Embrace Co-Founder, Jane Chen, reflects on how Embrace’s mission transcends political lines.
In June 2014, I was invited to the White House to present Embrace’s work at the first ever Maker Fair. There I met President Obama and had the opportunity to share with him our work at Embrace. At that time, we had helped 60,000 babies.
Just a few weekends ago, I had the chance to meet President Obama again. Accompanying one of our biggest supporters, Brad Freeman, to the Alfalfa events in Washington D.C., I ran into our President and mentioned Embrace’s work. Immediately, President Obama remembered Embrace exclaiming, “You guys make those sleeping bags for babies!” He asked about our progress and was thrilled to hear that we have now helped over 200,000 babies around the world.
It was also wonderful to see Marc Benioff, another incredible supporter of our mission, at the event. I had the chance to meet President Bush and Dick Cheney as well, who congratulated us on our work. During one of the event lunches, I had a lengthy conversation with Colin Powell; he encouraged me to keep doing what I’m passionate about.
Through these incredible meetings and conversations, I realized that helping vulnerable babies is a humanitarian cause that everyone can rally behind, regardless of political stance. At Embrace, we’re so grateful to have the support of people from all different walks of life. With this support, we hope to expand our efforts to reach 1 million babies in some of the most challenging parts of the world.
Nothing makes me more proud of our work than the story of Nathan, the first baby we helped in China. Born at 2 pounds, Nathan was abandoned at birth and rescued by an orphanage in Beijing that kept him in an Embrace infant warmer for 30 days. Nathan survived, and was later adopted by a wonderful family in Chicago. He just turned 4 years old last week, and is a happy and thriving little boy.
Thanks again for being a part of our incredible journey to give love to babies everywhere!
Jane ChenEmbrace Co-Founder
2015 has been an extraordinary year. We celebrated another incredible milestone: over 200,000 low birth weight and premature infants have now been treated with an Embrace warmer worldwide. We’ve also provided intensive one-on-one education on hypothermia and newborn health to over 32,000 mothers, family members and health care workers.
We are immensely proud of this work and grateful for all those who have supported us along the way. But we’re far from finished. We keep looking forward, asking, “How can we reach more babies before it’s too late?” This year alone, 5.9 million children under the age of five died; nearly half were newborns. The majority of these kind of deaths are preventable, but they continue because many infants and mothers lack access to adequate care.
In July, Embrace joined Thrive Networks, an international nonprofit with more than a decade of experience saving newborn lives. Thrive Networks has treated more than 400,000 newborns in over 350 hospitals across 10 countries.
We know that together, we will save more lives than we ever could apart.
Through our joint efforts, we will launch programs to reduce newborn death, illness and disability through introducing a comprehensive package of equipment, training, education and support. Embrace, together with Thrive Networks, is now able to address more than just hypothermia; we will address a broad range of key health issues causing newborn deaths, including preterm birth complications, respiratory distress and infection.
Our first two projects are launching shortly, and we’d like to invite you to be a part of this new initiative to reach more babies, mothers and communities.
This holiday season, I hope you'll consider giving the gift of life-saving health care to babies in need.
With Sincere Thanks,
Alejandra VillalobosExecutive Director, Embrace
P.S. Every dollar you donate will be matched up to $50,000— doubling the power of your gift thanks to a generous Thrive Networks Board member.
I am excited to announce that Embrace has taken a huge step forward in its commitment to advancing maternal and child health around the world. Embrace has joined Thrive Networks, an innovative network of nonprofit programs committed to social change. Together we want to dramatically reduce the unacceptably high newborn mortality rates in countries around the world.
Both Embrace and Thrive Networks believe in integrating technology with training and education to support health workers and families in low-resource settings.
By joining together, we can accomplish far more than either of us could on our own. Specifically, Embrace's infant warmer and training programs will be integrated into Thrive Networks' full suite of health solutions to treat a wide variety of life-threatening conditions.
The Embrace India Program continues, and we look forward to sharing our progress with you over the coming months. Please contact me directly at email@example.com with any questions.
Alejandra VillalobosExecutive Director
We are working to replicate the Embrace program model on a much bigger scale in India. India has the highest number of newborn deaths in the world— nearly 780,000 infants under 28 days old die every year, with many deaths happening within 24 hours of birth.
In 2014, we completed our first district-wide program in Raebareli, a remote rural district located in eastern Uttar Pradesh. In partnership with the nonprofit Rajiv Gandhi Mahila Vikas Pariyojana and the Raebareli District Government, we expanded to serve all 13 Community Health Centers and the one hospital in the district, reaching over 2,300 health care workers and 5,700 families.
Last year, Embrace laid the groundwork for a district-wide partnership in the impoverished state of Bihar in collaboration with UNICEF. With support from the Jiv Daya Foundation, we also refined the Embrace program at a large government hospital in the state of Maharashtra. One doctor at the hospital recently noted:
“We have seen the impact of Embrace warmers as we transport newborns from the labor room to the neonatal care unit. Earlier, we did not have any other feasible option than wrapping the baby in cloth. Now, after observing the impact and utility of warmers during transportation, we have started using Embrace for low birth weight and preterm newborns for longer periods of time to maintain the warm chain for newborns during their hospital stay. We have observed that there is significant reduction in hypothermia and carrying babies from one place to another has become very safe and easy.”
The GlobalGiving community’s support allows us to keep increasing our efforts, expanding our reach, and refining our program model. As we transition into our next phase of growth, we hope that you are inspired to continue collaborating with Embrace to help many more newborns survive and thrive. Questions? Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Embrace Team
Dear friends of Embrace,
Thank you for your strong support during the 2014 holiday season! We successfuly reached our 2014 goals of helping over 150,000 low birth weight and premature infants, educating over 11,000 mothers and caregivers, and training nearly 5,000 health care workers on how to recognize, treat and prevent neonatal hypothermia.
Our program in Raebareli has grown tremendously over the past two years. The dedicated work of our local team has helped establish the Embrace program firmly into the Raebareli District communities. Below is a story that highlights the importance of our work in these rural Indian communities:
Kiran lives in a small village in the northern India district of Raebareli. When she experienced complications during labor, her family used the little money they had to hire a private car to race her to the local health center. The hour-long drive was exhausting, and by the time she arrived at the clinic, the nurses feared that her baby had already died.When Kiran finally delivered her baby boy, he refused to nurse or even open his eyes. He was hypothermic and in need of warmth. The clinic didn’t own an incubator, but it did have Embrace warmers and a trained staff that immediately placed her son in a warmer. His temperature stabilized and, after several hours, he opened his eyes and saw his mother’s face for the first time. Today he is a healthy, happy 3-month old.
Thank you again for helping us make progress towards our ultimate goal: ensuring that every woman and child has an equal chance for a healthy life.
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