gifts with purpose: 10 organizations that support maternal health in the developing world.

November 20, 2013, Michaela Evanow, 13 Comments

There are so many wonderful organizations out there that you can give to in general or for Christmas on behalf of someone else. You may not get anything you can physically hold in return, except a little card, or a handmade piece of jewellery, but that’s okay.

It’s okay because we shop for ourselves and our family year round. It’s okay because a lot of us have enough.

If you love showering people with kitchen utensils, crockpots, sweaters they will return and perfume, that’s great. I do! But we can do it throughout the year too.

Christmas gifts with purpose: 10 organizations that support maternal health in the developing world. michaelaevanow.comI’ve compiled a small list of a 10 organizations you can give to on behalf of your mom or secret santa or spouse or friend.

I have a heart for maternal health, here, and all over the world. I’m a birth junkie, and always will be, and have spent some time overseas working in this field.

You can sponsor a child, or give a goat or chicken too, but these ones are close to my heart. Did you know 800 women die every day due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth around the world? And most of these are preventable deaths. Read more about it here.

support maternal health in the developing world.

Plus they offer gift giving options to get you involved too.

Watch this Video from Every Mother Counts. We have it so good here in our Western world. If you’ve given birth, especially if you had a complication, or a C-Section, you know the value of healthcare. 

1. World Vision: “World Vision is a Christian relief, development and advocacy organization dedicated to working with children, families and communities to overcome poverty and injustice.

  • Mother to Child HIV and AIDS prevention ($75)
  • Pre and Postnatal care for mother and child ($100)
  • Donate to the Maternal Health Campaign in Afghanistan because “Every 30 minutes, an Afghan woman dies of childbirth-related complications.”

2. Edna Adan Hospital Foundation: located in the heart of Somaliland, Edna Adan, a nurse-midwife, spent her entire savings on building this maternity hospital in a region with some of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world. 

  • Sponsoring a baby who is being treated in an incubator for prematurity (preterm) ($20 a day)
  • Delivery kit and supplies ($25)
  • Sponsor a woman having a normal delivery ($30)
  • Delivery, C-Section, anesthesia and hospital stay ($300)
  • Train Nurse, Midwife and Post Basic Midwife. ($5/day or $50/month)

3. Every Mother Counts: “Every Mother Counts is a campaign to end preventable deaths caused by pregnancy and childbirth around the world. Every Mother Counts informs, engages, and mobilizes new audiences to take action to improve the health and well-being of girls and women worldwide.

  • Ensure a pregnant woman can get a ride to the clinic when she goes into labor. ($3)
  • Provide 50 women with safe motherhood kits with basic supplies for delivery and postnatal care. ($500)

Or purchase an Ergo Baby carrier for a new mama in your life, designed by the founder of Every Mother Counts and Ergo Baby. Although only 10% goes towards Every Mother Counts, it’s still a wonderful option, because Ergo Carriers are fantastic. There are a few other accessories and options available. Check them out.

Ergo for Every Mother Counts


4. CARE“Women are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to improve basic education, increase access to clean water and sanitation, expand economic opportunity and protect vulnerable mothers and infants during pregnancy and childbirth.” 

  • Train eight health workers to support healthy births for mothers and newborns. ($375)

5) AMREF: “AMREF is improving disease prevention, health promotion, and access to health services in Africa. We champion women and children, who are often the most marginalized, as a means to improve the overall health and lives of the people on the continent. Training health workers, particularly midwives, is the most cost-effective way to reduce maternal mortality. AMREF has committed to training more than 15,000 midwives over the coming years.”

  • Supply a midwife with a bicycle ($75)
  • Purchase the supplies for two “mama kits” ($20)
  • Basic training for a community midwife ($250)

6) Plan: “Plan is a global movement for change, mobilizing millions of people around the world to support social justice for children in developing countries.”

  • Maternity bed and supplies ($70)
  • Deliver a healthy baby ($200)
  • Newborn checkup ($30)

7) UNICEF: “UNICEF Inspired Gifts is an innovative program that gives you the opportunity to purchase actual lifesaving items that will be shipped directly from both the UNICEF warehouse in Copenhagen and one of UNICEF’s many suppliers to help children in one of over 150 countries or territories where UNICEF serves.”

