Jewish World Watch > Projects > On the Ground > Congo > Safe Motherhood Project
Safe Motherhood Project

Members of Safe Motherhood Solidarity Group in North Kivu, Photo by Michael Ramsdell for JWW

Women – and more precisely, mothers – are the heart and soul of Congo. They are the main labor force, they are the main caretakers and they are the glue that holds Congolese families and society together. But mothers in Congo are at grave risk – not just from constant insecurity, but from the pervasive poverty that makes accessing proper, life-saving pre-natal and maternity care incredibly difficult. Congo is rated one of the worst places on earth to be a mother, with Congolese women at constant risk of losing their children or their own lives in childbirth.

The Safe Motherhood Program, in partnership with HEAL Africa, helps to put Congolese women back in charge. Women join in Maternity Collectives and together run a small business – in this case, cultivating fields and selling the produce at market. The profits from their business go to train traditional birth attendants and pay for each woman’s pre-natal and maternity care as well. The women also train in sustainable agriculture methods, small business management and family planning, giving them true leadership roles in their communities!

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