by Kim Graham-Nye
I have always been drawn to the plight of orphans. The idea of growing up without a family brought me to tears. As I got older I volunteered in orphanages around the world and at g we have donated diapers and funds to help where we can, but it never felt like enough and there simply wasn’t a solution. Then I met Christy Turlington Burns in 2011 and she said something that rocked my world:
"One woman dies every two minutes around the world due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth — and 98% of these deaths are preventable."
Christy’s passion was maternal health — making pregnancy and childbirth safe for all mothers. But what I heard was "we can stop these beautiful babies from becoming orphans." This was a solution. The idea that mamas were dying unnecessarily around the world touched others at g. Getting involved and giving back are some of our favorite gWords, so we began this partnership with Christy’s Every Mother Counts team.
In the early '90s I lived in Tanzania. I fell in love with the land, the culture, and the people. I almost made it my home, but the universe had other plans involving a very handsome Aussie named Jason, two gorgeous boys, and some diapers.
In 2013, I went back and spent six months in Tanzania with Fynn and Harper and was reminded how special this country was. I was also reminded of the maternal mortality rates: one in 45 women die giving birth in Tanzania. We visited orphanages where 50% of all the babies were there because their mothers died giving birth. Holding these precious babies, looking into their eyes, changing their diapers, and listening to them laugh and cry created a heightened sense of urgency to deepen g's relationship with Every Mother Counts, particularly in Tanzania.
Kim met Christy in 2011 at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit.
Fynn Graham-Nye training to summit Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for EMC.
Most babies at Nema Baby House are from mothers who died giving birth.
Ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek and 10 other runners joined the EMC crew.
Josh Bonafis (a proud gDad!) & Russell Kelly were part of the TZ15 team.
Kim & Dr. Frank Artress. Frank and his wife Susan founded FAME in Tanzania.
Fast forward to March 2015 and to kick off g’s growing relationship with Every Mother Counts, I was off with the EMC team to meet with the first Tanzanian grant recipients, FAME (Foundation for African Medicine and Education). FAME was founded by the beautiful Dr. Frank and his wife Susan (check out their story — and cue tears of joy). The work that Dr. Frank and his team do is beyond inspiring, and with the new Every Mother Counts grant, they are expanding their ability to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for women in rural Tanzania.
We have joined Every Mother Counts in their efforts to raise awareness through walking and running. Distance is one of the biggest barriers to care for pregnant women. It is not uncommon for a mother to walk as far as 26 miles, in labor, to seek emergency care. “We walk so mothers don’t have to."
Every Mother Counts raises funds by joining in running races, funds that help women get the transportation they need, without compromising their well-being. Many of the gDiapers team have joined in on EMC runs here in the US. We’d love it if you’d join us, whether in person or in spirit. Find an EMC run here
Plus, every time we walk or run at g, we use the free Charity Miles app and 25 cents is donated for every mile we travel. Anyone can join in, at any time. Strolling with your baby, walking your dog, or going for a few miles to run or hike, every mile counts. Look for more on this on social media as we lead running and walking events throughout the year.
And this is just the start, so look for more g+EMC coming soon.
Kim Graham-Nye, Co-founder & Mum
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