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How Small Businesses Are Helping Women Survive and Thrive Worldwide

How Small Businesses Are Helping Women Survive and Thrive Worldwide

Too often women, children and young people face problems that can harm, kill or hold them back. This includes preventable, treatable diseases, like malaria, or issues in pregnancy.

Women and Children First are pioneers at empowering local communities in the world’s poorest countries. Thanks to their supporters, including small businesses, they enable women to take the lead in achieving this.

The charity guides the women to overcome their problems, setting up community health groups,bringing women and men together to find the answers they need.

In Ethiopia, many health facilities are very far away. This problem is made worse by uneven roads, making transport challenging.

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Birkinesh could not get to her local health centre for the birth of her first child. She says: “I didn’t have anyone to support me during my very long labour. I lost lots of blood. I had no way to get there, it was a 2-hour walk.”

Birkinesh’s women’s health group, set up and trained by Women and Children First, came together to take action. They wanted to make sure this would not happen again.

They lobbied and pressured the local government to improve the road from the village to the health centre. The group educated them about the problems the women faced.

They were soon successful. Officials rebuilt the road, reducing the journey time from 2 hours to just 15 minutes.

When Birkinesh went into labour for the second time she was able to get to her local health facility. “The project provided us with an ambulance. I was given lots of support during labour and my baby was vaccinated.”

75% of babies in the Malga District, Ethiopia, are now born with a skilled birth attendant. This is up from just 15% before Women and Children First set up the women’s health groups.

This work in enabling women to take the lead to overcome their health problems, empowering them to find long-term, sustainable solutions is thanks to the charity’s supporters, including small businesses.

How Small Businesses Are Helping Women Survive and Thrive Worldwide

Zoe Donkin, who runs The Hypnobirthing Place, gives 10% of her course fees to the charity. Zoe says, “When I started my company I wanted to have a positive impact beyond the couples who attend my classes. I researched charities supporting women to have safer births in developing countries.

Women and Children First stood out for their work enabling women to become their own advocates. They’re empowering communities to come up with their own solutions, instead of simply being told what to do. It’s a long-term strategy.

I continue supporting them because of their passion, dedication and the difference they have contributed to so many lives.

“When you make charitable donations part of your business model, there’s benefits abound. You actively contribute to a world we all want to live in. You find that little and often goes a long way (it really adds up!). You find yourself more motivated in your business and with happy clients too.

“In fact, you may find new clients choose you because of your donations, which is certainly what I have found. It’s also so easy, especially now that I donate via Work for Good. Supporting Women and Children First is a wonderful win-win in so many ways — it really is a no brainer.”

Mark Mina, Fundraising Manager of Women and Children First adds, “I am always inspired by the determination, resilience and resourcefulness of the women that the charity works with.

“This support helps women, children and girls survive and thrive in happier, healthier communities.

“Women and Children First is a small charity, with a big impact. The work has saved over 6,250 lives to date — and counting. Supporters like Zoe and other small businesses play a crucial role in helping fund and reach more women to find the answers they need.

“More lives can be saved, and we can enable more women and children to live the lives they choose. But this work can only be done thanks to our wonderful supporters. Please join us and make an incredible difference.”

Find out how you can support Women and Children First via Work for Good. If you have any questions about the work of Women and Children First, contact Mark and the team at info@womenandchildrenfirst.org.uk