The Mentor Mother Model is a simple and effective approach that trains, employs and empowers local mothers living with HIV, called Mentor Mothers, as frontline healthcare workers in understaffed health centers and within communities. In one-on-one and group sessions, Mentor Mothers provide essential health education and support to women on how they can protect their babies from HIV infection, and keep themselves and their families healthy. Mentor Mothers’ intimate understanding of the social and cultural challenges of living with HIV gives them a unique ability to form trusted relationships with other women, vital to helping them overcome their fears and make lifesaving decisions.
m2m’s scalable, high-impact Mentor Mother Model has been proven by independent researchers to:
m2m’s programme also has a positive impact on the Mentor Mothers themselves. The employment enables Mentor Mothers to gain financial security for themselves and their families. By virtue of being professionalised, Mentor Mothers become role models in health centres and their communities, putting a face to empowered, strong, and healthy HIV-positive women, and thereby reducing HIV-related stigma and discrimination.
Since its founding at one Cape Town hospital in 2001, m2m has become a leader in global efforts to end paediatric AIDS. Its Mentor Mother Model was identified as a key strategy in the United Nation’s Global Plan towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections among Children by 2015 and Keeping their Mothers Alive.
m2m has reached 1.4 million HIV-positive women in nine African countries since 2001. The organization currently has operations in seven countries: Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, South Africa, Swaziland, Uganda, and Zambia. In 2014, one in four HIV-positive women who delivered their babies in countries supported by m2m received education and support from a Mentor Mother. In addition to educating and supporting mothers to protect their babies from HIV transmission, m2m’s Mentor Mothers help women and their families stay healthy and thrive by offering reproductive, maternal, newborn, child, adolescent health (RMNCAH), early childhood development (ECD), and adolescent health and positive youth development services. m2m is also providing technical assistance to the governments of Kenya and South Africa to establish national Mentor Mother programmes to ensure even more mothers and children are getting the comprehensive services they need for the best health outcomes.
Publicly available: no
Countries where available: South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Malawi, Uganda, Kenya, Zambia
If you are aware of any updates to the Mentor Mother Model project please complete the form or send an email to [email protected]