A CARD for Mothering Sunday twins mothers in the UK with expectant mothers in the world’s poorest country, Malawi.
The card has been created by Pregnancy Twinning, an initiative of the Christian AIDS charity Chasing Zero, which pays for a “mother buddy” to support an expectant mother in Malawi. A £15 donation for the card pays for transport for a woman to get to her nearest clinic, so that she can give birth in safety.
Pregnancy Twinning also offers a £40 package — £1 per week of pregnancy — which pays for eight visits from a “mother buddy”, during pregnancy, delivery, and aftercare. After the birth, the UK “twin” receives a certificate and a photo of the mother with her newborn child.
The mother buddy gives advice and support, particularly to mothers who have HIV, to try to ensure that their babies are born HIV-free. One in ten adults in Malawi is HIV positive.
Research in Malawi by the charity Tearfund has found that the mother-buddies programme has led the numbers of newborn children carrying the HIV virus, born to HIV positive mothers, to fall by as much as a half, and that, as a result of visits by mother buddies, more women have had access to antenatal care, and there has been a 40-per-cent rise in the number of women eating three meals a day during pregnancy.
A supporter of the charity, Marina Fogle, an author and pregnancy expert, said: “It’s a small donation but it can make a huge difference to vulnerable women. When you become a mother you realise how much support matters. In this country we are so fortunate to have the support we have from the NHS, which is extraordinary in my opinion.
“A child born in Malawi is ten times more likely to die in the first year its life. Through buying a Mothers’ Day card with a difference, we can start to change that, and give thousands of mothers the best Mothers’ Day gift they’ve ever had.”