After 15 years of devoted service, mothers2mothers (m2m) has reached the difficult decision to conclude our direct-service operations in Kenya. On 31st of July 2023, we officially completed all on-site activities at the Mathare North Health Centre in Nairobi. Following a period of administrative closure, our country office will formally cease operations today, 31st of August 2023.
This comes following the corporate restructuring within one of our major donor organisations that had been supporting our work in Kenya which, combined with insufficient sustainable funding from other avenues, means that maintaining our current operations and initiatives within the country is currently unfeasible. We have been actively collaborating with key stakeholders to ensure a seamless transition for our clients to other suitable service providers wherever possible.
Although this shift marks the conclusion of our direct services in Kenya for now, we are proud of the enduring impact we have had on the millions of Kenyan women, children, adolescents, and families we have served over the years:
1. Scale: Since our inception in 2008, we effectively reached nearly two million pregnant women, new mothers, and infants across Kenya with life-saving health services, education, and support. Our endeavours have encompassed reproductive, maternal, newborn, and child health; nutrition; early childhood development and disability; and prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV services.
2. Health System Enhancement: Our contributions in Kenya have played a pivotal role in advancing health system strengthening initiatives. Through advocating for peer- and community-led models, m2m has been instrumental in establishing these approaches as widely accepted best practices in the country. In 2012, Kenya became the first East African nation to adopt the Kenya Mentor Mother Programme (KMMP), partly based on m2m’s Mentor Mother Model. m2m provided policy guidance, capacity building, and direct implementation support through a five-year project.
3. Innovation: Our activities in Kenya have also acted as a catalyst for innovation. We have successfully integrated early childhood development services into our programmes and extended our support to children with disabilities. These innovations have laid the groundwork for our transformation into an integrated primary healthcare organisation, which has been the foundation of our 2022-2026 Strategic Plan.
As one chapter closes, our focus remains on the future—our journey in Kenya endures. Currently, we are providing technical assistance and support as part of a consortium led by Medicus Mundi Italia (MMI) in specific sub-counties, with backing from the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria. m2m is responsible for overseeing the selection and training of Mentor Mothers and community health workers, as well as coordinating their daily tasks and offering monitoring and supportive supervision.
Reflecting on the journey of m2m Kenya thus far, Chad Rathner, m2m’s Chief Operating Officer, conveyed the following message to the dedicated team of Mentor Mothers who worked tirelessly across communities and clinics to provide health and hope to vulnerable women and their families:
I wish to extend my heartfelt appreciation to each of you. Your dedication, hard work, and unwavering commitment to our mission have been truly inspiring. Every one of you has played an essential role in shaping the lives of countless individuals, and for that, I am immensely grateful. Let us take this moment to treasure our achievements, celebrate the memories we’ve created, and stand united as we forge ahead with hope and determination. Thank you for being the heart and soul of mothers2mothers in Kenya. Your dedication and passion will forever be etched in our organisation’s history.”