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mothers2mothers among Top 100 Proposals for MacArthur $100 Million Grant

The John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation announced that mothers2mothers (m2m) is among the Top 100, highest-scoring proposals in its 100&Change competition for a $100 million grant to help solve one of the world’s most critical social challenges. The winner is expected to be announced in the third quarter of 2020.

The competition is open to organisations and collaborations across the world, from any field of work, that identify a problem and offer a solution that promises significant and sustainable change. m2m has proposed a project designed to end cervical cancer in Africa—a serious public health issue that is caused by the human papilloma virus and is the most common form of cancer among African women. Every two minutes a woman dies of cervical cancer globally, and most of these deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa.* The HPV vaccine administered before sexual debut is the most effective primary prevention, yet only 1% of girls in low- and middle-income countries are vaccinated.**

m2m has proposed scaling our proven peer-to-peer approach and enhancing our services to include HPV prevention education and vaccination, and early identification of cervical cancer. To maximise our impact, we will partner with Village Reach, a non-governmental organisation that has increased access to quality healthcare for over 35 million people in sub-Saharan Africa, working with governments to ensure that vaccines, medicines, and other essential health supplies reach underserved communities.

If successful, m2m will initially focus on reaching over 10 million adolescent girls and boys in Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia—five countries where m2m operates that have some of the highest rates of cervical cancer in the world. Services will be delivered through m2m’s peer-based model that employs and trains women living with HIV as frontline health workers. These Peer Mentors will support women, adolescents, and families to access vital health services and stay in care, while nurses will be deployed at health facilities to strengthen capacity and conduct mobile clinical outreaches, vaccinations, and HPV screening campaigns.

The Top 100 applicants for 100&Change represent the top 21 percent of all competition submissions. To get to this point, they underwent a rigorous vetting process, including MacArthur’s initial review, a peer-to-peer review, an evaluation by an external panel of judges, and a technical review by specialists whose expertise was matched to the project.

As a result of being named in the Top 100, we have also been added to The Bold Solutions Network. Launched today, this searchable online collection of top submissions contains a project overview, 90-second video, and two-page factsheet for each proposal. Visitors can sort by subject, location, Sustainable Development Goal, or beneficiary population to view proposals based on area of interest. You can also read more about our proposed project in this factsheet.

We are honoured to have made it to the Top 100 and be included in the Bold Solutions Network. Keep an eye out on m2m’s social media channels for the results later this year!

*World Health Organisation
** The Lancet

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