When our Product Development team first told the Giving Department about the TOMS Bag collection, and the need for a give that matched it, we were excited. It gave our small team of three in Social Innovation and Impact a chance to put their big brains together and really come up with a give that was both impactful and matched the beautiful collection of TOMS Bags that they were so excited to launch, which hits our site on Friday.
As always, we started with the need. We spoke to experts in global health and many potential Giving Partners tackling issues of huge importance and the Giving Team landed on one that we couldn’t be prouder about: the need to improve maternal health.
There is an immense need for advancements in maternal health. Infection is a leading cause of death among new mothers and babies worldwide. However, with clean birth conditions and skilled birth attendants, nearly half a million lives can be saved each year (Source: UNFPA & Every Newborn Action Plan, 2014).
As we continued to learn about this need, the Social Innovation team researched birth conditions around the world, learning that 40 million women give birth in unclean birth conditions, and without the help of a skilled birth attendant. Ninety-nine percent of maternal deaths occur in developing countries, and most are preventable with the proper training and materials.
It was through this, we were able to determine our give: With every bag you purchase, TOMS will help provide a safe birth for a mother and baby in need. One for One®.
Purchases of TOMS Bags help our Giving Partners provide training for skilled birth attendants and distribute birth kits containing items that help a woman safely give birth. TOMS purchases support training for our Giving Partners’ networks of local health workers on safe birth practices. Community health workers, who are trained as skilled birth attendants, visit expectant mothers in their communities to monitor their pregnancies and help them prepare for birth. They can also provide the vital materials via a safe birth kit, which include materials essential to help women and babies avoid infection during birth.