A new chapter for FCI’s lifesaving mission!

Amy Boldosser-Boesch is the Senior Technical Director for the FCI Program of Management Sciences for Health (MSH). To receive updates in your inbox from the FCI Program and other MSH programs, please subscribe here.

Photo: Catherine Lalonde
Photo: Catherine Lalonde

A lot has happened since we first announced, a couple of months ago, the exciting news that a new chapter has begun for FCI’s mission to save women’s lives!

Now a part of Management Sciences for Health, the FCI Program of MSH has hit the ground running. The FCI team, at our New York office and around the world, has already begun collaborating with our new MSH colleagues to:

  • Help women’s groups, midwives’ associations, and community organizations –  in countries where women and newborns continue to die from entirely preventable causes – to build the knowledge and advocacy skills they need to demand immediate action to improve women’s health
  • Ensure that every woman has access to emergency contraception, whenever and wherever she needs it
  • Break the tragic, infuriating silence on gender-based violence, and ensure that women receive the care and services they need to rebuild their lives
  • Speak out for the health and rights of women and girls at global forums like last week’s historic 60th annual session of the UN’s Commission on the Status of Women
  • Hold governments accountable for their promises to prioritize the health and well-being of every woman and every child

The work of the FCI Program of MSH continues the tradition of constructive activism that FCI built over 30 years as a leader in the global movement for improved maternal and reproductive health. This urgently important work leverages the global capabilities of MSH – developed through work in more than 100 countries over more than forty years – to strengthen health systems to effectively address and overcome the world’s most pressing health challenges. And it is grounded in our common values, most crucially our shared commitment to working closely with partners and communities to bring about real, sustainable change, as expressed in MSH’s inspirational Tao of Leadership.

We fit together so well because MSH’s work to strengthen health systems, improve maternal, newborn and child health, and ensure universal access to reproductive health and family planning is absolutely essential to fostering the health equity and accountability for which FCI has always been such a powerful advocacy voice. Our team’s work to strengthen civil society, elevate community voices, and bring the power of evidence into global and national health dialogues is a necessary part of building sustainable local health systems that truly respond to and meet the needs of all citizens. In recent weeks, the FCI Program has helped develop a comprehensive MSH response to the outbreak of Zika virus – one that is sensitive and responsive to women’s sexual and reproductive health needs and rights.

We know that FCI’s record of achievement and impact – from the original vision of Jill Sheffield and Ann Starrs that sparked a global Safe Motherhood movement, to the many years of courageous and lifesaving work of our FCI colleagues in Africa and Latin America, and on to our recent successes in ensuring that sexual and reproductive health, reproductive rights, and maternal, newborn, and child health are fully included and prioritized in the Sustainable Development Goal agenda for 2030 – brings with it a great responsibility. As part of MSH, we will do our very best to be effective stewards of that legacy. I am proud to join FCI’s Board chair, Anne Tinker, in assuring you with absolute confidence that “our wonderful professional staff, our high-impact advocacy and capacity-building programs, and our urgently important mission have found a good home at MSH, where the work of improving the health and protecting the rights of women, girls, and newborns will move forward from a strong and sustainable foundation.”

During this time of transition, the whole FCI team has been profoundly grateful for the friendship and support of our colleagues, partners, donors, and friends – thank you! – and we look forward to continuing our partnership with you from our new home at MSH.

While this will be my last communication to you as Interim President of Family Care International, I couldn’t be happier to tell you that you can keep hearing from us, with further progress reports on the exciting work of the FCI Program of MSH – just sign up for the MSH e-newsletter. In the meantime, you can learn about the capabilities of the FCI Program by downloading our new fact sheet.  And, of course, please stay in touch by following us on Twitter @FCIatMSH and on Facebook as the FCI Program of MSH.

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