You're viewing an archived version of this project. Please visit the new Big Give site to find current fundraising campaigns.

Project information

Provide vital pregnancy care to Malawian families

£14 sends a specially-designed 'Etta Loves' blanket, which not only helps to keep a newborn baby warm, but also aids their cognitive development.

£40 provides support to a woman throughout her pregnancy, a safe and healthy delivery and practical help for 6 months after birth.

4 months

Charity information: Chasing Zero

Chasing Zero logo
  • Need


    In many countries childbirth can be dangerous. In Malawi, the world's poorest country, rural women who live far away from antenatal care or advice become extremely vulnerable during pregnancy and childbirth. Over 60 times more women die in childbirth in Malawi than in the UK and newborn babies are at 10 times greater risk of not surviving. Most of these deaths happen in the first week and a child's day of birth is the most dangerous of it's life. Yet many of these neonatal deaths can be avoided.


    Pregnancy Twinning has trained 33 community health volunteers called Mother Buddies. These local women deliver 8 home visits to expectant mums to ensure full and timely antenatal attendance. They provide education to both parents on the importance of a clinic birth with a skilled health worker and ensure all women in labour have transport to the clinic. They also educate on good nutrition and care for the baby in those crucial first few weeks.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    All clients to attend 4+ antenatal care appointments during their pregnancy as recommended by WHO.


    » Each client has a Mother Buddy who educates them on the importance of timely attendance of at least four antenatal care appointments at the clinic.
    » Mother Buddies provide practical help where necessary to ensure all clients attend at least antenatal care appointments.

    What success will look like

    Mother Buddies record data on their mobile phone during their client home visits, they ask whether a woman has attended at least antenatal care appointments.

    Aim 2

    All clients to develop and implement their individual birth plan to contribute towards a safe birth.


    » A client's Mother Buddy will work with her to create a birth plan during one of her 8 home visits, this will include transport plans.
    » Mother Buddies will work with the community leaders to ensure transport options are available to transport a client to the clinic when in labour.

    What success will look like

    As part of our data recording we ask whether clients created a birth plan assisted by their Mother and record where the client gave birth.

    Aim 3

    Improve newborn care and nutrition both during pregnancy and following the birth.


    » Mother Buddies will deliver advice and show educational videos on a balanced diet of all food groups and importance of eating three meals a day.
    » Mother Buddies educate on the importance of exclusive breastfeeding for the first six months of a baby's life.
    » Mother Buddies will give all newborns an Etta Loves blanket to help them retain heat and stay healthy whilst they learn to regulate their temperature.

    What success will look like

    We record a client's average number of meals per day at the start of her pregnancy and at the end. We also record breastfeeding activities after birth.

  • Impact


    It will contribute to a reduction in infant and maternal mortality through key behavioural changes. These include normalising attendance of the 4+ antenatal care appointments; giving birth in a clinic and prioritising good nutrition for mum and baby. To ensure these changes are delivered the project increases the involvement of the male partner as an essential component. We will continue to survey the mums/communities we work with for 2 years after birth.


    External factors such as the food insecurity in Malawi present a risk as they could result in sickness and absence of Mother Buddies meaning not all home visits can be completed. To address this we give Mother Buddies a monthly stipend to contribute towards food expenses.

    With an increased take up of antenatal care and clinic births there is a risk that increased demand would not be met by the capacity of local clinics. We would address this by working in advance with the Ministry of Health.


    Donors will receive an email update in June 2018 about the project detailing number of women it is reaching, a case study and any changes to how the project is delivered. This update will also report back on success in numbers compared to our three aims.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £6,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £3,300 Mother Buddy Stipend 33 Mother Buddies work an increased amount of 3 days/week will receive £25 pm to reach more clients.
      £827 Mobile Based M&E System Data credit and an allowance for repairs for the phones of 33 Mother Buddies and 5 coordinators.
      £970 Management To steer and support the project. Based on 20% salary of 1 staff member.
      £330 Client Support Contribution towards necessary transport costs, hygiene packs and nutrition support.
      £573 Supplies Distribution Covers the cost of shipping and petrol to supply Mother Buddies with blankets for all newborns.
  • Background


    Malawi has a growing population of 17.4 million people (2015) and has been designated the world’s poorest country by the World Bank.

    Malawi has recently suffered from food insecurity due to the affect of climate change on it's agriculture. This has been detrimental to the health of it's population as almost 80% of Malawians live rurally, reliant on farming.

    It is one of the highest risk countries for maternal and infant mortality. Similarly, infant mortality is >10 times higher than in UK.


    The primary beneficiaries are the expectant mothers and their babies who receive support to directly impact their own health. The project also enriches the male partner who is encouraged to be involved in the home visits thus able to understand how to best care for his family. The wider family (other children) benefit from the general nutrition and hygiene advice which has a long term impact on family health.

    Mother Buddies benefit from their respected role in society, unusual for rural women.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    With over 5 years of experience working in this region Chasing Zero has established relationships with implementing partners in Malawi as well as an infrastructure of community volunteers (Mother Buddies) ready to deliver the project to the women in their community. The programme has a proven track record of improving key indicators of maternal and infant health both in Malawi and in other countries such as Nigeria. We now want to expand this innovative programme to include more Clients.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    David Deakin

    David originally designed the project and delivers ongoing refresher training to our implementing partners on how to run the project.

    Evangelical Alliance Malawi (EAM)

    EAM are our implementing partner in southern Malawi where we work in 2 communities. They co-ordinate and resource half of the Mother Buddies.

    Livingstonia Synod Aids Programme (LISAP)

    LISAP are our implementing partner in Northern Malawi where we work in 3 communities. They co-ordinate and resource half of the Mother Buddies.

    Rachel Bowers

    Rachel provides strategic direction, ongoing support to implementing partners and focuses on the monitoring and evaluation of the project.


will pay for a vulnerable mum-to-be to receive full pregnancy support.