Mothers2mothers: a world apart
The South African charity mothers2mothers, formed in 2001, was set up with the vision to stop the spread of HIV from mothers to their children, putting mothers and the health of their child at the core of their mission, and eliminating the entirely preventable disease.
The charity support HIV positive mothers by empowering them, giving them the training they need to educate on how to stop the transmission of HIV from mother to child, and to maintain optimum health. They have reached over one million mothers in over nine countries, providing essential health education and psychosocial support, and do not intend on stopping there.
On Tuesday 26th November 2013, the short film A World Apart was released, made by the advertising agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, one of the world’s “most famous creative advertising agencies” and directed by Martin de Thurah. The film shows the story of a mother in the westernised world taking the journey of an HIV positive African mother who’s suffering the hardship of the unacceptable health system. The juxtaposition of the severely outdated Sub-Saharan medical treatment in an advanced world, make the “shock and the horror” of the film “more poignant” as said by Sir John Hegarty, BBH Founder.
The women who have to deal with the reality of the film do not only contend with the disease themselves and their child is facing, but also the discrimination from those around them. As most of these mothers do not receive the correct treatment, the deadly disease prevents 50% of the 260,000 children born with HIV each year from reaching their second birthday. Every day, around 700 children, 90% in Sub-Saharan Africa, still have HIV, most acquiring it from their mothers. The crux of the matter is that this disease is entirely preventable, proven by the life-saving work that mothers2mothers has done. The 40% of infants that will inherit the disease from their infected mothers can be reduced to 2% with their help.
Dr Mitch Besser, founder of mothers2mothers, said: “We thank Sir John Hegarty and the team at BBH for their very generous support for this powerful film and the new website they have created for us. The film illustrates better than words why mothers2mothers’ team of HIV-positive Mentor Mothers on the ground are so important; for the support and hope they offer their peers. Please share the film and help us raise the funds we need to eliminate AIDS in children because maternal and infant deaths from AIDS are unnecessary and unacceptable. No baby should be born with HIV and no mother should die of AIDS.”
Mothers2mothers is an exceptional charity, focusing on a specific colossal issue that faces African mothers, and can so simply be solved through the correct training, knowledge and available medicine. Mothers2mothers is incomparable in their work ethos, and with the right backing, can go so much further.