Meghan, Harry, and Archie are on a royal tour of Africa this week, their first as a new family. In between important meetings and inspirational speeches, Meghan made time to visit a charity supporting HIV-positive women, mothers2mothers (m2m).
Originally a program to prevent mother-to-child HIV transmission, mothers2mothers trains and employs HIV positive women as community health workers. These “Mentor Mothers” become forces for good within their community, working in severely understaffed medical facilities and serving as positive role models for children. To date, mothers2mothers has reached over 11 million women and children, and in 2017 served 1 in 6 of the world’s HIV-positive pregnant women, according to their website.
For Meghan Markle, mothers2mothers was the latest stop on her busy schedule. Meghan visited the charity’s offices on Wednesday, giving out hugs and lighting up the room with her smile. After noticing that babies sitting in laps couldn’t reach the toys on the floor, Meghan broke the ice by sitting on the ground, with everyone else following her lead.
Meghan listened intently as women in the group shared their stories. These included Limpho Nteko, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive while pregnant at 19. Though Nteko’s baby was born HIV-free, the child sadly died three weeks later.
“The way [Meghan] made us all feel so comfortable, so quickly — she just wanted to connect, listen, and share,” said Nteko. “It was good.”
“What you’re doing is so important,” Meghan told Nteko, who is now a Mentor Mother. “When you have a role model with a shared experience it creates a much faster connection and it’s great that you’re able to do that … And look at you — so empowered!”
Meghan also brought along a gift for the charity. She presented m2m with baby clothes that were outgrown by little Archie and children of Meghan’s friends. “I just thought that, in the spirit of community, what’s so nice is to be able to share some of the things we have at home as well,” Meghan told the group. Among the items was an adorable onesie imprinted with the words “The Future.”
Before leaving, Meghan stopped to play with 15-month-old Asivile: “Look who’s having the best time, living her best life!,” Meghan playfully told her.
Meghan, Harry, and Archie’s African tour will continue until October 2. The royal couple will attend a meeting with South African president Cyril Ramaphosa.