone, a 35% increase from the previous year. This is due to m2m’s facility-to-community approach that links women, children, adolescents, and families in communities to health centres.

* m2m direct services and services provided by implementing partners; national comparisons from estimates published in UNAIDS 2015 Progress Report on the Global Plan.

 

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