The Foundation for Mother & Child Health UK is a UK registered charity (no. 1117795) that supports programmes focused on improving the physical and mental health of mothers and their children.
FMCH UK Trustees and Advisors all work on a voluntary basis. Only national staff employed by FMCH Indonesia and India, who are based in Indonesia and India, receive remuneration. FMCH UK does not have expensive offices to pay for, or have expensive marketing and fundraising appeals. We rely on the generosity of individual and corporate donors and on our reputation for using donated money to provide services directly to those in need, with minimal expenditure on administration.
History of FMCH
The Foundation for Mother and Child Health started its first programmes in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2001. These programmes were set up in response to a worsening economic crisis in Indonesia brought about by political instability, resulting in large numbers of Indonesian children becoming seriously malnourished.
The possibility of providing a nutrition programme for undernourished children in Jakarta was discussed, which eventually led to a small group of national and international healthcare professionals (mostly women), all living in Jakarta at that time, volunteering their time and expertise to help set up a mother-and-child centre for malnourished children: known locally as Yaysasan Balita Sehat.
Local staff were employed and the centre focused on the provision of health, nutrition, education and sustainable skills training programmes for mothers, children and community health workers. Now also providing a mobile pre-school education and health education unit that visits other areas in Jakarta, and having expanded its programmes to other areas of Indonesia such as Bogor and the remote island of West Timor, FMCH Indonesia (Yayasan Balita Sehat) has established a successful presence in this country.
Transplant to India
In 2006, a former volunteer with the FMCH mother-and-child centre in Jakarta, moved back to her home city of Mumbai in India. Having witnessed the positive influence the centre was having upon the lives of impoverished mothers and children in Jakarta, she decided to open a branch of the Foundation for Mother & Child Health in Mumbai’s slums.
A children’s health centre was opened in the Dhobi Ghat slum area providing pre school education alongside health and nutrition programmes. Since 2011, FMCH India has specialised in the treatment and prevention of malnutrition, mainly in young children and pregnant and lactating mothers from economically underprivileged families. Its focus is on the first 1000 days of life from conception.
In 2007 the Foundation for Mother & Child Health was established as a UK registered charity in order to support and unify the organisations and, to enable interventions in other geographical areas.
All FMCH UK Trustees have lived either in Indonesia and/or India and volunteered with one or both FMCH sister organisations.
FMCH responded to the crisis in Sri Lanka and Aceh after the devastating tsunami in 2004 by setting up pre-schools in the refugee camps; and provided medical support to communities after the Sumatra earthquake in 2009. Working with UNHCR in 2007-2010, FMCH provided skills training and first aid training for refugees living in Azerbaijan. Women from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, and Chechnya all had the opportunity to learn new skills making handicrafts, learning computing and join micro-finance schemes; enabling them to become more self sufficient and helping them acquire skills for life in their new host countries.
In 2018 FMCH UK collaborated with other organisations to raise national and international awareness around the importance of maintaining maternal mental health during pregnancy and the postnatal period. At the same time, working with a number of health professionals and other NGO's, FMCH-UK co-produced a short animation raising awareness around perinatal mental health. 'Perinatal Positivity', has had over 25,000 views and won an award for Innovation.
This year, in collaboration with Chelsea and Westminster hospital in London, FMCH-UK is translating 'Perinatal Positivity' animation into several different languages to support parents living in the UK, whose first language may not be english.
Today, FMCH India and FMCH Indonesia are dynamic, independent, growing organisations reaching thousands of mothers and children in many parts of urban Mumbai and rural Maharashtra in India, and urban Jakarta, rural Java and West Timor in Indonesia.
National professional and support staff staff design and deliver programmes, with national and international volunteers providing practical help with fundraising and sharing expertise where needed.
FMCH Indonesia provides a bundle of interventions to address the needs of its beneficiaries and collaborates with other NGO’s to widen the scope of its reach. Locally known as Yayasan Balita Sehat Indonesia, FMCH Indonesia runs several pre-schools on the islands of Java and West Timor; working in collaboration with national midwives, it provides pregnancy and postnatal health education for mothers; provides training for community health workers; provides feeding programmes for severely malnourished children; and has implemented several other innovative programmes.
To learn more about the work of FMCH Indonesia please click here.
FMCH India has developed three major projects: Project Poshan providing health education and medical checks to pregnant and lactating women and their babies; the Urban Nutrition Initiative addressing malnutrition in the urban areas of Maharashtra; and the FMCH Training Centre established to equip professionals with the correct knowledge to help reduce malnutrition.
To learn more about the work of FMCH India please click here.
The Foundation for Mother & Child Health is a UK registered charity (no. 1117795) and a private company limited by guarantee no. 05765489.