For many of us, 2021 began with high hopes. The Covid vaccines were here, spring brought with it a promise of an end to this pandemic and even summer felt like “normal” was around the corner as many of us began to gather again.
The year ends on a darker note, as Omicron has exhausted much of the joy and anticipation of this season.
But if 2021 has taught us something, it’s that hope is stubborn. And we have reason to hope.
In the last two years, Save the Mothers has had to weather a lot of storms – on two different continents. In Canada, the pandemic meant cancelling our main fundraising events and the uncertainty that our donors would be able to support us as they too were hit with the effects of shutdowns and restrictions. In East Africa, it was even worse, as strict shutdowns shuttered most of the economy leaving the most vulnerable without any help or support. Not surprisingly, girls and women paid the highest price. Teen pregnancies spiked for the first time in years due in part to school closures. And gains made in maternal health receded as an already fragile health care system was unable to cope with obstetric emergencies AND a global pandemic.
That’s the bad news. Here’s the good news.
We’re still here…and the lifesaving work of Save the Mothers hasn’t stopped throughout the pandemic! Yes, we’ve had to pivot. We made the painstaking work of transferring our courses online. Our intake of students was smaller this year, but by going online Save the Mothers has expanded its potential reach which may prove vital going forward. Just last October, 17 men and women graduated our MPHL program. That’s 17 more gamechangers for women and girls who have the influence, leadership, and desire to make motherhood safe in their communities. Through our alumni network we were also able to identify and reach mothers in need, connect them to care and prevent future tragedies.
This is all due in large part to the generosity, support, and gifts of our donors. Your faithfulness to us throughout this pandemic has given us hope that we can achieve our vision: that no mother or child should die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.
So we end this year on a thankful note. It is so comforting to know that we are not alone in this struggle, and we are looking forward to 2022 with hope. Stubborn hope.