Send Hope Not Flowers aims to help mothers survive childbirth in the developing world. We do this in numerous ways such as funding doctors and midwives to train local health workforces, purchasing obstetric equipment and basic supplies, delivering baby bundles to encourage mothers to access supervised deliveries and helping communities build waiting houses for mothers in labour.

We provide funding to partner organisations working on the ground in developing countries, on projects that are long-term, sustainable and empowering for women. Countries to which we have supplied maternal health support include PNG, Indonesia, Laos, Timor Leste, Vanuatu, Ethiopia, Northern Uganda and the Solomon Islands.

We are a doctor, a journalist, and an internet entrepreneur.

We have come together to do what we can to help more mothers survive childbirth across the developing world.

All of the work done by the Send Hope Not Flowers team is voluntary – we have no paid staff and we work long hours on top of our day jobs and raising our families to ensure more women can survive childbirth.

We feel humbled to be able to do something. We are also grateful for our sponsors who have helped us keep our banking, printing, design and website overheads as low as possible.

Most of all we are grateful for the overwhelming response of the public to our idea and our goals.

Together we can make a difference.

Our story

How does a small group of people from vastly different backgrounds come together to help women
survive childbirth?

Sometimes a picture is so powerful you cannot walk away.

In 2010, Australian obstetrician Steve Robson was flying home from a conference reading Time Magazine. He was drawn to a pictorial essay by international human rights photographer Lynsey Addario on the death of 18-year-old Mamma Seesay while she gave birth to twins in Sierra Leone.

Professor Robson was shocked at the continuing toll of preventable death during childbirth in countries where women have little to no access to midwives, doctors or even sanitary places in which to give birth. He decided to do something.

Each day on his hospital rounds, he watched new mothers receive bunches of flowers – flowers which were usually discarded when mother and baby went home.

What if the money spent on a bunch of flowers could go towards helping more women around the world give
birth safely?

Professor Robson gathered together a small group of like-minded people – all working in a range of fields but eager to put their skills to the cause of reducing maternal deaths.

Send Hope Not Flowers was born.

Our Team

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Professor Steve Robson
Obstetrician | Obstetrics & Gynaecology Australian National University Medical School
Steve Robson is a specialist obstetrician working with the Australian National University, the ACT Health public hospital system, and in private practice. He has a strong interest in research and teaching, and convenes the final examinations for obstetric specialists across Australia and New Zealand. He devotes much of his spare time to his wife Stacey, and wonderful children
Penelope and Tim.
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Emma Macdonald
Associate Editor | HerCanberra
Emma Macdonald is an award-winning journalist and Associate Editor with HerCanberra. She has a strong interest in education, social issues and women’s affairs and is the convener of Women in Media Canberra. She is blessed with two beautiful children.
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Alex Fahey
Alex is an internet entrepreneur. He currently provides consulting services related to the internet and runs a number of successful internet businesses. In a previous professional life, Alex worked as a physiotherapist. He has a Masters of Law from ANU and serves on a number of boards. He lives in Canberra with his wife and four children.

Fundraising for us

Send Hope Not Flowers greatly appreciates the efforts of individuals and groups wishing to raise funds for us. For more information about how you can support Send Hope Not Flowers, please download our fundraising guidelines and contact us today.

Birth Facts

In the two minutes it’s taken you to read this website one woman has died in childbirth. Ninety-eight per cent of these deaths take place in developing countries – notably South East Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.

In nine out of ten cases, a mother’s death could have been prevented if she had had access to even the most basic care or facilities.

When mothers die, they leave more than one million children behind each year. Children who have lost their mothers are up to ten times more likely to die prematurely than those who
have not.

In Papua New Guinea and remote parts of Indonesia, one in 20 mothers will die giving birth – a figure so high that almost every family will eventually lose a mother, sister, or daughter.

In Papua New Guinea, one in every ten mothers will give birth alone.

In Australia, childbirth is a much safer experience. Fewer than one in 20,000 Australian women die in childbirth.

One of the United Nations Global Goals is to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births. But progress is achingly slow. Where governments and societies fail to adequately support the most vulnerable women – those having a baby – you can make a difference by supporting Send Hope Not Flowers.