The Healers

Lynne Davidson and H. Moka Lantum

Executive Director and Founder, 2020 MicroClinic Initiative/Los Angeles and Kenya

For caring about the little things.

Lynne Davidson and H. Moka Lantum

The first 48 hours of life are the most crucial for a newborn’s health, but many never receive proper care in Kenya. In fact, less than one in four postpartum mothers and babies visit with a health care provider during that period. That’s partly because mothers can’t afford to buy clothes for their children. To eliminate obstacles, Operation Karibu, founded and run by H. Moka Lantum and Lynne Davidson, provides onesies made from recycled cotton T-shirts, emergency clinic transport, birth preparation, and child care training. What’s more, for 30 days following a delivery, staffers monitor the mother and newborn. After three years with zero mortalities, Karibu is expanding to six new facilities in Kenya’s poorest county—planning to reach thousands of additional mothers over the next two years. (Photos courtesy of 2020 Micro Clinic)

Lantum’s father was Cameroon’s first public-health expert. He introduced iodine for treating goiters, and Lantum’s mother was a school principal and champion for girls’ education.

Davidson says her childhood dream was to be president, but not anymore. “I know now that that is not necessarily the best way to make a difference,” she said in an interview with Social Venture Partners. “And besides, the idea of a campaign is absolutely dreadful!”