Embrace, one of UniversalGiving’s most recent partners, was founded as a Stanford Class project. This innovative nonprofit is working to solve the difficult issue of premature deaths throughout the developing world. Their website claims that “the most dangerous day of a child’s life is the day of their birth”, and follows up with frightening statistics: over one million babies die the same day they are born, and 98% of those deaths take place in the developing world.
Jane Chen was an MBA student at Stanford when her class was assigned the challenge of inventing a cheap infant incubator that could be easily used in rural and developing regions. Her team came up with the idea for the “Embrace warmer”, a portable and cost-effective incubator that doesn’t require constant electricity to keep low-weight babies warm.
Premature babies face much larger risks outside of the developed world. Without proper incubation, underweight infants can suffer from hypothermia even at room temperature.
Early childhood death was listed as a key issue in the UN Millennium Development Goals. Infant mortality has been declining since the 1990’s, but millions of families are still affected. Embrace currently operates mainly in Uganda, India, and Afghanistan, and is looking to expand to additional countries soon.
The Embrace warmer has helped 200,000 infants so far. Last year, Embrace joined up with Thrive Networks, a global NGO that aims to develop and distribute innovative technologies that target the needs of underserved communities. They hope the partnership will allow them to share their incubators with even more communities.
If you want to learn more about why the UN wants to tackle overpopulation by lowering child mortality rates, watch this great video from the Gapminder Foundation.
To donate to Embrace, or to find out more about the nonprofit, checkout their page on Universalgiving.