GiftedMom

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GiftedMom: Using Technology to save Lives and engage youths in the informal sector.

Bamenda and Buea, CameroonYaounde, Cameroon
Year Founded:
2013
Organization type: 
hybrid
Project Stage:
Growth
Budget: 
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

At GiftedMom, we use innovative technologies and underemployed youths in the informal sector to improve maternal and infant health in Cameroon and across Africa.

Named one of Africa's Top Social Enterprises by the Anzisha Prize, we have engaged over 200 youths and target over 30,000 by 2017.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What If technology and underemployed youths could be use to improve maternal and infant health and save lives?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The rate of unemployment in Africa has fallen by over 50% in the last decade but the rate of underemployment is increasing exponentially with 80% of those affected being youths from poor backgrounds, usually without a formal education, secure income, employment benefits and social protection. This leads to youths who are the future of Africa, leaving illegally for 'green pastures' abroad resulting in brain drain.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

At GiftedMom, we use innovative and low-cost technologies to improve the healthcare of pregnant women and new-borns. We have developed SMS, Web and Mobile applications that notify and follow up pregnant women and mothers especially those in rural and disconnected areas. Most of these underemployed youths in the informal sector are passionate about serving their community, hence we identify, train and engage these youths in our activities of building an Africa of Gifted Mothers. We engage and employ them as community workers and peer educators sensitizing and subscribing more women to our services. We provide them a secure income, employment benefits and social protection and using them we have impacted the lives of over 1200 women.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

Sarah, Nurse hopeful was admitted in 2009 into one of the private medical schools in Cameroon. She is from rural Cameroon and her Uncle decided to pay her fees because he was in Medical school. On her final year (in 2012), over 30 Medical schools (including hers) were banned by the government in 2013 and she was left stranded, without any certification - not knowing where to go and her Uncle withdrawn paying her fees. She started working as a contract nurse in her village and faced several salary cuts without explanations despite her hardwork. She is now employed at GiftedMom as a peer educator, with a secure income and social protection. At GiftedMom, we want to engage over 30,000 underemployed youths like Sarah by 2017.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

At GiftedMom, we use low-cost technologies and underemployed in the informal sector to improve maternal and infant health. We have identified, train and engaged over 200 youths, most of which are medical students whose schools were closed down by the government in 2012. From this number, we provide secure income and social protection to 8 fully employed youths and the others act as volunteers with incentives and are working on starting their own community development initiatives. We target over 30,000 youths by 2017 from Cameroon and in 10 African countries, engaging underemployed youths in the informal sector with the skills to impact their immediate community. Through our activities, GiftedMom has the potential to reduce illegal immigration and brain drain in Africa by 10-15% in the next 10 years, increasing the rates of antenatal care attendance by 60% across Africa.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

To impact 30,000 underemployed youths in the informal sector, reducing illegal immigration and brain drain in Africa by 10-15% in 10 years, we plan on covering all of Cameroon by end 2015 and expand to 10 African countries by end 2017. We have started our expansion in Cameroon and we reduce cost of our outreach by partnering with community development agencies who identify these passionate young people in rural and disconnect areas for us. To expand to 10 African countries, we wish to be part of the African Leadership Network Ventures as from 2015 permitting us to get networks in Africa.
Sustainability

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

In order for GiftedMom (not-for-profit) to be sustainable and not depend only on grants and donors, we have a hybrid model where GiftedMom Analytics (for-profit) signs premium contracts with international NGOs and governments to provide them with unique data and insights we harness on maternal and infant health. This provides us with revenue streams to be self sustainable and offer social protection to our employees.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We have organizations who are fighting to improve maternal and infant health and we have organizations who are fighting for youth employment. What makes us unique is the way we merge the two: using innovative technologies and underemployed youths in the informal sector to save lives. While other organizations just build their solutions and leave them on the internet or mobile systems, we have seen a need to engage passionate young people who actually go to the field, sensitize and help pregnant women and new mothers in rural areas to subscribe for our services.
Team

Founding Story

I co-founded GiftedMom with a medical doctor who at the same time is a friend I have known for over 12 years. I visited him in his clinic where he was doing his integrated medicine in rural Cameroon and I noticed that they had lost 17 premature babies from causes like syphilis, chlamydia and malaria which can be prevented by Antenatal care. After doing research, we discovered that over 800 pregnant women die per day in the world from causes that can be prevented by a proper follow up. We also noticed that most of the nurses and community workers are underemployed hence are victims of illegal immigration to abroad, leaving the pregnant women and new-borns in rural areas with no one to look after them. I knew both could be connected

Team

Co-founding Team: 1)Alain Nteff (Bsc. Telecommunications Engineering; Experience working for Google; World Economic Forum Global shaper) Role: Heads Engineering 2)Serra Lem (Masters in Public Health; Experience in Community and Health development) Role: Head of Operations and Community development 3)Dr.Conrad Tankou (MD, heads Medical ethics) Advisors: • Sharon K. D’AGOSTINO VP, Corporate Citizenship, Johnson&Johnson
About You
About You
First Name

Alain

Last Name

Nteff

About Your Project
Organization Name
How long has your organization been operating?

