Malawi: Fighting Period Poverty in Rural Schools

More than 75% of girls attending rural schools in Malawi lack knowledge about menstruation and cannot afford personal hygiene products. Instead of inaccessible or too expensive sanitary pads, they use random materials (such as rags, leaves, plastic bags) which are ineffective and can cause infections. This results in them missing school during menstruation (for a … Continued

Malawi: „Fruits for Africa” Development and Environmental Project

Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world, faces significant food security challenges, especially due to climate change and lack of crop diversification among smallholder farmers. Recognizing the importance of fruits as a source of essential vitamins and the environmental benefits of tree planting, we have launched the multi-year “Fruits for Africa” project in … Continued

Malawi: „The Boat of Life” for the Health Center on Chisi Island

One of the main goals of our activities in Malawi is to reduce maternal and infant mortality and improve healthcare on Chisi Island in Zomba district of Malawi. Chisi is a small island in the middle of Lake Chilwa, the second-largest lake in Malawi. This island is sometimes referred to as the most remote place … Continued

Poland: Global Education

Since its inception, YORGHAS Foundation has been actively involved in global education. We collaborate with numerous primary schools, volunteer circles, preschools, high schools, universities, and libraries across Poland. We participate in meetings, deliver lectures, and conduct workshops; we engage in discussions about the challenges faced by Global South in the context of our work in … Continued

Malawi is one of the poorest countries in Africa and the world. Despite the introduction of free primary education in 1994, 73% of children in rural areas still do not complete school due to poverty. School supplies, even the most modest, often exceed the financial means of parents. For single mothers, grandparents, or orphan caregivers, spending around 25 USD on a mandatory school uniform is a challenge beyond their capabilities, not to mention additional items such as shoes, backpacks, notebooks, and school supplies that are needed too…

Many children, especially in rural areas, carry notebooks and supplies in plastic bags or homemade bags from sugar or laundry powder sacks. Girls are particularly disadvantaged because, due to cultural reasons, especially in rural areas, boys’ education takes precedence, and large families cannot afford to send all their children to school.

Since the inception of the YORGHAS Foundation in Malawi, we have been supporting children’s education by distributing uniforms, backpacks, and supplies, as well as organizing sports events to promote education, peace, violence prevention, gender equality, and health. We conduct fundraisers, charity actions, collaborate with dozens of primary and secondary schools, volunteer circles, higher education institutions, and individual donors in Poland and abroad to support as many children in Malawi as possible.

As part of the third edition of our recurring “Pencils for Africa” campaign, we have already provided school uniforms and backpacks to hundreds of learners in primary schools in Lichenza and Senzani but the project is ongoing, and we strongly encourage you to support it.

Malawi has one of the highest maternal mortality rates globally, with 439 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births and 40 neonatal deaths per 1,000 live births. Half of these deaths result from poor hygiene conditions during childbirth, leading to serious infections. Newborn deaths in Malawi account for a quarter of the total number of deaths in children under the age of five.

Many medical facilities face challenges such as a lack of qualified staff, medications, electricity, and proper equipment. Most traditional midwives lack training and access to sterile medical supplies. YORGHAS Foundation’s efforts to reduce infections during childbirth began with the distribution of our MAMA KIT sets, which had already saved the lives and health of thousands of mothers and children in different countries. Thanks to numerous donors from all around the world, we have provided several hundred of these sterile childbirth kits to health centers and rural hospitals in Chikwawa, Bimbi, and on Chisi Island. MAMA KIT is a set of essential items necessary for safe childbirth in any conditions. The use of these kits minimizes the risk of infections that can lead to death or illness of both the mother and the child. Additionally, we installed a solar lighting set at the health center on Chisi Island, addressing the challenge of conducting nighttime procedures that were previously performed by candlelight or flashlights.

We encourage everyone to support our continuous efforts to protect the lives of mothers and babies in Malawi.

Maternal mortality in Africa reflects the disparities between the affluent and the impoverished. With half of the Gambian population living below the poverty line, this economic divide significantly contributes to alarmingly high rates of maternal mortality, estimated at 458 per 100,000 live births. Many of the complications leading to maternal deaths are preventable or treatable. However, the absence of adequate healthcare facilities, essential supplies, or expertise often results in a lack of necessary care during childbirth.

We are delighted and honored to collaborate with the Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow Foundation (FaBB), an organization established by Her Excellency The First Lady of The Republic of The Gambia, Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow. This partnership, in conjunction with MENÀ Humanitarian & Healthcare Awareness Foundation, is dedicated to enhancing healthcare and living conditions for marginalized rural women, girls, and vulnerable children in the country.

