Give a child a flying start this festive season

Not every child gets the flying start in life they deserve. In South Africa, health challenges such as exposure to HIV, poor nutrition and a lack of parental education can easily block a successful take off for many infants and toddlers.

This festive season British Airways has teamed up with mothers2mothers to help some of these children thrive.

mothers2mothers is a South African success story. Founded in Cape Town in 2001, today it is an internationally recognised NGO which works in seven African countries.

It unlocks the power of African mothers to transform the health of families by serving as frontline health workers. These “Mentor Mothers” work at clinics, schools, churches and door-to-door in communities. They deliver vital health and education services, while educating and supporting mothers to ensure their children get the best possible start in life.

This festive season British Airways is encouraging colleagues who work for the airline and the South African public to make donations towards educational gifts for children who are part of mothers2mothers early childhood development programmes across South Africa.

Donations can be made between now and 13 December by visiting

A R100 donation could buy a set of stacking cups that develop gross motor skills and shape and colour recognition. A R200 contribution could help a toddler’s imagination soar with a new toy car. A R500 donation will provide a mini-toy kit consisting of cups, a car and an educational puzzle.

British Airways is donating R100 000 to help kick-start the campaign.

“In our centenary year there seemed no better gift than to give a flying start to children who otherwise may have had to do without even the most basic toys,” says Sue Petrie, British Airways trade commercial manager in South Africa.

Frank Beadle de Palomo, mothers2mothers president and CEO says:

“This centenary year donation will be a welcome boost to our programmes across our home country of South Africa. Every additional donation from our friends at British Airways, its customers and the public will help to make a big difference to a child’s development.”

Over the past 18 years, mothers2mothers has created over 10 000 jobs for HIV-positive women, who have reached over 11 million women and children under two with life-changing health services. In 2017 97% of children enrolled in its early childhood development programme reached all their developmental milestones by the age of one.

It has helped to almost end mother-to-child transmission of HIV for women in the programme over the past five years. In 2018 the rate of transmission among enrolled mothers was 1.3%, far below the 5% UNAIDS defines as “virtual elimination”.

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