I'm a midwife in the United States and had the pleasure of working with the midwife-founder of AMHI when she was a student. Her commitment and enthusiasm are inspiring. A mutual friend and colleague has been to Malawi to see the work firsthand that AMHI is doing and could not say enough positive things about it. It's always on my annual donation list!
I was part of a group that visited malawi and this organization. We were able to go to the villages, and see what a difference this organization makes. So many of the infants that we met would not be alive if it weren't for the African Mothers Health Initiative. It was such a great experience to be a part of, and I can't wait to go back!
Awesome experience to see what great needs are not met for so many at risk mothers and babies. So much more needs that I wish I could help with. This organization is respectful to the patient's or village situation and always keeps the culture of the patient in mind with any interaction. So much community respect was seen everywhere we went. How proud I was to see that I could help by just being there.
After having spent many years in Malawi I was excited to finally come across an organization serving a very important need in the country: the gap in clinical care for recent mothers and babies after returning from hospital childbirth to their homes. I was even more excited to find that this AMHI is extraordinarily well-managed and organized, and run by a group of dedicated and indefatigable volunteers. I joined the board of AMHI shortly after getting in touch with the founder, and feel honored to be part of the cause.
AMHI continues to do what others cannot: provide care to Malawian mothers and babies who barely survive birth. The non-profit works in Malawi because it can make a difference there. Malawi is one of the world's poorst, least resourced countries; consequently, the death rate for mothers and babies is very high. Many Malawian women and children die in the hours and days after birth. AMHI provides postpartum nursing care because the Malawian public health system cannot provide this assistance and because no other non-profit has focused on this need. AMHI's unique model of hiring and building the capacity of Malawian nurses strengthens the country's own human health resources without depleting them. And AMHI works with communities, not only patients, to teach and empower families and villages to care for their own vulnerable mothers and babies and to prevent future maternal and child health crises. For these many reasons, I support AMHI with my time and treasure. Others wishing to make a meaningful impact should do the same.
AMHI is an organization that has stepped into a breach of poverty and death to support maternal and child health services that no other group provides. AMHI's work is vital and compelling, and it has drawn me in. First, I volunteered for the organization and donated the occasional $50 to it. I was helping moms and babies, so why not? Then, I became the organization's Policy Advisor and would spend a couple hours a week reviewing grant applications and helping with strategy. The work was interesting and the need was great, so why not? Then, I got married and asked all my guests to donate to AMHI. I returned most of my wedding presents so I could give that money to AMHI, too. Malawian moms and babies needed the money so much more than I, so why not? Then, I joined AMHI's board and spend several hours a week on its work. I don't really have the time, but AMHI's employees, Beatrice and Joanne, have given so much of themselves to the cause, so why not? I only wish I had more time and treasure to give AMHI. Every minute and every penny have made and do make a difference.
Review from Guidestar
After spending 5 months volunteering with this organization in Malawi, I returned to the U.S. to continue my nursing career. But, I still wanted to stay involved! I have now joined the team here in the U.S. to do fundraising and promote African Mothers Health Initiative and the wonderful work they do to support high risk infants and mothers in Malawi. It is such a good way to stay grounded and remind ourselves how fortunate we are relative to many people in the world. This work really speaks to my values, one of which is summed up well in the quote "The measure of your life will not be in what you accumulate, but in what you give away". Support this group! They are amazing!
My name is Kimberley, and I have come to Malawi “in-between jobs” to volunteer for a small non-profit organization called African Mother's Health Initiaitve based in Lilongwe, the capitol of Malawi. Unfortunately, and for a multitude of reasons, Malawi remains one of the poorest nations on earth. Maternal mortality rates are some of the highest in the world, and 12% of children die here before age 5; most of those within the first 30 days of life. Lack of nurses and doctors is beyond shortage...it is dire. There are currently less than 300 doctors practicing in Malawi, and with a population close to 13 million, that translates to about 2 for every 100,000 people. As anywhere, most care is provided by nurses, but newly trained nurses often leave the country immediately after graduation for better paying jobs abroad. This is the environment that African Mother's Health Initiative has grown from and is making a real difference for so many.
After identifying high risk mothers and babies in hospital, AMHI provides home based nursing care directly to families in remote villages around Lilongwe district. Children without a breastfeeding mother are supported with infant formula if the family is unable to afford it.
A personal story:
Working alone one afternoon at the hospital-based office during my first week, organizing folders, and sorting through cardboard boxes of donated baby clothes, I looked up to find a young doctor standing at the open door asking “Are you still open?”. “Yes”, I replied, “come in”. She explained that the hospital had had a maternal death that morning, leaving behind a two month old baby. The older parents of the mother were currently in the hospital chapel, and would take the baby with them back to their small village, but they had no money to buy formula to feed him. I felt a wave of gladness that I knew what to do and could help. I told her that she was in the right place, and assured her that I would call and pass along the information to our one of our nurses, who would go over to the chapel as soon as possible. A few minutes after the doctor left, I sat alone in the quiet room and felt a wave of another emotion; grief. The tears came suddenly to the surface and it struck me; this would be my first orphan, the mother dead just six hours. I had already learned that in this country, this baby would most likely die soon after as well without our help.
A week after the baby was enrolled in the program and formula provided, I met the him when his grandmother brought him to our office for a visit, tied snugly to her chest with a cloth, the way all women carry small babies here. He looked well, but was crying a lot and the grandmother said he had trouble feeding. The nurse did an assessment and then demonstrated formula preparation and a healthier spoon-feeding technique. Eating quickly and easily, he soon fell into a peaceful asleep. We found that this little boy had aptly been named Chiconde, meaning Love.
Everyday the work of African Mother's Health Initiative amazes and moves me. I have worked here for nearly four months now and will be returning to the States soon to be with my family. However, I cannot imagine ending my support and trust in this organization and it's work for some of the most vulnerable children imaginable.
The African Mothers Health Initiative works to improve maternal and child health in Malawi. The organization stretches its dollars very far and gets by with the help of volunteers and very few staff.
Review from Guidestar
AMHI is doing wonderful grassroots work by building the capacity of a local organization to deliver much needed services to ensure quality and the continuity of care to women and their children.
Review from Guidestar
This organization is dedicated to improving maternal and child survival and health in Malawi. AMHI has achieved a great deal with limited resources through its grassroots efforts and the commitment of its volunteers, who have worked steadily toward supporting an increasing number of mothers and babies who need help to survive the consequences of maternal morbidity. AMHI is about hope and love, and the triumph of persistence for gains both great and small.
Review from Guidestar
African Mothers Health Initiative is a very small organization making life changes in the lives of women and their children. They help babies live. A few dollars to pay for eggs to improve a mothers health so that she can nurse her child and give it adequate nutrition, formula for babies, such simple and important needs. In a country where mothers and children simply do not live, the care that AMHI give to these families gives me hope.
Review from Guidestar