m2m President and CEO Frank Beadle de Palomo reflects on some of our biggest milestones in 2018.
With 2019 around the corner, the mothers2mothers (m2m) team has been reflecting on what we have accomplished over the past year. It has been so gratifying to see our programme grow in scale, scope, and impact and that we are providing critical health services to more women, children, and adolescents in 2018. m2m is contributing to the United Nations Global Goals of ending AIDS, ensuring good health and wellbeing for everyone, and achieving gender equality by 2030.
To share some of these highlights with you, here are Our Top Ten Reasons to Celebrate 2018 (or you can think of these as “A Few of Our Favorite Things”):
#1 ECD grew in prominence: 2018 got off to an terrific start with a $1.2M, three-year grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, a global leader in the field of Early Childhood Development (ECD), to bring our integrated ECD services to southern Malawi where HIV-positive and -exposed children are at risk of developmental challenges and delays. In fact, we are thrilled that 2018 turned out to be a landmark year for ECD overall, with the World Health Organization and the G20 identifying it as a critical intervention.
#2 We are now in 8 countries: The excitement continued with the launch of our Mentor Mother Model in Mozambique in February through a strategic partnership with the Mozambican Health Ministry (MISAU)—bringing the number of countries in which we operate to eight.
#3 Exciting new partnership: Also in February, we announced a five-year, $44.5M partnership—Reducing Infections through Support and Education (RISEII)—with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), designed to contribute to the Global Goals of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030, while improving community health and wellbeing across Southern and Eastern Africa.
#4 Strong Impact Data: Our Annual Evaluation showed that m2m is playing a key role in preventing new HIV infections, while also improving the health of women, children, and adolescents. For example, m2m has virtually eliminated mother-to-child transmission of HIV among our enrolled clients for four years in a row. Furthermore, 97% of children enrolled in our ECD services, 0 to 5 years of age, achieved their developmental milestones at 12 months. In 2017, m2m and our partners enrolled nearly 2.3M new clients and employed nearly 3,000 HIV-positive women as Mentor Mothers.
#5 Groundbreaking financing programme: m2m is at the heart of a first-of-its-kind “social impact bond”— an outcome-based financing mechanism launched in September that seeks to improve early learning and development outcomes of more than 2,000 children in the Western Cape.
#6 Cycling across the Eastern Cape: Thirty cyclists from around the world came together in October in the Eastern Cape of South Africa to take part in an epic four-day cycling challenge—a biennial m2m event called Cycle2Zero, which this year raised awareness and more than £200,000 for our work.
#7 Big Apple Launch: We opened our first office in New York City in November to complement our Los Angeles presence. The New York team’s dedicated focus on resource mobilisation will allow us to accelerate our scale and impact even further.
#8 Off to a “Flying Start”: The year literally ended on a high with m2m featured in British Airways’ latest seatback video for their “Flying Start” initiative, the airline’s global partnership with UK-based grant-making charity Comic Relief that has raised £20 million through passengers donating leftover currency. The seat-back film is currently being shown on BA flights around the world, which carry up to 145,000 passengers each day.
#9 Inspirational stories: Throughout the year, our amazing Mentor Mother spokeswomen helped us increase awareness and raise resources by sharing their inspirational stories with audiences around the world. Among the events they spoke at: The Organisation of African First Ladies Against HIV/AIDS (OAFLA) launch of their Free to Shine campaign at the African Union Annual Summit in February, the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)15th anniversary in Washington DC in May, the International AIDS Conference in Amsterdam in July, and on the sidelines of the opening of the United National General Assembly in September.
#10 All of you! Last, but definitely not least, we could not have achieved any of this without the tremendous support of all of you! Thank you for making 2018 such an exciting and productive year. m2m has big plans for 2019 and we know, together, we will accomplish them and move closer to creating a truly HIV-free generation.
Wishing you and your loved ones a wonderful holiday season and a very happy and healthy 2019!