20151014_102843Our grantees are game changers. They provide the tools and strategies necessary to shift DC residents from survival mode to success mode. They are tackling the most entrenched social problems in the District by building up communities from the inside out through empowerment and fostering long-term solutions. Meet one of our new grantees, the Healthy Babies Project (HBP). This inspiring organization is addressing high infant mortality and teen pregnancy rates in D.C. head on and transforming teen moms from dismal statistics into incredible success stories.

HBP helps at-risk D.C. families have healthy babies and move out of the cycle of poverty. What you may not know is that Washington, D.C. is one of the worst places to become a new mother. 

Our city has highest infant mortality rate of any developed capital city, and statistics reveal that infants in Ward 8 die at a rate more than 10 times higher than infants born in Ward 3, the richest part of the city., Healthy Babies Project is creating hope.

DC Social Innovation Project is supporting HBP’s “Teen-to-Doula” project which provides teen mothers with the skills necessary to become doulas and help mentor other women through prenatal care, childbirth, and the first critical months of life.  HBP low-income clients benefit by receiving additional maternal support from the doulas which reduces infant mortality rates, and the Teen Doulas benefit by gaining training toward a new career path in maternal and women’s health with a living wage. These teen doulas go on to develop revenue-generating jobs by becoming doulas for paying clients. Most importantly, this educational pipeline acts as a deterrent to stop the teen pregnancy cycle. HBP has found the single best way to PREVENT unplanned second pregnancies is to improve the educational attainment of first-time teen mothers.

With just two doulas in the pipeline, Healthy Babies Project has asked DC Social Innovation Project’s help to fully develop the program and increase the doulas visibility among pregnant mothers in the District who can become paying clients.

Jalisa Whitley is DC Social Innovation Project’s Strategic Engagement Fellow.


p.s. Help us give more grants of hope and transformation by signing up today as a Community Investor. Your small, monthly donation can make a world of difference to DC residents!