April 22, 2014 —Each day, approximately 700 children are infected with HIV. It’s unacceptable, it’s tragic—and it’s almost entirely preventable. In this lecture Robin Smalley, co-founder of mothers2mothers, explained how the Cape Town-based NGO is putting mothers living with HIV front and center of global efforts to eliminate pediatric AIDS and improve the health and wellbeing of women, their partners and their families. Working alongside doctors and nurses in understaffed health centers as members of the health care team, HIV-positive mothers—who are called Mentor Mothers—provide essential health education and psychosocial support to other mothers and reduce stigma associated with HIV by becoming role models in their communities. Since opening its doors at a Cape Town hospital in 2001, m2m has reached more than 1.2 million HIV-positive mothers in nine countries in sub-Saharan Africa
Co-Founder & Director
After a successful award-winning career as a television producer/director, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers.
A Cape Town based NGO, mothers2mothers uses a simple and proven model to eliminate transmission of HIV from mothers to babies and sustain the health of women and children.
m2m educates, employs and empowers mothers living with HIV, who work as Mentor Mothers in health centers to provide lifesaving information and one-on-one support.
As m2m’s first Executive Director and current International Director, Robin has guided the organization through a period of extraordinary growth. A tiny grassroots endeavor established in 2001, the Mentor Mother model was cited as a best practice in UNAIDS’ “Global Plan Towards the Elimination of New HIV Infections Among Children by 2015 and Keeping Their Mothers Alive.”
The program currently operates more than 400 sites in seven African countries and employs nearly 1000 HIV-positive mothers.
m2m has been honored at the White House, and has been the recipient of the Skoll Entrepreneurial Award, the Schwab Entrepreneurial Award, the Global Health Council Best Practices Award, and the Henry Kravis Leadership Award.