New Student Midwives – Joyce and Catherine

We are very excited to introduce you to our two new student midwives, Joyce and Catherine!

Joyce and Catherine both enrolled and started their training earlier this August in Zomba, Malawi. They both attend St Luke’s which is one of the CHAM Nursing Colleges in Malawi and offers a 3 year Diploma in Nursing and Midwifery.

Joyce

Joyce Kapalamula is 18 and comes from the Zomba District in Malawi. She has 4 siblings and is the youngest in her family. She was raised by her mother, after losing her father at a young age. Joyce says all her life she has aspired to become a midwife. She is very keen to work hard during college so she can achieve her dream.

 “I want to assist people in my area who need health care, more especially assisting women in giving birth.”

 

Catherine

Catherine Tabitha Malizani is 19 and also comes from the Zomba District in Malawi. She is the first born in a family of six children. Her father is a teacher at a local community day secondary school in the area while her mother does small scale business in order to supplement the family budget. Catherine says it has been her dream to be a nurse and midwife, in order to assist people in her area due to the many health challenges being faced.

 

 

Both Joyce’s and Catherine’s training will be paid for in full with the money raised from our Muffins for Midwives 2016 campaign – what a difference a slice of cake can make, thank you! To find out more about our annual Muffins for Midwives campaign and how you can get involved click here.

We look forward to keeping you up to date with Joyce’s and Catherine’s progress and we hope to receive updates from them regularly to let us know how they are getting on over the next 3 years of their training course. If you would like to keep up to date with our latest news you can sign up to our email newsletter below – whether you’re an experienced Muffins for Midwives supporter, considering getting involved in the future or you’re interested in what’s happening at MW, we would love to stay in touch!

 

Muffins for Midwives 2017

Our Muffins for Midwives 2017 campaign has raised an incredible £10,648!

As the summer comes to an end and the final Muffins for Midwives events have been hosted we are so excited to share our grand total with you all. We would like to take this opportunity to say thank you very much to all of the lovely Muffinistas who hosted an event, for all of the guests who attended and to anyone who kindly donated.

We have LOVED seeing your events in full swing all over the UK – bake sales in the workplace, coffee mornings at home and cake parties on campus. This year, there was even a tea party at the top of Mount Snowdon, Wales to celebrate Muffins for Midwives complete with bunting a cupcakes! Thank you to all who took the time to plan and a special thank you to the team of “Mountain Muffinistas”, we hope you enjoyed your events!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been overwhelmed by your muffin-tastic support to help make this our most successful campaign to date. It costs, on average, just £80 a month to train a midwife. As you know, all the money you have helped to raise by hosting Muffins for Midwives events will sponsor the training and employing of more midwives in Africa and really will help to make a huge difference. 1 in 22 women die in pregnancy and childbirth in developing countries.  Having a midwife or skilled birth attendant present at birth is one of the most effective interventions to save lives.

More Muffins for Midwives news…

We are also very excited to confirm that our two new student midwives, Joyce (pictured left) and Catherine enrolled and started their training ealier this month. They have both enrolled in St. Luke’s which is one of the CHAMS colleges in Malawi and offers a 3 year Nursing and Midwifery course. Joyce’s and Catherine’s training will be paid for in full with the money raised from last year’s Muffins for Midwives campaign – what a difference a slice of cake can make, thank you!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To find out more about Joyce and Catherine please click here.

Want to get involved?

We will be back next May for more muffins but you can still get involved – Muffins for Midwives events can be held all year round! For a free fundraising pack with everything you need to host your event please click here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adrian and Mark’s Big UK Challenge

***UPDATE: Adrian and Mark completed their UK epic challenge and raised a whopping £5,773 for Maternity Worldwide! Thank you both so much!***

This August, Maternity Worldwide Chair Adrian Brown and long term supporter Mark Booth are taking on an extraordinary fundraising challenge!

Adrian co-founded Maternity Worldwide in 2002 and him and Mark are best friends. They have decided to cycle the full length of the United Kingdom to raise vital awareness and funds for the life saving work Maternity Worldwide does! They will be cycling 1,400 miles in total from the very north of Shetland, through Orkney then from John O’Groats to Land’s End and finally on to the Scilly Isles.

