Reach for Change (R4C) Senegal in conjunction with Mothers at Risk (MAR), a Brussels-based non-profit organisation committed to helping save lives in pregnancy and childbirth and The Ella Fund (TEF), a philanthropy fund that seeks to empower girls and women through education, healthcare and entrepreneurship has launched a national competition tagged ‘Innovating for Mothers Challenge’, with the aim of finding and supporting innovative and entrepreneurial initiatives for maternal and newborn health in Senegal that are ready to grow their impact.
The founder of MAR, Diana Perez-Buck, stated, ‘During times of crisis – like the current Covid-19 pandemic – babies continue to be born and women continue to experience pregnancy and delivery, but with additional risks and challenges. It is especially important at times like this for mothers and newborns to have access to quality and timely prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care’.
At this time of the Covid-19 pandemic, this innovation challenge brings some optimism, forward thinking and a sense of hope to the many aspiring Senegalese entrepreneurs who will be confined and concerned, but still eager to continue working on their innovations that strengthen Senegalese women’s access to quality care during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.
The Country Manager of R4CSenegal, Mayacine Diop, stated that social entrepreneurs selected for the programme will be provided with expert individual and group training, organised visits to established businesses and mentoring in the Senegal Incubator Programme, delivered by R4C. The winner(s) will also receive between $10,000–$20,000 in grant funding to increase their impact on maternal and newborn health.
She added that through the programme, social entrepreneurs will acquire technical, entrepreneurial, and leadership skills that will enable them to develop successful and sustainable social enterprises to impact maternal and neonatal health.
It was also noted that social innovators interested in applying to the challenge should have solutions that, once proven successful, have the potential to scale up and should use digital tools and technologies for maternal health. Their solutions should benefit vulnerable women in the poorest urban/peri-urban environments, in particular those most disadvantaged.
Source: All Africa
Photo source: David Stanley