Between 23rd to 25th of October, mothers2mothers (m2m) supporters from around the globe came together to take part in [email protected] – m2m’s epic challenge weekend. COVID-19 pandemic meant that our flagship event could not take place as planned in one of the countries where we work – but we kept the wheels moving, and invited more people than ever to take on our new virtual edition which brought Cycle2Zero to people’s homes!
It was a truly global event with participants taking part from over 300 countries! From South Africa, Australia, and Italy, to Germany, and the U.S…. and many other places in between, m2m’s global community cycled, rowed, walked, hiked, ran, and swam – and even kitesurfed! – to help raise vital funds and awareness for m2m’s health heroes, Mentor Mothers working on the frontlines, who are currently standing up to two pandemics in sub-Saharan Africa.
Among those taking part were m2m Founder Dr. Mitch Besser who organised a committed group to row one million metres for m2m, and was joined by m2m Patron Annie Lennox, plus m2m Ambassador Christian Brassington who cycled 75 miles on Saturday!
Donations are still coming in, but we are thrilled to announce that so far, the event has surpassed its fundraising targets! The funds raised are invaluable to m2m’s frontline team—the nearly 1,700 women living with HIV, employed by m2m as community health workers. These Mentor Mothers often travel many miles each day to reach the women, children, and adolescents they serve with lifesaving health services and education.
This year, the world has recognised the importance of health workers, and [email protected] was an opportunity to celebrate m2m’s very own health heroes, our frontline powerhouse team.
I give women and families health education and emotional support so that no baby is born with HIV, no mother dies unnecessarily, and that children and families thrive. I might not be a doctor, but I know I can save lives—together, we are contributing to Uganda’s future, says Teddy Atim, an m2m Mentor Mother and Spokeswoman in Uganda.
Never has the work of Teddy, and the other women employed as Mentor Mothers, been more important. It is vital that vulnerable and marginalised individuals, especially those living with HIV, can access health services to stay healthy during this challenging year. As we rebuild our world following the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to shape a future that is HIV-free. According to the WHO and UNAIDS, COVID-19-related disruptions to HIV services in sub-Saharan Africa could undo over 10 years’ work in making huge strides in the fight against HIV. With the support of participants in [email protected], we can ensure that instead of going backwards, we continue to move forward to reach our goal.
It truly was a team effort. The event was an official challenge on the fitness app Strava, where over four million km’s were covered by m2m participants. That is the same distance as travelling round the earth over 100 times! We are beyond grateful to have such a global, and committed group of supporters.
I’m so grateful for the generosity of friends, family and strangers who contributed to my cycle ride in support of m2m, and specifically the wonderful Mentor Mothers. Miles 56-60 were a particular struggle but I was minded to remember that I was merely taking up my weekend pedalling along. The Mentor Mothers cover vast distances on their bicycles every single day; delivering life-saving information, education and treatment. Their work is vital in the truest sense of the word and I continue to be humbled and honoured to be associated with mothers2mothers. Also, my pal Anthony fell into the canal around mile 25. So it was definitely the best bike ride ever. – Christian Brassington, m2m Ambassador.
Vitabiotics was delighted to support mothers2mothers’ (m2m) epic [email protected] event. Now more than ever, we recognise the importance of frontline health workers, especially m2m Mentor Mothers who are currently fighting two pandemics – HIV/AIDS and COVID-19. We were proud to add our voice to the campaign and stand alongside these incredible health heroes. – Ellora Booley, Vitabiotics Brand Manager.
A big thank you to everyone who took part and supported this event. We cannot continue our work without the incredible support of our donors, partners, and supporters. Webale muno. Ngiyabonga. Medase. Obrigada. Siyathokoza khulu. Rea leboha. Enkosi. Gracias. Thank you.