“Half of the world is unable to access essential health services. Think about that. One out of two people in the world do not have the healthcare they need. One out of two babies born do not have a chance to live a healthy life.”

With that sobering statistic from the World Health Organization, Busi Marandure began her opening remarks at the YOU MATTER Gala on October 3rd. A native of Zimbabwe, Busi was one of three speakers that graced our gala stage, sharing compelling personal stories relating to the three challenges MATTER is addressing in the areas of healthcare, nutrition and education.

Busi Marandure speaking at the YOU MATTER Gala on October 3, 2019.

Busi’s leadership with the Angel of Hope Foundation in Zimbabwe, coupled with her family’s own tragic experience with the fractured healthcare system there, helped MATTERnation better understand the scope of the healthcare challenge before us. Busi shared the devastating events that led to her young brother’s death after a car accident.

“It happened in the middle of the night. There was no ambulance to take him to a hospital and no doctor on call. There was no x-ray machine or CAT scan machine at the clinic and they had no access to basic help…he was in excruciating pain and all they could do was give him over-the-counter pain killers. He died about six hours after that accident in that clinic. Far away from home, in the middle of the country, with no way for us or anyone else to help him.”

Busi’s story is almost unthinkable to us here in America. Yet, for half of the world’s population, it’s not uncommon. Millions of similar stories can be told of tragedies that could have been averted with better healthcare.

Sadly, women and children suffer the most in countries without access to healthcare. Each year in Africa, according to the World Health Organization, around a quarter of a million women die of pregnancy-related causes and approximately one million babies are stillborn, of whom 300,000 die during labor.

But it doesn’t have to do be this way. Busi challenged the audience to dream a bold dream with her.

“What if we could give every mother and every single baby born a chance to live a healthy life? What if we could tell them that they matter and their lives are worth it?”

At MATTER, these what if questions compel us to ask why not? Why not give every mother and every baby a chance to live a healthy life? Why not let them know their lives matter and are worth the very best effort we can give?

With our local hospital partners donating essential equipment and supplies, and our international partners facilitating the equipping of the hospitals, MATTERnation is helping to turn dreams into realities and giving hope to millions of families, like Busi’s, who have endured unnecessary tragedies due to lack of access to proper healthcare.

In places like Arusha, Tanzania, MATTER is partnering with New DAWN Africa, Inc. and Sacred Heart Parish, a local ministry serving the impoverished community outside Arusha. With equipment and supplies from our Midwest hospital partners, along with generous donors, we are outfitting the Sombetini Health Center, a three-story, 60-bed maternity and pediatric hospital, the only one of its kind in the area.

Here is the inspiring story of one of our donors who has helped to make the Sombetini Health Center a reality for the people of Arusha.

What part can you play in helping solve the healthcare challenges facing our world? Your support is critical to addressing these challenges together. Learn more here.