March 9, 2020
By Janice Biehn
In 2016, PWRDF received its largest grant to date from Global Affairs Canada. All Mothers and Children Count was launched to improve maternal, newborn and child health in Tanzania, Burundi, Rwanda and Mozambique. The budget for the program was $20 million, with approximately $3 million coming from PWRDF donors, and the rest from the Government of Canada marking our highest ever six to one funding match.
On March 31, 2020, AMCC will come to a close. Over the past four years the participating communities have achieved many milestones. Across all four countries, AMCC led to:
- People are food secure for more months of the year from 6.1 months to 8.4 months
- More pregnant women attended at least four antenatal care visits with a trained health care provider, from 45% to 70%
- More live births were attended by a skilled health professional, from 64% to 89%
- More moms and babies received post-natal care within two days of birth, from 24% to 92%
- More women are using modern contraceptive, from 38% to 53%
Our four partners worked tirelessly to bring change to their communities. Partners in Health (Rwanda), Village Health Works (Burundi), EHALE (Mozambique) and Tanzania (Diocese of Masasi) all have countless individual successes.
“PWRDF has been a really strong and transparent partner in the implementation of this project,” says Emily Royal, Development Officer in the Social Empowerment Unit, Partnerships for Development Innovation Branch at Global Affairs Canada. “We really appreciate the close monitoring that PWRDF does in the field, the local partnership model and also the adaptability of the program when required.” Royal noted specifically how, when it was discovered in year one that the program overlook the vulnerable adolescent demographic, PWRDF was able to course correct. “PWRDF is very nimble as an organization,” she added.
Here are some highlights:
In 2019 PIH Rwanda hosted a visit from Global Affairs Canada’s Ina Lukac-Orange as well as a delegation of senators and members of parliament. Work focussed on training health care providers and improving access to quality health care. Training sessions on newborn resuscitation, breastfeeding, newborn kangaroo care, nutrition counselling and play therapy improved health outcomes dramatically. Read more about Lukac-Orange’s visit here.
In 2019 two Expectant Mother’s Houses were opened next to where the new Women’s Pavilion Hospital will be. These state-of-the-art facilities were designed with input from local women and make it possible for women to arrive at the hospital with enough advance time before going into labour, then safely make it to the hospital for the big day. Read more about the new health care facilities here.
EHALE developed its capacity such that it could look beyond PWRDF for funding, receiving a five-year $3 million grant from USAID. By the end of March 2020, three health clinics, known as dispensaries, will be fully operational, making it possible for women to receive health care in comfort and with dignity. In 2016, PWRDF and We Care Solar worked with EHALE to install 30 solar suitcases in clinics, providing electricity and light for when babies are born at night. Watch a video about this important project here.
The Diocese of Masasi, a 20-year PWRDF partner, hosted a delegation of volunteers in May 2017. Over the course of AMCC, many people learned conservation agriculture and received goats, cows or other livestock. These initiatives improved food security and nutrition, but also provided a means of income through selling milk, meat or eggs. The income in turn allowed families to pay for school tuition or add solar panels to their home. It is the gift that keeps on giving. In Tanzania, community health was vastly improved with the construction of 25 bore wells. Travel time to the local well was cut down significantly, making it safer for girls to collect the water, and allowing them time to get to school. Read more about these exciting projects here.
But perhaps even more exciting were the many points of engagement that All Mothers and Children Count created in the hearts of Canadians. Over the four years hundreds of goats were purchased through our annual World of Gifts guide for many of our partner programs. Parishes large and small worked together to raise enough funds to “buy the farm” and astonishingly, enough money was donated to build seven dispensaries in Mozambique. Treated mosquito bednets saved lives in Mozambique and farmers were supported with gifts of seed and tools to learn how to adapt to climate change.
“We are glad for the life-changing results that PWRDF with its partners have had in all of the countries of the All Mothers and Children Count program,” says Will Postma, PWRDF Executive Director. “We are also so encouraged by the many thousands of Canadians that have supported the program and engaged with us in work to empower women and girls and strengthen communities.”