By JULIE ULBRICHT
I never look at junk mail, because it’s called that for a reason. However, for the first time in a very long time, I recently flicked through the Mother’s Day edition of a certain department store and smiled/sighed as I saw pastel twin sets as an idea. I mean, they were lovely, but not really the most inspired gift (read: Dear all, Do not buy me a pastel twin set, ever). Last year, I read somewhere that paying for your mother’s liposuction is also a great and creative idea. I’ll leave you to ponder that one. Now, if buying or receiving twin sets or liposuction aren’t your idea of a good Mother’s Day, but you are racking your brain thinking of the perfect gift, perhaps supporting maternal health in a developing nation could be something to consider.
According the World Health Organisation,
– Every day, approximately 800 women die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth
– 99% of all maternal deaths occur in developing countries
– Maternal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas and among poorer communities
The main causes of maternal death are infection, severe bleeding and high blood pressure – all of which are totally avoidable in areas that have sufficient and simple health care.
Send Hope Not Flowers is a charity that supports life saving interventions for mothers in Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands and Indonesia. The disparity that exists between Australia and our neighbours in the Pacific is startling. For instance, of 200,000 births in Papua New Guinea, over 120,000 women give birth without supervision. That’s why Send Hope partners with Professor Glen Mola and Doctor Barry Kirby (recently profiled in the Australian weekend magazine) to fund the roll out of Baby Bundle gifts to mothers across islands in the remote Milne Bay Province, encouraging them to attend a health centre for a supervised birth. Funding is also provided to conduct emergency obstetric training across eight health centres and to supply the centres with obstetric emergency kits. Women who have delivered will be offered free contraception counseling and implants.
Send Hope Not Flowers allows you to make a donation to life-saving maternal health programs in some of the poorest countries in the world, countries that are right on our doorstep. Instead of flowers, your mother will receive a beautiful Mother’s Day card with a message from you. They’ll know that you’ve made a donation in their honour which will help save the life of another mother.
Mothers everywhere deserve love and respect this Mother’s Day, and forgoing the twin sets and cosmetic surgery to save the life of another mother would be one of the most meaningful gifts you can give.
Julie Ulbricht is an ambassador for the Global Poverty Project and Opportunity International Australia. She is also a freelance writer.