The challenge doesn’t stop there – on the way, they will also be climbing the highest points in each set of islands and countries! They will be tackling Rhona’s Hill in Shetland, Hoy in Orkney, Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in England, Mount Snowdon in Wales and a little bump in the Scilly Isles!

Adrian says ahead of the event;

“Despite the huge challenge ahead, completing it will be such an achievement for me and knowing that what I raise will be helping mothers to give birth safely – it makes it all worthwhile.”

They will set off Friday11th August and aim to complete this brilliant fundraiser in just over 3 weeks! We look forward to following Adrian and Mark’s  journey along the way with written updates, photos and video clips to see how they are getting on – watch this space!

If you would like to support Adrian and Mark during this challenge event please visit their JustGiving page here – you can make a donation and send them a message of encouragement. It costs, on average, just £15 to sponsor a safe birth for a mother in Africa, £80 will sponsor a month of midwifery training and £130 will buy a bicycle for a healthcare worker to enable them to provide essential maternal healthcare to women in rural and remote villages.  Any amount you can give, big or small, will help to make a huge difference.

A special thank you to the generous team at Clarus Wealth Ltd who have very kindly sponsored the customised cycling jerseys for this fundraising event. Clarus Wealth Ltd are based in Woking, Surrey and offer Financial Advice to a range of individuals and companies. To find out more about their work please visit website here.

CRADLE – Annual Meeting 2017 Summary

Maternity Worldwide is the implementation partner (in collaboration with King’s College London) of the CRADLE research project in our project countries Malawi and Ethiopia. CRADLE is investigating the feasibility of using a simple, portable “traffic light” blood pressure monitor in rural antenatal clinics and amongst community health workers in low income countries to monitor Pre-Eclampsia cases and other maternal health issues.  During this process, we have learnt that many young women and girls are dying due to obstetric complications as a result of early marriages. This indicates that there is a gap in access to and provision of information and services.

Below you can find a report written for us by Yonas Guchale, Midwife/Research Assistant, Ethiopia which summaries the Annual Meeting  which took place in March, 2017.

“I attended the CRADLE III second Annual Meeting in Cape Town, South Africa in March.  There were 38 participants representing nine countries, including researchers from King’s College London. The meeting brought together countries that implemented CRADLE III and those that are getting ready to implement the device.

As we are waiting to implement the device it was very useful to hear the experience from other country representatives that have already begun to use the device. During the meeting I learnt;

  • The correct way to use and handle the CRADLE device
  • For the project to be successful midwives, doctors (ANC,  labor, delivery & postnatal) and health extension workers all need to be taught how to use the device and how I can best help to teach them
  • The common challenges and advantages to the CRADLE device i.e. the accuracy of the device

There were many speakers and useful presentations during the Annual Meeting. Leaving the meeting I will particularly be taking with me the phrase from an informational  presentation on Eclampsia, “good care makes a difference”. I understood that this is successfully applied in UK and it has practically helped to reduce Eclampsia and related maternal morbidity and mortality. In Ethiopia, if the CRADLE device is integrated with ANC,  labor delivery and postnatal health work, it is possible to early identify  Pre-Eclampsia. If we properly manage this we can reduce Eclampsia related complications such as strokes and seizures.

 

 

 

 

 

The device will be very important especially for developing and low-income counties as they have limited technology, minimum number of skilled health professionals & high PPH  related  material  mortality & morbidity. It is an affordable, accessible and reusable device.

As a midwife practitioner in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the CRADLE III study has opened my eyes to observe what is happening in the hospital and health centres in a systematic way. It has ignited a desire in my heart to help save the women who are dying due to easily preventable health issues related to pregnancy. CRADLE III has given me a tool to fight for the life of the women I am serving. It has been my privilege to assist this research. The meeting also exposed me to see the experience of other countries with similar challenges and practical, implementable solutions. On behalf of the Ethiopia CRADLE team, I would  like to say you are welcome in Ethiopia and we look forward to implementing the device and working with the wider CRADLE team again.”

