“Talk about important work!”
That was the reaction from Her Royal Highness, The Duchess of Sussex, when she was introduced today to the work of mothers2mothers (m2m), in Cape Town, South Africa. The Duchess joined m2m during an official engagement on the Royal Tour of Southern Africa, to learn more about our work to create a generation free from HIV and healthy, thriving communities in eight sub-Saharan African countries.
During her visit, Her Royal Highness heard from three of m2m’s “Mentor Mothers”—women living with HIV who are employed as frontline health workers to serve other local women and families. The Mentor Mothers shared how m2m’s unique model—built upon the simple yet powerful interaction of one woman forging a strong bond with another—has reached over 11 million women and children under two with life-changing health services and education across the African continent, and how m2m has helped almost end the transmission of HIV from mothers to children for our clients for the past five years.
“The work that’s being done here is really special,” The Duchess added. “I see how having that shared experience creates a much stronger result”.
The Duchess also heard about how tackling unacceptably high infection rates amongst girls and young women is critical to the Global Goal of ending the HIV/AIDS epidemic by 2030. In sub-Saharan Africa, twice as many girls and young women are newly infected with HIV each year than males of the same age[i], with a staggering eight young women an hour newly infected in South Africa alone[ii].
Limpho Nteko, a 29-year-old m2m Mentor Mother from Lesotho, who manages 16 health facilities and leads a team of 90, welcomed The Duchess: “It was such an honour to meet The Duchess of Sussex in person and share with her the incredible and important work that we do as mothers2mothers. It was an opportunity to shine a light on the impact we have had and the lives we have changed but also to highlight the hard work that still lies ahead to ensure that we create a generation that is healthy and free from HIV.”
Nolundi Pani, age 33, also from Khayelitsha, is at the forefront of m2m’s work with adolescent girls and young women, who now make up a third of the charity’s client base. She said: “The world needs to know that the new face of the HIV/AIDS epidemic is a young, African woman. m2m is responding by adapting our proven model to serve these young women and their parents. The progress we make every day makes me confident we can take this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to end the epidemic, but we need more leaders like you to help us spread the word”.
A high res version of the image above is available for download at: https://www.m2m.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/HRHandLimpho.jpg
Available for interviews are:
Frank Beadle de Palomo, President and CEO, mothers2mothers
Limpho Nteko, Mentor Mother and Regional Manager.
To arrange interviews, please contact:
Shanaaz Ebrahim, Senior Communications Officer
T: +27 (0)21 466 9160 or +27 (0) 78 377 7117 (cell)
Dillon Mann, Global Communications Director
T: +27 (0)21 466 9160 or + 27 (0) 76 238 2313 (cell)
Morgane Legendre, Communications and Campaigns Manager
T:+44 (0) 203 867 7120 or + 44 (0) 7702 210 917 (cell)
Carolyn McEwen, Senior Communications Manager
T: +1 323 969 0445 or +1 310 699 9800 (cell)
Notes for editors
mothers2mothers (m2m) is an African not-for-profit organisation with the vision of a healthy, HIV-free Africa— where women and their families thrive. m2m trains and employs women living with HIV as frontline health workers across eight African nations. These “Mentor Mothers” work both in health facilities and door-to-door in local communities to deliver health services and education to other women and their families. Since being founded in Cape Town in 2001, m2m has created over 10,000 jobs for women living with HIV and reached more than 11M women and children under two years old. m2m has achieved virtual elimination of mother-to-child transmission of HIV for enrolled clients for the last five years in a row, and in 2017, 97% of children in m2m’s early childhood development programme achieved all of their developmental milestones at their first birthday. More: www.m2m.org
[i] The Global Fund – “Step Up The Fight 2019”, available at: https://www.theglobalfund.org/media/1296/publication_womengirls_focuson_en.pdf?u=637030119280000000