KAZI has joined with Every Mother Counts to support maternal health and delivery around the world, donating 10% of all revenue from our special Mother's Day collection through the end of May to the organization's efforts.
Alicia Wallace, author of this blog, is co-founder and chief operating officer of KAZI.
The first child opened my eyes.
With the second child, carried through 2020 and born into the midst of the global pandemic, I became fully awoken.
I had my first baby in March of 2019. The pregnancy and delivery made me think deeply about the issues women face around the world with maternal health care and childbirth. I was so fortunate to be born in a place where I could access safe healthcare during my pregnancy. But I was constantly thinking of the women I work with in rural Rwanda, Uganda and Ghana and the daily challenges that arise when you're expecting, but live in a different environment.
Flash forward into the not too distant future, when the pandemic is declared in March 2020 and I'm expecting my second child in July. News headlines flashed about moms being told we had to deliver alone – and then came an effective world-wide reaction declaring it inhumane to have to deliver alone.
These made me start asking, what about the mom who doesn't have access to safe health care? When do we call out on her behalf that it's unfair and demand change?
Expanding Health Care Access and Support for Mothers
Fast forward to today. I’ve come to know the people at Every Mother Counts, an organization dedicated to improving maternal health and delivery around the world. As co-founder and chief operating officer for KAZI, which seeks to alleviate poverty in Africa by building sustainable jobs and markets for rural women artisans, I’m pleased to be joining hands with our customers for a special Mother's Day fund-raising drive to support Every Mother Counts.
I'm so grateful for organizations like Every Mother Counts, who have an acute focus on helping women have safe pregnancies and deliveries. They are demanding change both here in the US and globally for mothers who don't have access to health care or where the medical system is unfair and unjust and riskier. I just wish that they were in the headlines more – where we all could be united behind them like we did when women were going to deliver alone and we quickly saw the world respond.
As most pregnant women do, I had obsessed on ideas like "OMG – I'm going to be having a baby!?" "Am I ready?" "Will I know what to do?" "Is the baby going to be healthy?"
I'm so grateful I didn't have to deliver alone and that my husband could be there with me (although, let's be honest, sometimes they aren't always that helpful in this process). But knowing he could be there and that I had the option of support relieved some anxieties about delivering in a pandemic.
Getting Back to Work
I think too about returning to work.
I was back on the job that I love after one week. Many people assumed the company required me to be back that quickly. They made comments about how awful that was – what kind of company did I work for?
But in the back of my head all I could think of is the moms we're serving, in rural Rwanda, Uganda and Ghana, who must be back in the fields the next day, even as they worry about their new baby. For me, the option of returning one week later is a privilege. Having a job is a privilege. Getting to help find ways for thousands of mothers to have fair wages and a good job is an honor.
I was honored to get to come back to work one week after I had a safe delivery and healthy baby. Not everyone is so lucky or privileged. I know and think about that privilege everyday and want to see a world where this is the expectation and option for every mother, everywhere.
About the KAZI-Every Mother Counts Partnership
It’s for reasons like this that KAZI is partnering with Every Mother Counts this Mother's Day to help make an additional impact on maternal health. The women who create KAZI's products are mothers, who support their family and access health care because of the income they earn from KAZI. But, there are additional women globally, outside of KAZI's network that need access to safe, improved maternal healthcare.
KAZI is donating 10% of all revenue from our Mother's Day Collection to create further opportunities for Every Mother Counts to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for everyone everywhere.
Shop Mother's Day Gifts – Help Every Mother Counts make motherhood safe for all moms.