 

Mum’s the Word

With Mother’s Day fast approaching (Sunday 26th March!) we thought we would share some of our favourite messages from last year’s Mother’s Day alternative gift certificates…

Safe Birth Certificate – £15

“Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you for keeping me safe and loved all my life. Thank you for being a wonderful Nana. And thank you for all your support to all of us. We all love you very much.”

“Happy First Mother’s Day! I thought this may mean more to you than flowers, hopefully someone else will get a little of the support they need for a safer journey to holding their little munchkin.”

“Happy Mother’s Day! Thank you for being a brilliant mum.”

“Happy Mother’s Day! From an amazing mum (you!!) to another amazing mum in Africa.”

“Bought in your honour, much better than flowers! Happy Mothers Day.”

“Happy mothers day. Thanks for all you do for me.”

“Happy Mothers Day – wish that more people had mothers with the love, devotion, belief and generosity that you have given me!”

Women’s Empowerment Certificate – £30

“Happy Mothers Day to the best Mum!! We hope you have a brilliant day!”

“Something close to both of our hearts… Happy Mother’s Day xxx”

Emergency Safe Birth Certificate – £50

“Thank you for being the best Mum in the universe. HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!”

“Happy Mother’s Day Mom! You are the best example of what a mother can be. For mothers day I thought I would let you spread your love to a new mother who needed help making her child come into the world safely. Thank you for always making me feel safe! I am lucky to be your daughter.”

Feeling inspired? Order your own personalised gift certificate here for your loved one this Mother’s Day!

 

 

 

 

 

Special delivery for Malawi!

We are VERY excited to announce that the shipping container has reached Malawi!

The 40 foot shipping container, that was very kindly donated by Maersk earlier this year, arrived at Pirimiti Community Hospital, Malawi in late Autumn.  It was greeted by excited Maternity Worldwide staff and volunteers who were overwhelmed by the generosity of donations made by supporters during the urgent appeal.  The donations have now all been catalogued and distributed to the areas where they are most needed.

 

From our Amazon wishlist alone, £7,000 worth of equipment, supplies and textbooks were given.  This was alongside additional donations of medical equipment, baby clothes, knitted blankets and baby vests, medical textbooks, bicycles, wheelchairs, nursing uniforms and an incredible donation of 548 blood pressure monitors which will help to save lives in pregnancy and childbirth.  In total we received over £25,000 worth of donations in just 4 weeks!

It is a great joy to tell you that all of these donations have now been distributed and are already being put to good use…

  • Some of the backpacks and baseball caps that were bought from our Amazon wishlist have now been given to our Health Surveillance Assistants in Malawi.  They are employed by the Government to provide healthcare in rural areas but we also train them to provide maternal and newborn health information when in the villages.  To help them deliver this vital service, we have provided them each with a kit including items such as the donated pregnancy wheels, thermometers, fob watches and foetal stethoscopes.   These donations enable them to deliver the best maternal and newborn healthcare they can to the women they visit in rural and remote communities and it also encourages them to continue their fantastic work!
  • One of the bicycles that was kindly donated by a lovely local supporter has been given to Robert, one of our student midwives in Malawi.  Robert is in his final year and will complete his course in Spring 2017 and we are currently fundraising to employ him as a midwife in one of the rural health centres in Zomba.  Having the bicycle will enable him to visit more pregnant women in remote villages to provide essential ante-natal care.
  • And last, but by no means least, our medical reference library looks like a completely different room!  The shelves are now bursting with up-to date textbooks and the room is benefitting from a variety of donated furniture including desks, chairs and cabinets.  Having a safe, quiet and comfortable space is a great way to engage with staff and volunteers and will help to encourage continued professional development and training for the hospital staff.

Thank you once again to everyone who made this appeal possible – without your generous donations and support it wouldn’t have been such a success!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Highlights of 2016

Malawi

We have just completed the second year of our 3 year Big Lottery Funded programme in Malawi.  We are working in 80 villages to provide maternal and newborn health information through the establishment of women’s groups so people are aware of the risks of pregnancy and childbirth and can seek medical assistance early.