Please select

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Project
Organization Country

, Yaounde

Country where this project is creating social impact

, Bamenda and Buea

What awards or honors has the project received?
Funding: How is your project financial supported?

Friends and family, Individuals, Foundations, NGOs, Regional government, Customers.

Supplemental
Awards: What awards or honors has your solution received, if any?

Anzisha Prize Award 2014 (Grand Prize Winner)
Lenovo Social Impact Challenge 2014 (Silver Award)
Rwanga Social Competition at ONE Young World Summit 2014 (Finalists)

Tell us about your partnerships

1)World Health Organizations’ Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (WHO-PMNCH):
The WHO-PMNCH is a leading department of the World Health Organization fighting to improve maternal and infant health. With over 800 members including organization, governments, international NGOs and community development agencies, GiftedMom is benefiting from lot of mentorship and coaching on how we can better scale our impact in Cameroon and employ more youths and Community workers.
Link:http://www.who.int/pmnch/about/members/database/giftedmom/en/

2) The Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action (MAMA):
MAMA is the world's leading life-saving content provider. Our partnership with them has driven down the cost of our content development as they provide us with life-saving messages, enabling us to focus our resources on employing and involving more youths and community workers.
Link:www.mobilemamaalliance.org

3)Community Development Agency (CAMCODA):
CAMCODA is Cameroon's leading Community Development Agency and our partnership with them facilitates the process of identifying and employing youths who do not have a formal education but are passionate for community service.
Link: http://www.camcoda.org/

Challenges: What challenges might hinder the success of your project and how do you plan to overcome them?

Challenge 1:
Financial Resources/Sustainability
GiftedMom is a non-for-profit in the healthcare sector. Like any order non-for-profit, we face the challenge of providing a secure income, employments benefits and social protection to the passionate youths we employ from poor backgrounds and from the informal sector.

Solution:
In order for GiftedMom (not-for-profit) to be sustainable and not depend only on grants and donors, we have a hybrid model where GiftedMom Analytics (for-profit) signs premium contracts with international NGOs and governments to provide them with unique data and insights we harness on maternal and infant health. This provides us with revenue streams to be self sustainable and offer social protection to our employees.

Challenge 2:
Scaling
At GiftedMom, we face a challenge of reaching out into disconnect areas all over Cameroon to identity youths from poor backgrounds but who are passionate about serving their communities.

Solution:
We are increasing our strategic partnerships with community development agencies and meeting groups in order to reduce cost of our outreach campaigns.

How does your idea help young people create bright futures and improve opportunities for meaningful and long-term careers?

One of the main problem in Africa is not unemployment, but underemployment.

The rate of unemployment in Africa has fallen by over 50% in the last decade but the rate of underemployment is increasing exponentially with 80% of those affected being youths from poor backgrounds, usually without a formal education, a secure income, employment benefits and social protection.

At GiftedMom, we use innovative and low-cost technologies to improve the healthcare of pregnant women and new-borns. Most of these underemployed youths in the informal sector are passionate about serving their community, hence we identify, train and engage them in our activities of building an Africa of Gifted Mothers.

We engage and employ them as community workers and peer educators with a secure income, employment benefits and social protection.

Target Age Group(s): What age group(s) do(es) your solution target through it's programming?

18-35, 36-64.

Intervention Focus: Identify which of the following best explain key parts of your solution

Job Creation, Training/Skill Development, Community, Rural Economies.

Do you have separate programs or initiatives that target the following types of populations?

Boys/Men, Girls/Women.

Impact - Reach: How many people did your project directly engage in programmatic activities in the last year?

1,001 to 10,000

Number of People Directly Employed by Your Organization

Fewer than 10

Number of Volunteers

101-250

Does your project utilize any of the innovative design principles below? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.

Redefine "Work: create flexible income generation opportunities or formalize jobs that have been historically considered informal or insecure

Is your project targeted at solving any of the following key barriers? Select a theme below that most applies to your work. If none of them do, no problem, you can skip this question.

Lack of youth empowerment

Comments

Jack Smith's picture

Good target, hopefully you will reach. Nice project.

Mpiima Jamiru's picture

Great project, however you should consider developing these products from the user perspective

J Thomson's picture

Great project,i like it and this will bring innovative technology better.