Sunday 26 October 2014

JoJo Maman Bébé - raising funds for new motorbike ambulance in Mozambique

In Mozambique, infant and maternal mortality rates are scarily high - in some areas one in three children will not live to see their 5th birthday. JoJo Maman Bébé, the mother and baby specialist, has been working to help reduce this shocking statistics for the past 8 years.

In rural areas, seeking medical attention often means a long walk to reach the town. Once there you will join a queue outside the basic hospital only to find, when it is eventually your turn to see the doctor, that in most cases the medicine has already run out.

A motorbike ambulance will speed up the process of treating patients by taking much needed medicines to those most in need and getting them to the hospital on time in the case of a difficult birth. It costs just £12,000 to buy a motorbike ambulance, run and maintain it for two years, amazingly including the driver’s salary. JoJo customers can support this much needed appeal in two ways - by purchasing a JoJo Gift Voucher in store or online, or by donating directly through the JoJo website. JoJo has pledged to donate 10% of the value of every Gift Voucher purchased to Nema this Christmas, in order to raise the funds required.

“We would love to be able to buy an ambulance in time for Christmas this year” says Laura Tenison MBE, JoJo founder and MD, who has recently returned from visiting the charity.

JoJo has supported Nema (which translates as “happiness following hardship” in the local Kimwani language) on numerous past projects include building schools, providing school meals, health, sanitation, HIV & Malaria prevention programmes. A team of eight local employees work on these projects amongst others such as looking after 120 orphans and vulnerable children and monitoring the pregnant women in the area. Life is tough in rural villages like Nuande, where the clinic only offers the most basic level of medical care.

“Imagine how happy you would be to see the Nema ambulance man if you had a pregnancy or baby emergency?” comments Laura. “The alternative could be a very long walk carrying your little one, or a four-hour trip in a wheelbarrow in the middle of a difficult birth – it’s just too horrible to imagine”.

For JoJo Maman Bébé, developing the scope for responsible retailing has meant adopting and being proactive in running Nema, this grass-roots charity which helps mothers and children in one of the poorest countries of the developing world. After many years of war Mozambique is re-building itself, but has been left with little infrastructure, devastating levels of poverty and high rates of infant mortality.

 For further information on Nema’s work, please visit Charity

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