Maternal and newborn health promotion
In the first 2 years of the project we have established 50 women’s groups in 50 villages with another 30 scheduled in the coming year.  A programme of 20 sessions is run in each village providing information on maternal and newborn healthcare, nutrition, hygiene, family planning, women’s equality and general healthcare.  A total of 2,417 people have been attending these meetings to learn about the risks to look for during pregnancy and when to seek help.  86% of women attending women’s groups are now aware of the 3 danger signs to look for during pregnancy.  95.2% reported a positive experience and would recommend local healthcare to a friend or relative in the future.

Income generation and women’s empowerment
We’ve provided seed funding and training to 937 people initially this year to enable them to set up their own small businesses.  The women use this seed funding (approximately £20), training and support to generate their own income through trading, setting up small shops in the village, investing in bicycle taxis and other small-scale ventures.  They re-pay the interest-free seed funding over a period of 4 months.  The money returned each month is then given to the next person on the list to receive seed funding, so the money is always in constant use.  The first batch of seed funding for 375 women was all repaid in full within 4 months and has already been reinvested; so far it has benefitted 1,006 women.
By enabling women to earn their own money and to become financially independent we are empowering them to become the decision makers about their own healthcare choices.  The income generation programme is run alongside the health promotion sessions in the villages, so there is a direct link between increased empowerment, income and knowledge around maternal and newborn healthcare. This in turn has led to an increase in the number of women giving birth at the health centres.

Training skilled staff
We have trained 67 Health Surveillance Assistants (who are employed by the Government to provide healthcare in rural areas) to also provide maternal and newborn health information when in the villages.
We have also trained 24 skilled birth attendants, which means that once women have decided to give birth at a health facility there are fully trained staff available to assist them.  Deliveries with a skilled birth attendant present at a health centre have increased from 63% at the beginning of the project to 83.5% half way through the programme, so the staff training along with the health promotion and income generation has already made a huge impact on the number of safe deliveries.

Student midwives
Our two student midwives in Malawi are doing exceptionally well in their course. Robert will complete his course in Spring 2017 and we are currently fundraising to employ him as a midwife in one of the rural health centres in Zomba.  This year our annual Muffins for Midwives campaign raised enough to fully fund 2 additional student midwives in Malawi, so they will start their course in the new year.

Shipping container
In the summer we were lucky enough to be donated a 40 foot shipping container to Malawi for free by Maersk (a major international shipping company).  We launched an urgent appeal for donations to fill the container and received £25,000 worth of donated items in 4 weeks!  The donations included blood pressure monitors, medical equipment, uniforms, solar powered torches and floodlights (for use during the regular power cuts), medical textbooks, furniture, computers, knitted baby vests and blankets and lots more.  We were overwhelmed with the generosity of our supporters and the team in Malawi were amazed when the container finally arrived!

Malawi Bike Ride
We held our first ever Malawi bike ride this autumn which saw 14 cyclists cycle across southern Malawi and spend some time visiting the villages and health centres where we are working.  The incredible cyclists have already raised over £20,000 which will make a huge difference to the number of women we support.

 

Uganda

The building of our Maternity Centre in Kiryabutuzi was finally completed in the summer.  We have recruited 2 midwives who have already started to set up and run health promotion sessions in the 14 surrounding villages.  They will provide antenatal sessions for pregnant women in the rural and remote villages and advise them where to deliver their baby.

Within a week of the health centre being open we have already had 2 deliveries and our midwives accompanied 2 mothers to Hoima where they required emergency caesareans.  All 4 mothers and babies are doing well and these early experiences demonstrate how much a rural maternity centre is needed.  Over the next year we hope to increase the number of midwives at the health centre and will be providing a programme of 24 health promotion sessions in each of the 14 villages along with ante-natal care for pregnant women and the income generation programme which has proved to be so successful in Malawi.

