Roots of Change is a storytelling platform dedicated to the Alumni community of The Funding Network Australia. Here we share their stories of ingenuity, courage, determination, spirit, growth and the impact these grassroots organisations have had, as a direct result of funds and support received from The Funding Network community.

Birth for Humankind

Birth for Humankind


Birth for Humankind is improving maternal and child health outcomes for disadvantaged women before, during and after childbirth.

Through their evidence-based education, support and advocacy programs they provide practical and emotional support to women from migrant, refugee or asylum seeker backgrounds, young mums, women experiencing homeless and disadvantage. 

2018 Pitch

Funds raised: $30,000

In her pitch at TFN Melbourne, Jen when was seeking funds to deepen the social impact of their Doula Support Program; mobilising and supervising professionally trained volunteer doulas (birth companions) who provide bespoke and critical support for women throughout all stages of pregnancy and birth.

The impact…

Most women spend their pregnancy surrounded by family, friends and their partner - thinking about the future and their hopes for their child. However, for some expecting women, thoughts don’t go further than where they’re sleeping that night or trying to navigate the health system. Expecting mothers experiencing disadvantage or have limited English due to being a newly arrived migrant, struggle to navigate the health system and their experience is often inconsistent and at times distressing.

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Birth for Humankind’s doula service provides consistency and knowledge to women who need it most. The doulas are women at some point in their midwife careers who provide practical support, expertise and a consistent presence to disadvantaged women who are expecting. Money on the night has gone towards inducting more Doulas into the program as well as upskilling existing ones as well. TFN funds have provided Doula support for 44 women, the induction of 24 new doulas as well as 34 training opportunities for existing doulas.

In December 2018, the Program received a referral from a Melbourne-based housing service for a young woman from a refugee background who was recently arrived in Australia. Aamina was pregnant with her first baby, living in unstable housing, at risk of perinatal mental health issues and had a history of trauma and abuse.

Aamina (name changed for privacy) was matched with one of our young doulas, herself recently inducted into our volunteer team, in November 2018. Our doula was was able to provide more than 30 hours of 1:1 care through prenatal appointments and being with Aamina during her labour.


“Aamina has also recently met with our Group Education Program Supervisor to discuss involvement in our Young Mums Education Program, as a Young mum mentor – sharing her experiences with women experiencing many of the challenges she has experienced navigating our maternal health and social support services here as a new arrival here in Melbourne” - Jen Branscombe, Programs Manager

Read their Impact Report

Learn more about Birth for Humankind



Women and Mentoring

Women and Mentoring