An Exciting July for AMREF
This past month has been a very exciting and busy time for all of us at AMREF USA. We were privileged to have our Director General, Dr Teguest Guerma, spend a couple of days with us in New York before she headed to Washington for a series of meetings and to lead a plenary session at the XIX International AIDS Conference, entitled “TB and HIV: Science and Implementation to Turn the Tide”.
With Dr Guerma’s visit to New York being both short and rare, we made sure to take advantage of every moment she spent with us. Her most important task here was to launch the US arm of our global campaign, Stand Up for African Mothers, an introduction to which you can see as soon as you visit our website www.amrefusa.org.
This global campaign aims to create awareness around the plight of the over 177,000 mothers in sub-Saharan Africa who die each year in pregnancy and childbirth. To combat this high rate of maternal mortality, AMREF has committed to train 15,000 African midwives by 2015. To draw attention to and celebrate the extraordinary work of African midwives who every day save the lives of so many mothers and children, AMREF also invites all its supporters to sign a petition to symbolically nominate Ugandan midwife, Esther Madudu, for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. Click here to watch a lovely video about Esther’s lifesaving work.
Using the launch of the Stand Up for African Mothers campaign as a platform to reach out to the African Diaspora, AMREF held a breakfast event at the Cornell Club in New York featuring Dr Teguest Guerma, Director General as keynote speaker. Dr Guerma is a strong believer in connecting with the African Diaspora around the world. As she said at the event, “there is great potential for Africans in the diaspora to make contributions beyond their families that will have a wider and longer-lasting impact on the development of their communities, their countries and the continent.”
The event targeted influential members of the African Diaspora in New York and beyond, by virtue of a live feed that reached out to other diaspora associations throughout the country and abroad. According to Liz Ngonzi, Founder and CEO of Amazing Taste, and a member of the African Diaspora herself, “this is one of the first times that a global organization such as AMREF has actually reached out to the African Diaspora and created an event specifically for this important and influential community.”
The breakfast was essential for AMREF to develop stronger relationships within this important community. In fact, we’re pleased to announce a media partnership with Applause Africa Magazine, a leading resource for entertainment, business, fashion, politics and cultural affairs for Africans. For over a decade, Applause Africa has presented the voice of the socially responsible and upwardly mobile young generation of Africans around the globe and we’re thrilled to work with them. For their summer issue coming out at the end of the month, they have already donated the back page to our Stand Up for African Mothers campaign poster, as well as a portion of their editorial to introduce the campaign.
We’re looking forward to working together with like-minded organizations to further AMREF’s vision for lasting health change in Africa. More to come on that…
We were particularly pleased with the media coverage garnered for both the diaspora event and the launch of Stand Up for African Mothers in general. Dr Guerma was interviewed by Bloomberg TV, regarding her perspective on HIV/AIDS in Africa and spent time with the renowned National Public Radio (NPR) broadcaster, Michel Martin on her show Tell Me More, talking about African solutions to HIV/AIDS.
The media at the diaspora launch also provided AMREF and the Stand Up campaign with excellent visibility through their terrific coverage in
Dr Guerma also provided a small crowd of key AMREF supporters with an intimate version of our efforts to reduce maternal mortality and an up close glimpse at the new Stand Up for African Mothers campaign.
July was definitely one of our busiest times and over the next few months we’re looking forward to solidifying the partnerships we developed, as well as creating more awareness around our global campaign.
In the meantime, we’re counting on you to visit our website and help us Stand Up for African Mothers.
Until next time, Lisa