Imagine living in the richest country in the world, yet having no access to a doctor, to fresh vegetables, public transportation, education or employment in your own community. Imagine living in the richest country in the world, yet suffering an infant mortality rate higher than of any developed country and even some developing countries.
In the USA, the state of Mississippi has one of the highest poverty rates and also one of the highest teen birth rates in the country. With 43 out of every 1,000 girls and young women aged 15 to 19 having given birth, the state’s teen birth rate far exceeds the national average (24 per 1,000 teens).
In the rural town of Anguilla, Mississippi, the teen pregnancy rates resemble that of the overall state. These at-risk young mothers are forced into an intergenerational cycle of poverty that stymies health, social, and economic development and, worse, often leads to abuse or early death for the young mothers and their children.
The SOLUTIONS WE'RE PROPOSING
W4’s field partner, The Birthing Project, is committed to lowering maternal and child mortality rates by addressing the systemic causes for the lack of their well-being. They use a model of community based participation and public health awareness and promotion to create positive outcomes for at-risk girls and women.
Local leaders mobilize and organize groups of volunteers who provide sisterly guidance and support to pregnant and parenting girls and women in their communities, like Anguilla, Mississippi. These groups are made up of 10 volunteers, called SisterFriends, each of whom is placed with one pregnant mother for a period of 18 months.
THE IMPACT OF GIVING
By investing in the Deep Delta Mississippi Academy of Dreams Birthing Project, you ensure that at-risk women participating in the project have a trusted and knowledgeable community volunteer to serve as her SisterFriend – to help her find every available resource, to teach her how to use these resources, and to provide emotional and practical support throughout pregnancy and during her child’s first year of life. This support includes connections to school and opportunities for employment. To continue to support the young mothers of Anguilla and SisterFriends, your support is needed.