Throughout the past decade LGT Venture Philanthropy has closely accompanied mothers2mothers (m2m) on their road to success. LGT Impact Fellows have been actively involved in shaping this partnership. The LGT Impact Fellowship connects portfolio organizations and companies with professionals who want to use their business skills in a meaningful way. The program is part of the strategic investment support to the LGT Venture Philanthropy and LGT Lightstone portfolio. Year after year m2m has hired LGT Impact Fellows to work in the field and bring in their talent to complement the outstanding work of m2m and contribute to the organization’s impact.
m2m is building a healthy, thriving Africa. They employ women to guide other women and their families on the journey to good health. Through the Mentor Mother Model, m2m employs local women living with HIV as Frontline Health Workers. These “Mentor Mothers” dramatically improve the health and wellbeing of millions of families.
m2m was born in 2001 at a time of crisis. The number of new HIV infections in South Africa was at its peak, and a potent cocktail of stigma, fear, and lack of information meant that most HIV-positive pregnant women could not access the treatment required to stay healthy and prevent their unborn children from contracting HIV. Dr. Mitch Besser founded m2m to meet the needs of these pregnant HIV positive women with the idea to employ former patients who had successfully accessed and adhered to treatment and given birth to an HIV-free child as peers called “Mentor Mothers” to help others walk this same path.
Today m2m operates at hundreds of health centres and communities in seven African nations, and has reached over 11 million pregnant women, new mothers, and children. They have also leveraged their model and the strong relationships Mentor Mothers build with their clients to deliver complementary services that help entire families thrive – such as Early Childhood Development and Adolescent Mentoring. Moreover, m2m has achieved all of this while creating jobs for over 10,000 African women living with HIV, who might otherwise have been among society’s most marginalized.
The road LGT VP and m2m traveled together
Since the start of the partnership in 2009, LGT VP has committed a total of USD 5.2m in grant funding and 7 Impact Fellows to provide quality healthcare to millions of clients. The collaboration has been striving through strong relationships, involvement and flexibility resulting in a partnership that goes beyond financial support. There are three key evolutions that LGT VP’s support contributed to:
1. Expanded geographic footprint: 3 new countries
m2m expanded their programming to: Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia with 3 new countries in the pipeline for 2020.
2. Enhanced model to serve more client groups
In addition to m2m’s original client audience of pregnant women, they now have broadened programming for other family members, including infants, children, adolescents, and young adults.
3. Community outreach
m2m moved from being solely based in health facilities/clinics to also providing Mentor Mothers services in communities and households. Today, clients have multiple entry points to their services.
Since inception in 2002 , m2m reached 11.8m women and children and employed 10.942 mentor mothers.
How have LGT Impact Fellows supported the journey?
With the fellowship program LGT VP/LS actively support portfolio organizations in capacity building by providing them with easy access to high-profile talents. m2m has continuously hired LGT Impact Fellows over the past decade – proof of the added value LGT Impact Fellows bring to the portfolio organizations.
So far, 7 fellows have worked for one year, full-time on the ground with m2m:
2009 – Cynthia Schwer:
As a Financial and Business Development Analyst, Cynthia assisted the finance team with budgeting and forecasting.
2010 – Rachel Strate:
As an Organizational Planning and Facilitation Manager, Rachel was responsible for developing and refining the organization’s budget processes and financial management systems.
2011 – Andre Lottersberge:
As a Legal Advisor Fellow, Andre evaluated the organization’s legal structure and developing legal strategy for the future.
2012 – Tim Nichols:
As a Technical Project Manager & Analyst, Tim supported the roll-out of mHealth systems.
2015 – Colleen Ebbitt:
As a Business Development/Corporate Strategy Fellow, Colleen helped to create an innovation and expansion fund to raise important growth and innovation funds.
2019 – Steve Rudner:
As a CEO Liaison Fellow Steve supports in new strategies for board of directors engagement, governance and recruitment.
2019 – Diana Carolina Quintero:
Diana is a Program Development Fellow in Malawi (former CEO of BIVE Columbia).
LGT Impact Fellowship key facts:
… have been enrolled in the program since inception in 2009.
… of work experience do LGT Impact Fellows have on average when joining the program.
… of all fellows complete the program and 30% stay on with their host organization after the program.
It is so nice to hear the mother say to you: Denise, my baby is HIV negative. And it puts a smile on my face…Denise, Mentor Mother in Cape Town, South Africa