2013 is an important year for SafeHands for Mothers: it marks our tenth anniversary and the start of a three-year project, funded by Comic Relief, which includes the production of two new films as part of MAKING PREGNANCY SAFER II IN AMHARA, ETHIOPIA.
As a small and dynamic charity, this grant is a major achievement for SafeHands for Mothers and will propel us forward to a second decade.
Our vision is to contribute to a reduction in maternal mortality from pregnancy-related causes and to protect and promote the health of the newborn. Despite a reduction in global maternal and child mortality, there are 800 mothers and 8,500 babies who still die every day. This is a tragedy and one that is largely preventable.
For the past ten years, we have worked primarily in sub-Saharan Africa, producing films to support government and non-governmental education and advocacy programmes. We have produced films that tackle difficult issues such as Child Marriage, Obstetric fistula, Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting, HIV and Making Pregnancy Safer. Our films are shown in the remotest villages, where there is little or no electricity, thanks to our innovative solar-powered DVD players.
We are delighted to celebrate our tenth anniversary with a photographic exhibition sponsored by The Guardian, which looks back at the wide variety of work we have done in Africa since 2003. The exhibition also marks International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting. FGM is not only an issue in Africa: 500,000 is the estimated number of girls and women who are living with FGM in Europe alone. Illegal in the UK since 1985, an estimated 66,000 women in the UK are thought to have been cut and it is estimated that up to 20,000 girls are at risk.
The exhibition is open from 4th-17th February 10.00am-6.00pm daily at The Guardian Building, Kings Place, York Way, London N1 9GU. Please do visit!
We have just launched our latest film, TRUE STORY, Abandonment of FGM/C in the Afar region of Ethiopia, funded by UNFPA. This is a vital tool for the Federal Ministry of Health’s programme to eliminate FGM/C.
By the time you read this, SafeHands’ new website (www.safehands.org) will be up and running. Every donation is vital. Please support our work in making pregnancy and birth safer.
Contributor and image: SafeHands for Mothers.