Pregnant, newly diagnosed with HIV, terrified to disclose their status to anyone, and without access to life-saving information, these mothers-to-be had no one to turn to.
After a successful 15-year Emmy Award-winning career in the entertainment industry, Robin Smalley co-founded mothers2mothers, a Cape Town based NGO providing education, empowerment and suppport for pregnant women and new mothers living with HIV/AIDS. m2m reaches these women with a unique approach to service by professionalizing lay people living with HIV, and fighting stigma by making them valued members of prenatal care teams that have traditionally been populated by dwindling numbers of overworked and overstressed doctors and nurses. As m2m’s first Executive Director and current International Director, Robin has guided the organization through a period of extraordinary growth. A tiny grassroots endeavor in 2004, m2m has established itself as part of the health care landscape of sub-Saharan Africa, expanding to over 600 sites in seven African countries, employing over 1600 HIV-positive mothers and reaching 20% of the global population of HIV-positive pregnant women.