Mothers of Africa is a small charity established by Professor Judith Hall, a clinician and academic based in Cardiff UK. The charity was set up in 2004 to address the United Nations 5th Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health by reducing maternal mortality and achieving access to reproductive health for all women.
In high resourced countries a woman's risk of dying in, or as a result of childbirth, is 1in 3,700: whereas, in sub-Saharan Africa the risk is 1 in 38. Since its inception Mothers of Africa has developed and delivered training programmes to doctors and other clinical staff of all grades in a number of African countries including Liberia, Benin, Togo and Tanzania.
In 2012 the charity started working with colleagues in Zambia, and in particular Chongwe District Hospital and the near-by village of Shiyala. The village is a widespread community of subsistence farmers, centered around a government health post and a derelict community school run by untrained volunteer teachers. Over the following couple of years the relationship between the charity and village grew and Professor Hall began to realise that improving the education of the village children could make a long term contribution to the charity's overall objective. She said: "I recognised that the girls running around this patch of land with no education, were the girls who were going to die".
In 2013, a small group of supporters in Monaco became actively involved in the running of general education programs in Zambia, including helping with the adult literacy and numeracy classes. To help and support the aims and objectives of the UK charity a Mothers of Africa Monaco Association was officially established in December 2017.
In 2016 the charity set about working with the village and a social enterprise architecture company, Orkidstudio, to rebuild the school and establish it as a recognised and funded school.
In 2018, the charity handed over the second phase of the build and Shiyala now has a government-adopted school with nine classrooms, trained professional Zambian teachers and space for over 500 learners.