The Lives of Mothers

A child waits for her sibling outside a school in Rancho Alegre, Guatemala. Through a global grant, Rotary members supplied the primary school and eight other schools with wash stations, latrines, and eco-stoves.
Photo Credit: Photo by Monika Lozinska/Rotary International
Mothers pose for a picture with their children, who were given the oral polio vaccine, during National Immunization Days in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A volunteer midwife uses a fetal heart doppler to search for a baby's heartbeat at a prenatal mobile clinic in Darlegrand, Haiti. Midwives reach rural villages like Darlegrand using an off road vehicle purchased with funds from The Rotary Foundation’s Donor Advised Fund for Haiti. The visit was the first time many of the women had seen a skilled practitioner during their pregnancy.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A mother admires her newborn baby after it passes a hearing test, part of a project by the Rotary Club of General Sarmiento de San Miguel, Buenos Aires, Argentina, to detect early hearing defects.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A mother shops with her family at Hopelink, a food bank set up as a grocery store in Washington State's Carnation Valley. Hopelink's fresh produce section is supported by Rotary First Harvest, a program of Rotary District 5030, which brings together farmers, truckers, volunteers, and food banks to feed families in the state.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A concerned mother cries as she checks on her baby at the Ukraine Children's Cardiac Center in Kyiv. The hospital, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kyiv along with clubs in Australia, Canada, and the United States, specializes in correcting congenital heart defects in children.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A baby is weighed before receiving medical attention and vaccinations at a Rotary sponsored health clinic in Loga, Niger. Rotary members contributed more than $700,000 and sponsored Rotary grants totaling $270,000 in support of sustainable projects in Niger in 2005-06.
Photo Credit: Photos by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
Karen Davis comforts her 13-month-old daughter in a tent donated by Rotary members through ShelterBox USA. Davis, her husband, and their three children lived in the tent for weeks after Hurricane Katrina destroyed their home in Waveland, Mississippi.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
A volunteer health worker talks to expectant mothers about HIV/AIDS, as part of a grant-sponsored project by the Rotary clubs of Muyenga, Uganda, and Genk-Noord, Belgium. The project is designed to fight disease, save mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International
Deepa Kewat, right, encourages her daughter to take her first steps in her one-room home in Madhya Pradesh province, India. Kewat weaves saris to support her family as part of a program started by former Rotary Scholar Hannah Warren. After visiting the country in 2008, Warren began the program to help women gain economic independence.
Photo Credit: Photo by Alyce Henson/Rotary International

Mothers play a fundamental role in every culture. But depending on where a mom and baby live, they have a different chance of living or dying, suffering or thriving. In sub-Saharan Africa, one in 39 women will die of pregnancy-related complications, and one in nine children will die before age five. (In developed countries, the likelihood of dying drops to one in 4,700 women and one in 167 children.) Globally, 19,000 children die every day. The Rotary Foundation is working to improve maternal and child health around the world.

Our photo essay explores the Rotary projects that are saving new mothers and their children. Learn more about the challenges facing new mothers in the December 2013 issue of The Rotarian.

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