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Recognizing The Importance Of Working Together To Make An Impact On Global Issues

In this post in the Huffington Post’s “Global Motherhood” blog, Robin Smalley, co-founder and international director of mothers2mothers, discusses how partnerships and access to a supportive network of individuals has helped mothers2mothers expand their efforts to prevent mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV/AIDS. She notes that an invitation in 2008 to the Skoll World Forum (SWF) on social entrepreneurship, held in Oxford, provided the organization “entree to a new family, one made up of extraordinary individuals running organizations impacting issues ranging from global health to social justice to the environment.” The conference, underway this week, “is a world dedicated to possibilities, where everyone unites to brainstorm ways we can make our planet a little bit better,” she writes.

She discusses the motivation for founding mothers2mothers in 2001, writing, “We began with an idea and little else. Today we operate over 500 sites in seven countries and employ over 1,500 HIV-positive mothers and each year we reach hundreds of thousands of HIV-positive new mothers with messages of hope and health.” Smalley continues, “One of the most valuable lessons we have learned is that regardless of how entrepreneurial anyone is, no one can succeed in making an impact without enormous support and very good friends. It takes a family.” She concludes, “This week, in Oxford, people are looking at the issues and making plans and partnerships. They are being accountable and taking action. Their actions will make the world better and safer and healthier for so many whose voices go unheard” (3/27).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.