New CEO at Child.org: Martina Gant
Child.org has been quiet for a little while yet a huge amount has been happening behind the scenes. I’m taking this opportunity to update you all.
September is a bittersweet month for our team. At the end of August we said goodbye to nearly half the team across the UK and Kenya, but we’ve been working hard on an exciting new Team Mum campaign which is kicking off this month.
The colleagues - and friends - who have left us helped to shape our identity, vision and successes over the past six years. They’ll be missed immensely. We’re hugely proud of all the work they’ve done for women and children in Kenya, and we’re envious of the lucky new teams they’re joining.
I’m humbled to be taking over the CEO role from Thomas. He’s been a transformational leader over the past six years and we have all learned a huge amount from him. He was willing to take the risk to invest in our programming work, enabling me to develop a team of talented people in Kenya to allow us more control over the impact of our work.
Thomas and I share an ambition for Child.org. We both believe that Child.org exists to find better ways to keep children alive and healthy by discovering, designing and delivering projects that provide innovative solutions to problems in global child health. There’s a huge amount of work that we have developed and haven’t yet shared with the world, and that’s going to change over the coming months.
As CEO I am committed to pushing this agenda forward. To work with brilliant people here in Kenya and in the UK: to develop innovative projects that save and improve the lives of women, babies and children; and to fund them through innovative products and partnerships.
COVID-19 hasn’t stopped this; instead it’s fuelled our ambition. We’ve been looking at the results from our Pregnant Women’s Groups in Meru, supported by UK Aid following our first Team Mum campaign last year. Despite the plethora of challenges that COVID brought, including having to pause the groups due to restrictions on social gatherings, we’ve managed to exceed many of our targets by over 20% in our first year.
For example, we were aiming to engage 1080 women on the project this year. However, even in light of COVID restrictions - we smashed that target and have enrolled 1334 to date, with our groups already up and running and hundreds more joining each week.
We've also seen excellent evidence of positive behaviour change around maternal and newborn health: a 40% increase in awareness of dangers signs in pregnancy with over 150 new referrals to health facilities, and a 20% increase in safe (umbilical) cord care practices. All thanks to Team Mum. Look out for a blog from Clare with much more detail of our first year of Pregnant Women’s Groups in Meru.
The results above demonstrate how providing this knowledge changes and saves lives. This is the power of our work; this is what we can do with your support. The first campaign enabled this project, and this month we’re launching another Team Mum campaign.
With your support, we’re going to be able to expand our work and develop new projects in Kenya and Sierra Leone. We’re also going to launch new versions of our Baby Box project to support many of the young mums who have become pregnant during the COVID crisis.
We are not going to just ask for your donations (though they are always appreciated!). Instead, we want you to help us by running some of the brilliant activities our Income team has been working on and helping to get more people involved. There is something for everyone and plenty of fun to be had. We’ll be sharing more later in the month but for now, keep an eye out for notices coming your way.
As with most of us, COVID hasn’t left us unscathed. It’s been a difficult time but our project successes are a testament to our resilience and the power of our work and there’s so much more to come.
If you'd like to get in touch, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.