Our contribution included the distribution of safe birthing kits (MAMA KITS), malaria rapid tests, blood glucose kits, blood pressure monitors, pulse oximeters, gloves, and other essential medical care items. These supplies were delivered to the Farafenni General Hospital in the North Bank region, marking a significant step toward improving maternal and child healthcare in the region.

Diabetes presents a significant health challenge in Africa, exacerbated by challenging socioeconomic conditions. Gestational diabetes is also emerging as a growing concern. Limited healthcare access and awareness create obstacles for early detection and effective management of the disease. Addressing these issues is paramount to alleviate the impact on maternal and fetal health.

In December 2022, the YORGHAS Foundation took a significant step towards combating diabetes in Cameroon. Over 4800 safety lancets and glucometers were generously donated to our local partner  the Global Diabetes Initiatives’ humanitarian and medical mission, specifically aimed at the less privileged population in Cameroon. These vital resources were successfully distributed in Bali Nyonga during sessions offering free awareness, education, and screening on diabetes. The initiative placed a special emphasis on preventing gestational diabetes.

In January 2023, we extended our support to the Catholic mission in Cameroon led by the Polish nuns, providing essential hospital equipment such as beds, cabinets, wheelchairs, and more. This equipment was urgently needed for the health center and hospital under construction in the impoverished district of Yaounde.

Our contribution to these crucial projects in Cameroon was made possible through the generosity of companies such as HTL-STREFA, We Care, Base Camp Pilsko, and numerous other compassionate Polish donors. This collaborative effort underscores our commitment to improving healthcare access, raising awareness, and positively impacting the lives of vulnerable communities in Cameroon.

Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers affecting Malawian women.

The Malawi Ministry of Health calls for screaning to be integrated in primary health care and routinely offered to all women, however, these services are not widely available and have very limited capacity. As a part of our efforts reinforcing early detection and diagnosis through teaching a preventive self-examination, we conducted Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign from 1 to 12 November 2022 in districts of Chiradzulu, Dedza, Ntchisi and Zomba in Malawi. 

The campaign not only facilitated training hundreds of residents and staff who would then continue reaching out more women with breast cancer awareness information on the prevention and response but was also a great opportunity to support the Health Center at Chisi Island and rural clinics in other districts with a solar lighting system, laptop, numerous medical products and accessories for cleaning and hygiene maintenance.

For many Ukrainian women, the deadly Russian invasion came as they were preparing to bring new life into the world. Many hospitals and maternity wards have been in the firing line, damaged or destroyed, and cut off from essential medical supplies since Russia launched its assault on the country.

In concern for women giving birth and children being born in a war zone, in shelters, hospital basements, and other places where saving and protecting lives is extremely difficult, we have appealed to people of goodwill worldwide for assistance.

Thanks to the support of the Global Goodwill Ambassadors Foundation, the news portal naTemat.pl , and the Polish Humanitarian Team, we have delivered 700 sterile life-saving maternal kits, known as MAMA KIT, to hospitals in Pavlohrad, Mykolaiv, Zaporizhia, and Dnipro. MAMA KIT is an emergency birthing kit that contains all tools needed to provide a clean and safe delivery even in a harsh environment. It prevents the risk of infection during labor and reduces the number of women and newborns deaths that can occur during childbirth. The birthing kits were accompanied by postpartum packages containing 16,000 reusable sanitary pads generously donated by The Pachamama Project Foundation. 

Check the article in „The Ambassador” here.

Due to its geographical location and global climate changes, Malawi has been experiencing extreme weather events in recent years, especially tropical cyclones leading to floods, landslides, infrastructure damage, and human losses.

After the impact of Cyclone ANA in 2022, YORGHAS Foundation provided humanitarian aid to the community living in the village of Bereu in the Chikwawa District, distributing blankets, hygiene items, kitchenware, maize flour, soybeans, oil, salt, as well as school supplies and snacks for children.

Period poverty means a lack of funds to purchase basic hygiene items such as sanitary pads, tampons, and soap, no access to toilets and running water, and no basic knowledge about hygiene during menstruation.

What does this mean for girls in Tanzania?

Period poverty is very common in African countries. It has a destructive effect on school-age girls who, due to the lack of sanitary pads, do not go to school during menstruation, which causes dropping out of school and, consequently, the end of education.

Either period or school.

Teenage girls who do not go to school are forced into premature marriages, which leads, among others, to unwanted pregnancies and complicated births. In this way, the lack of sanitary pads prevents girls from graduating from school, and thus – to a better life.

