HAMILTON, Ontario—This Mother’s Day weekend a growing number of communities across Canada and the United States will host fundraising walks to improve maternal health in the developing world, where childbirth remains one of the leading causes of death among adolescent girls and women.
To date, concerned citizens in 15 communities across Canada and the U.S. have signed-up to participate. Additionally, walkers from around the globe will be participating via the innovative netWALK.
Proceeds raised from each five kilometer Walk will go to Save the Mothers (STM), an international charitable organization (founded by Canadian obstetrician Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese), which empowers East African leaders to improve standards and practices of health care for pregnant women in their communities.
“Since 2000, when the United Nations launched the Millennium Development Goals to address global poverty, the prevalence of preventable maternal mortality has received increased attention,” noted STM Managing Director Dr. Daniel Scott. “Yet every day, 800 women continue to die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth; ninety-nine percent of these deaths occur in the developing world. But world leaders recognize that saving the lives of mothers is an upstream solution to deep poverty.”
Last month, American billionaire and philanthropist Bill Gates held meetings with Canadian government officials in Ottawa to discuss how to ensure that maternal, newborn and child health remains a global development priority. Gates reflected at the time on how to inspire citizens to make global development a popular movement. “In countries like the U.S. and Canada, where a lot of people are doing quite well, this question of, can you take your loyalty and your sense of values and go further than yourself and your family, or even beyond your region and your country, can you have, as a member of the human race, the idea that you volunteer time, or your voice, or whatever means you have to give?”
This year’s fourth annual Steps to Deliver Change Walks for Save the Mothers prove that people do care, and can be inspired to give of their time, energies and money to make a difference.