Our annual Choctober campaign is back!

Could you cancel the Cadbury’s for a whole month? Ditch the Dairy Milk and help us save the lives of mothers and their babies.

Ask your friends and family to sponsor your chocolate-free month, or alternatively, donate what you would otherwise have spent on sweets.
Whatever you raise will enable us to empower and support women to give birth safely. It costs, on average, just £15 to provide a safe birth and as little as £1 for a course of antibiotics to prevent infection following childbirth.

Together our small efforts can make life-changing differences!

Download a Choctober fundraising pack here

Maternity Worldwide joins the Thriving Together campaign

The Thriving Together campaign recognises that family planning is critically important not only for women and girls but also for the environment.

Maternity Worldwide is pleased to join 150 other leading environmental and reproductive health organisations to pledge support the Thriving Together campaign. Organisations that have signed up to the Thriving Together campaign form a diverse global alliance united by the agreement that improving access to family planning services is critically important for the environment and biodiversity.

The Sustainable Development Goals call for integrated solutions. Maternity Worldwide, along with other organisations backing the Thriving Together campaign agree that whether working in health or environmental conservation, through sharing information and working together on strategic projects and policies, we can help human communities and their ecosystems thrive. Successful biodiversity conservation requires taking people, our health, and our interactions with the natural world into account.

Increasing human pressures are among the many challenges facing planetary health. In addition, by harming ecosystems, people undermine food and water security and human health, and threaten habitats and species. Ensuring family planning is available to all who seek it is among the positive actions organisations must take to lessen these pressures.

The United Nations projects that global population will rise from 7.7 billion today to 9.7 billion by 2050. Future population growth is uncertain however, and highly sensitive to small changes in the average number of children per mother. If the physical, financial, educational, social and religious barriers to people using family planning services were removed and the average number of children per mother was just 0.5 lower than the UN population projection which is most commonly used, global population would peak at 8.9 billion in 2050, rather than 9.7 billion.

This is all possible, by enabling the exercise of a well-recognised human right, that people should be able to decide for themselves, whether, when, how often and with whom to bring children into the world. Family planning contributes to women’s empowerment, improves family and general health, advances education and life opportunities and, by slowing population growth, eases pressures on wildlife and ecosystems.

The Thriving Together campaign is spearheaded by the Margaret Pyke Trust, which has over 50 years’ experience of family planning. David Johnson, Chief Executive at the Margaret Pyke Trust says: “The existence of barriers to family planning is the most important ignored environmental challenge of our day. This changes now. The Thriving Together campaign encourages cross-sectoral support between health and environmental conservation organisations, showcasing that when people can choose freely whether and when to have children it is for the benefit of both people and planet. Barriers to family planning are not only relevant to those who are passionate about improving health, gender equality, empowerment and economic development, but also to those who are passionate about the conservation of biodiversity, the environment and sustainability.”

The Margaret Pyke Trust’s Thriving Together campaign is informed by its paper ‘Removing Barriers to Family Planning, Empowering Sustainable Environmental Conservation’, which sets out how and why family planning is important for the environment. The Thriving Together campaign website www.ThrivingTogether.Global launches today – 11th July 2019.

About Thriving Together:

At the heart of the Thriving Together campaign is the widespread agreement, for the first time, that removal of barriers to family planning are critically important not only for women and girls, but also for environmental conservation and biodiversity. The campaign is the start of the process to change global policy to recognise this. 150 leading environmental and reproductive health organisations working in over 170 countries have declared their support for the campaign, with particular support from African organisations, working in all 54 African nations. The Thriving Together website, statement and paper can be viewed here.

Emergency Appeal: Malawi

Severe flooding is jeopardising our lifesaving work in southern Malawi. We are asking for urgent donations to help mitigate the damage, particularly now in the aftermath of Cyclone Idai.

Heavy rains and floods are preventing pregnant women and new mothers from accessing medical knowledge, maternal healthcare facilities and the expertise of trained healthcare providers. Electricity and water supplies are disrupted; the President of Malawi has declared a state of disaster in affected areas [1]. At present, almost 83,000 local people have been displaced, 577 have been injured and 56 have lost their lives in the storms [2]. Many other families have lost their houses, goods, crops and livestock.

 In 2014, Maternity Worldwide’s Muffins for Midwives appeal paid for Robert’s midwifery training and living costs. He now works at the CHC community hospital at Pirimiti, southern Malawi. Earlier this week, he sent us these photographs from his home village. His parents and relatives have lost animals, possessions and in some cases, their homes but as Robert says “That was it but thank God lives have been saved.”

Impassable roads and breakdowns in infrastructure are preventing women from getting to a safe place to give birth, leading to deaths which could otherwise have been avoided. Health facilities now have extra demands on their resources in addition to many healthcare workers – including some of our own staff and midwives – being among those directly affected by the weather conditions.

As well as acute clinical care, Maternity Worldwide has been successfully promoting community maternal health promotion and income generation activities through women’s groups run by trained local volunteers. These activities, which empower and support women’s long-term independence, are also severely challenged by the current situation. You can read more about our work in Malawi here.

Maternity Worldwide is working with local communities in the Zomba district of Malawi to identify and help expectant mothers who are trapped and displaced by the floods. We have a vision where all mothers, wherever they live in the world, can give birth safely and without fear, therefore we are calling on people to donate to our special appeal and help us sustain our projects in Malawi at this difficult time.

We will use the money raised by this appeal to:

  • Ensure people in affected areas continue to seek antenatal and postnatal care, using local facilitators to identify displaced and otherwise vulnerable women and families in need
  • Enable better access to health facilities otherwise impeded by floods, reducing delays for women in reaching a safe place to give birth
  • Support local clinicians delivering care at health facilities, at a time when resources are oversubscribed

Together we can help relieve the long-term effects of this natural disaster but we need your support. Please click here to donate.

Update: 28 March 2019

Photos from Kumpasa village in Pirimiti catchment area, southern Malawi. We have now had information from 72 of the 80 villages in the area and are visiting the last eight today.

Great news is that we’ve received an incredibly generous £4,000 from Festival Medical Services for our emergency appeal to help local communities rebuild.