Sponsored by: Kangu
For Casey Santiago, her first pregnancy was a time filled with joy and excitement. Like so many of us, Casey remembers the feeling of amazement of hearing her son’s heartbeat and feeling him move in her belly. She was also scared and felt vulnerable in a way that she had never been before.
A week before her due date, Casey felt her first contractions and, when the time seemed right, she and her husband went to the hospital. Casey credits the safe delivery of her son to an amazing team of professionals that were by her side throughout her pregnancy and during the entire birth.
With all of the excitement that surrounds pregnancy and birth for many of us, it’s easy to forget that this is not the case for many women around the world. The reality is that more than half of all expectant mothers living in developing countries will go through their pregnancies and deliveries without any medical professionals.
If these women contract an infection, develop high blood pressure, or start to hemorrhage, things can rapidly become dangerous, and even fatal. If the baby is turned the wrong way, experiences distress during labor, or has congenital deformities or birth injuries, the outcome can be tragic.
According to the World Health Organization, 800 women and 8,000 newborns die each day because they lack access to basic healthcare services, like a trained birth attendant and a clean facility. For each death, 20 more women are injured or disabled.
Ninety percent of these deaths can be prevented with access to basic services and emergency care. And it was this reality that inspired Casey to found Kangu, the world’s first crowdfunding platform for pregnancy and childbirth.
"For the more than 2 billion women living on less than $2 a day, safe birth services are simply out of reach," says Santiago, “At Kangu we envision a world where all pregnant women get the support they need before, during, and after childbirth.”
To date, Kangu has provided life-saving financial support for more than 550 pregnant women in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. Through its online crowdfunding platform, individuals and groups come together to fund a specific pregnant woman’s access to clean, life-saving healthcare services for as little as $10 each. Contributions received by Kangu go directly to in-country partner organizations that deliver prenatal care, assisted delivery, neonatal and postpartum care.
Click on the image below to help fund María's safe birth.
When you donate to Kangu, you have the opportunity to select the mother-to-be, called “mamas” at Kangu, who you would like to support. On Kangu’s mama’s page, you can read the mother’s story, find out when she is due, and see how much funding she still needs. After the mama gives birth, Kangu provides you with an update on how mama and baby are doing and the mama’s plans and hopes for the future.
It only costs $545, on average, to provide clean, life-saving services for these women and their babies. For that small investment, women receive prenatal care and have a trained professional attend and assist their labor and delivery. Emergency care and services will be available during and after delivery.
These services, made possible by Kangu and the Kangu Community of donors, have resulted in a decrease in maternal mortality by as much as 80 percent.
As Santiago puts it, “Kangu is creating a global movement that allows moms and those that love them to come together in a very concrete and personal way to encounter each other and take very simple action to help each other. People all around the world - in 103 countries - have come to the website. Thousands of people have together funded safe births and are showing that we don't need to wait for governments or millionaires to change the world. We can do it ourselves.”
Looking forward, Kangu aims to sustainably expand its crowdfunding and partnerships around the world for safe pregnancy and birth for all expectant mothers.
You can become part of Kangu’s work to bring safe births to women in Bolivia, Guatemala, Mexico, Nepal, and Uganda, by visiting http://www.kangu.org and clicking on mamas.