I never post about things like this, but this is a cause very near and dear to my heart as a mom, and one which I’ve seen the workings of close up. The Philippines, where I currently live, is a third world country. My good friend runs an incredible nonprofit organization called Roots of Health, specifically in Palawan, the island on which we both live. Roots of Health focuses on free prenatal care, birth control, STD testing and HIV testing, all things that are immensely needed here as the majority of residents live in poverty and have little access to health care. In fact, three pregnant women died in the public hospital in the island capital last month, unfortunately because they didn’t have money to pay for treatment beforehand. I know so many stories like this. Another good friend had an employee pass away last month due to an infection from an illegal abortion, as abortion is illegal here. New HIV diagnoses here are one of the highest in the world. Teen pregnancy in the Philippines is the highest in Southeast Asia, and Palawan has one of the highest teen pregnancy rates in the Philippines.

Many women cannot afford birth control or do not have access to it due to their remote location or lack of education about family planning. Having many children or children when they are a teenager keeps them in the cycle of poverty. Access to birth control and prenatal care truly changes lives. Roots of Health operates on donations, and as little as $10 can change a woman’s life. If you can donate this holiday season, you could help change the lives of 3000 Filipinas. I hope to follow up with real stories of the impact donations have made. It breaks my heart that mothers here have so little access to good medical care. I hope you can help this cause that means so much to me as a mother because I have seen the amazing things Roots of Health has done to change the lives of women here.