Today, on Mother’s Day across much of the African continent and Europe, and in the U.S., we draw to a close our global celebration of the women in our lives who make us, our families, and communities stronger—defining what it means to be M❤️MStrong.
We see the impact of this strength every day. m2m is powered by more than 1,200 strong, courageous, resilient, empathetic, and determined women employed as community health workers, called Mentor Mothers, across 10 African nations. They tackle inequities and bring health and hope to their communities—demonstrating what it means to be M❤️M Strong.
These women include Esther Mamba, an m2m Linkage Officer who goes door to door to identify vulnerable children and adolescents in need of support in Mpumalanga—a province in South Africa where the effects of the HIV/AIDS epidemic are severe. The province is home to many children orphaned by AIDS as well as other vulnerable children and adolescents. “When you knock on a door in the community, there is a chance that a child will answer the door. And that that child might be looking after their orphaned siblings,” says Esther.
Esther provides her young clients with vital health services, links them to other health and social services, supports them to stay in school, and educates their caregivers and the community about their needs.
Esther knows how strong, empathetic women can be life-changers. After being devastated by an HIV diagnosis when pregnant with her first child, it was her m2m Mentor Mother Colile Mashaba who helped her accept her status and access life-saving care for herself and her child. “She shared that she was also living with HIV and had beautiful boys who are HIV-fee. When I went in for my next appointment, Colile was there with me,” says Esther.
Today, Esther is the proud mother of two children who are HIV-free, and she is a role model and source of strength in her community—working closely with Colile and a team of Mentor Mothers to ensure that children and adolescents in their community stay healthy and thrive.
We wish everyone a very Happy Mother’s Day with their loved ones, and send our deep gratitude to all of the mothers and women who give us strength and make the world a better and healthier place.
It’s not too late to make a donation to m2m in honor of the strong women in your life. We can send recipients an eCard with a message from you to let them know how they inspire you. Click here to donate.