  • HIV test kit ($125)
  • Baby scale ($33)

8) Shanti Uganda: I attended a fundraiser for Shanti a while ago, and donated my placenta encapsulation service for the silent auction. This organization is really lovely, and was started by a doula in Vancouver. Truly an inspiration. “The Shanti Uganda Birth House is a solar powered maternity centre on one acre of land in Nsaasi Village in the Luweero District of Uganda. An average of 15-20 babies are born at the Shanti Uganda Birth House each month and we are the only health facility in the village.”

  • Cover essential pre and post natal care for one mother ($50)
  • Ensure that one midwife is provided with ongoing medical refresher and training ($75)

9) Jhpiego works to keep women alive during pregnancy and childbirth in Afghanistan. There are simple solutions that have significant impact on these problems. 

  • Provide a Mama Pack – or a gift of health and wellness supplies – for new baby and mother ($35)
  • Educate and equip one midwifery student with books, delivery smocks, and solar-powered flashlights ($75)

10) Global Giving: this is the jackpot of search engines for humanitarian organizations. Simply type in a word like: breastfeeding, maternal health or newborns and you see lists and lists of organizations. It’s brilliant. “Global Giving is full of solutions. Solutions run by innovative, grassroots projects and organizations that are working to educate children, feed the hungry, build houses, train women (and men) with job skills, and hundreds of other amazing things.”

A few examples of what these various grassroots organizations fund:

I had to add one more, because it goes perfectly with gift giving, if you choose to give a physical gift.

Clean Birth: “works to prevent the needless deaths of mothers and babies in Laos, where maternal and infant mortality rates are among the highest in the world.” They offer gift cards, with an original picture of mother in Laos, along with these words printed on the back: “You’ve been given a gift that saves lives and makes birth safer for Moms and Babies in Laos”

  • Buy 5 cards for $15 and make birth safer for 3 mothers and three babies.
  • Buy 10 cards for $30 and make birth safer for 6 moms and 6 babies.

The options are endless.

Happy giving.

Christmas gifts with purpose: 10 organizations that support maternal health in the developing world.


  • Reply CleanBirth Listed in Numerous Holiday Guides! November 26, 2013 at 7:32 AM

    […] grateful to Multicultural Kids Blogs, Dancing Through Pregnancy, World Moms Blog and Michaela Evanow for including us on their lists of organizations to support this holiday […]

  • Reply Jhpiego November 25, 2013 at 10:39 AM

    Hi Michaela –

    We really appreciate you highlighting not only all of these great orgs, but also the issue of maternal health in the developing world. We LOVE to see folks advocate for mothers and newborns. You made our day! And we agree with Kristyn: very grateful to be included; we’ll be tweeting this out this week. Have a great holiday season!

    – Jhpiego

    • Reply Michaela. November 25, 2013 at 10:40 AM

      So lovely to hear from you! What a wonderful organization. Thanks for all you do.

  • Reply Kristyn Zalota, Founder November 22, 2013 at 6:38 AM

    I love this! Thank you for spreading the word about organizations helping moms and babies birth safely! My small organization,, provides ethnic minority women in remote villages in Laos with safe birthing supplies and trains nurses. Our $3 holiday gift tags make a big difference. Thanks!

    • Reply Michaela. November 22, 2013 at 9:57 AM

      Hi Kristyn, love your organization. I added it to the bottom of the post, because it’s such a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

      • Reply Kristyn Zalota November 25, 2013 at 8:23 AM

        Wow that is amazing! Thank you so much!  I am off to spread your post far and wide:) Happy Thanksgiving!

        Kristyn   Founder

        $5 Saves 2 Lives Like us on Facebook 860.391.9158


  • Reply Jolie November 20, 2013 at 4:39 PM

    Great idea!! Thanks for sharing! LOVE this picture of you with tiny new babe – birth is astounding!

    • Reply Michaela. November 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Thanks Jolie!

    • Reply Michaela. November 20, 2013 at 5:05 PM

      Actually that baby was breech, hence the legs sticking up, vaginally delivered too!

  • Reply Dawn Daws November 20, 2013 at 4:05 PM

    Here is another great one helping Haitian women keep their babies and be able to care for them where once adoption was the only way!

    • Reply Michaela. November 20, 2013 at 5:02 PM

      Thanks Dawn! There are so many others!

  • Reply Cindy Brandt November 20, 2013 at 3:33 PM

    Here’s another one –

    • Reply Michaela. November 20, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      Awesome, I’ve heard of that one. Thanks!

    Leave a Reply