What is a Mother Buddy?


We are working to see children born HIV-free, to help keep parents alive, and families together.

The main way we do this is through our Mother Buddy programme in Malawi.

The programme trains up local women living with HIV, who have given birth to HIV-free children, to become ‘Mother Buddies’.

Through this comprehensive training and their personal experience of the benefits of treatment and care, these empowered women are saving lives every day.

They are having an amazing impact in their communities and we celebrate that more children are being born HIV-free, and that mothers and children are able to lead full and healthy lives.

Our Mother Buddies come alongside pregnant mothers living with HIV – providing practical advice, emotional support and counselling.

Their role is critical in preventing complications for both mother and child and can reduce the risk of HIV passing from mother to child to below 1%!


Mother Buddies – equipped with smartphones – achieve fantastic results!

  • Transmission of HIV from mother to child is being eliminated in project areas in Malawi (reduced from 40% to 1%)
  • We have now proven that the Mother Buddy approach works! Pregnant women helped by Mother Buddies do better than similar women not helped – a new report shows statistically significant differences in terms of knowledge, attitudes and behaviours!

[Mother Buddies make 8 visits to vulnerable pregnant women, 3 in pregnancy, 3 in the first week after birth and then follow-ups at 3 and 6 months. Each visit is guided by smartphone apps and information]


Our Mother Buddies support pregnant women by:

  • Visiting them 8 times over a period of 15 months
  • Sending them text reminders of their clinic appointments and other important dates
  • Working side-by-side with doctors and nurses to educate them about HIV treatment and access to medical support
  • Providing advice on pregnancy
  • Advising them to give birth in the local clinic rather than at home (a key factor in healthy deliveries)
  • Offering emotional support and counselling
  • Coming alongside them as a friend and a listening ear
  • Encouraging the father (where possible) to play an active role in supporting the mother and unborn child
  • Supporting them and their child in the first 6 months after birth

All of this empowers local women to care for themselves and their children, giving entire families and communities the opportunity to thrive as the effects of HIV are reversed.

Emma circle Meet Emma

Emma has four children of her own and is HIV positive, and she has given birth to HIV-free children. When Emma discovered she was living with HIV, her husband refused to be tested and abandoned her. He left her, to fend for herself and their four children.

She now provides support, advice and counselling to other mothers in her community. For these mothers, she is the difference between life and death.

“The most rewarding thing is the happiness and appreciation of the mothers who have not lost their babies. When I hear these stories I feel so proud.” Emma, Mother Buddy

The work of the Mother Buddies is changing and saving lives everyday. You can provide one family in Malawi with access to a Mother Buddy by twinning or sponsoring a pregnancy – helping keep mothers alive and their children born HIV-free.