Here is baby Nelson Junior, born weighing 3.4kg, with his proud parents Alice and Nelson with our midwife Aziza.  Alice gave birth to her first baby at home due to the long distance to the nearest health centre.  After attending a health promotion session in her village, run by the Village Health Volunteer we have trained, decided to come to the maternity centre to give birth this time.

It costs just £1,700 a year to employ a Junior Midwife in Uganda so your kind regular support really does make a huge difference.  We have very ambitious plans to expand our programmes in 2017 and help more mothers to give birth safely.

 

Ethiopia

We are delighted to announce that Lensa, our first ever student midwife, has graduated this summer, finishing 3rd in her cohort.  Lensa is keen to work in a rural health centre so as soon as a vacancy comes up she will move there.  The three waiting houses we built in Ethiopia have now been handed over to the local Government to run and are being well used by pregnant women waiting to give birth in the health centre next-door.

We really value your continued support for our ambitious plans in 2017, thank you.

Ceilidh Night – October 2016

We are very excited to announce that we raised an amazing £1123 from our Ceilidh Night this October!

ceilidh-2

We’d like to say a BIG thank you to everyone that came to Ceilidh the night away with us – we hope you enjoyed the fun-filled evening just as much as we did!

As our lovely supporters arrived with their dancing shoes on, it wasn’t long until everyone was do-si-do-ing around the fabulous Exeter Street Hall.

All of our dancers were fantastic and were under the watchful eye of local Ceilidh caller, Louise Wells, who walked through the moves before each dance and continued to call out helpful hints throughout the rest of the dances with live music from the brilliant Brighton Ceilidh Collective band!

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We’d also like to say thank you for all of the incredible prizes that were very kindly donated to this event raffle. Our lucky winners now have the chance to enjoy the below prizes:

raffle-table

Thank you again for your fantastic support! We’ve definitely caught the Ceilidh bug – see you next time!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you to our PWC team!

We’d like to say a very big thank you to our PwC team for raising an incredible £5,659 for Maternity Worldwide.

On 28th September, The Funding Network and BeyondMe hosted a live crowdfunding event for social change. Our wonderful PwC team delivered a brilliant and engaging pitch at the event on behalf of Maternity Worldwide and as a result secured over £5,000 for our Homes to Hospital Tracking project.

pwc-pitchuntitled

What a fantastic evening, thank you for your continued support!

the-funding-network-logobeyondme-logo

 

 

 

Welcome Rachel and Alison!

We would like to say a BIG welcome to our two new members of staff Rachel and Alison who joined the Maternity Worldwide team in September.

Rachel (left) is our new Trusts and Foundations Officer which is a brand new role within the team. Here’s what Rachel has to say about starting at Maternity Worldwide and a little about her background;

“My name is Rachel Roseblade and I am the new Trusts and Foundations Officer at Maternity Worldwide. I’ve been a fundraiser for over ten years, and have experience in the fields of health, social welfare and human rights. I have a huge passion for international development and gender equality and I’m incredible proud to join Maternity Worldwide and be part of the fantastic work we do saving lives in childbirth.

This is a really exciting period of growth and expansion for the charity and I’m looking forward to working with all the other staff, volunteers and supporters in the UK and Africa to raise the vital funds we need.”

alison-and-rachel

Alison (right) is our new Programme Support Officer and here she tells us about her role within the Maternity Worldwide team and her background;

“My name is Alison Payne and I’m delighted to be the new Programme Support Officer at Maternity Worldwide. I’ve worked in the charity and public sectors for 20 years in various fundraising, programme and grants management roles for organisations like the Rainforest Foundation UK and the British Red Cross.

I’ve lived and travelled in sub-Saharan Africa so it’s a part of the world very close to my heart. I’m therefore really looking forward to playing a small part in helping such an amazing charity deliver its vital, grassroots work saving women’s lives and supporting local communities.

My role focuses on working with our project staff in Malawi, Uganda and Ethiopia and liaising with donors such as the Big Lottery Fund which is supporting our Malawi project.”

Welcome to the MW team ladies!