What is our solution?

We provided sanitary pads and soaps to school-aged girls in Moshi, Tanzania” Na : „We provided sanitary pads and soaps to school-aged girls in Masoka Secondary School in Moshi, Kilimanjaro region.

Here, you can watch our video from our project in Tanzania. 

In Sierra Leone, not all the children get the privilege of going to school, and of those who are lucky to go, many reach the school without shoes, clean uniforms, and lack school supplies. Without the necessary school supplies, bright young minds lack the quality of education that they need to thrive academically. Too many young people with high potential turn to destructive rather than constructive paths for themselves and their community.

Together with the partners of the 2nd edition of our “PENCILS FOR AFRICA” campaign – CZADowy Ekonom and  Make Our Leaders Foundation – we reached hundreds of generous-hearted individuals. Students from dozens of Polish schools, preschool children, and university students demonstrated dedication and empathy towards their peers in Sierra Leone. Collected during the campaign, 2.8 tons of school supplies and furniture, clothing, and toys were shipped in a container to Sierra Leone and distributed in schools in Freetown, Lunsar, the Kambia district, and the Bololo community.

In traditional Maasai communities, women rarely give birth in hospitals. Usually, childbirth takes place at home, in the presence of a traditional midwife and female relatives. Maasai midwives equipped with knowledge and experience passed down from generation to generation, know very well how to take care of a mother and a newborn baby.

What they lack are medical tools that would ensure better hygiene and avoid infection. That is why we visited Lesoit village, where women gladly accepted our birthing kits.

These beautiful women in the photos below sewed reusable sanitary pads for our teenage beneficiaries in Moshi, reducing the problem of menstrual poverty in the region. Maasai women do not have much opportunity to earn their own money and are often completely financially dependent on men. We are glad that we were able to support women’s economic independence.

Here, you can watch our video from the Lesoit village.

In some remote areas of Tanzania, children are being born in conditions that are hard to imagine in the age of modern medicine. Thanks to our donors, we could at least partially change this dramatic situation. Together with our local partner Buhemba Village of Comfort Foundation we met the staff and patients of the hospital in Arusha, Tanzania, supplying them with MAMA KITs that protect against infections during childbirth. We have also arranged basic medical examinations.

The Tanzanian health care system is divided into the public and private sectors, but regardless of the facility in which a woman decides to give birth, she always bears the costs of the used disposable items. Many women just can’t afford it. Left without a choice, they are forced to give birth at home, without the care of a qualified midwife, which is very risky and dangerous both for a mother and a newborn.

Distribution of MAMA KITs and additional equipment to the hospital increase their chances of safe delivery.

Here, you can watch our video from the hospital in Arusha.

Together with our local partner organization, YAREN, we worked in the Kabazana Nakivale refugee camp in Uganda. As part of our efforts, we conducted training sessions covering topics related to sexually transmitted disease prevention, menstrual hygiene, and the health of girls and women. Each participant was provided with essential personal hygiene items.

We fight period poverty that affects women and girls worldwide. Through our projects, we provide them with access to hygiene products and clean water.

In Tanzania, we cooperate with the Buhemba Village of Comfort Foundation. Together, we implement projects focused on combating poverty, improving access to reproductive health, and fighting for access to water and better sanitation.

Nigeria ranks among the top countries in which women and children die during labour and in the first days of life. Together with our local partner, the Wheels of Hope Rising Foundation, we created the project “Providing a safe childbirth for mothers in the states of Oyo and Ogun in Nigeria”. As part of the project, we want to equip local medical facilities with safe delivery kits, train medical staff and provide care for mothers and their newborns.

Download Concept Paper

We started a project in one of the districts in Uganda with a high mortality rate of mothers and newborns caused by perinatal infections.

Neonatal deaths are inextricably linked to the conditions of delivery and newborn care. Many women die every year during pregnancy and childbirth as a result of conditions that could have been prevented or treated. Poor quality of care due to an insufficient number of skilled health workers and lack of basic equipment, as well as long distances from home to health care facilities are major deterrents to facility delivery. Women living in rural areas, those who come from the poorest families and those who are less educated, have the least access to skilled attendance at delivery.

Uganda has a shortage of well-equipped, community-based facilities and trained healthcare workers. With limited access to transportation, poor road conditions, and an under-resourced health system, many women do not receive timely, quality care.

Within the project we focused on training local health care providers, lifesaving resources and community outreach, as well as health education for mothers, improving access to medical care for women in rural settings.

Thanks to this project we protected health and life of 1000 mothers and 1000 newborns.

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