Navyn in the Plumpy’nut training room where the moms are educated about how and why this product is used.
“As I stood in the malnutrition ward of a regional hospital, my chest tightened, and I had to work hard to keep my composure. There were no welcoming smiles, only blank, empty stares. My camera, normally always at the ready, dropped down to my side. I couldn’t bring myself to snap images of so many children and mothers in despair.
To my left, a little girl lay on a bed, emaciated, listless, and very alone. I didn’t know her story. “Where is her mother?” I asked myself. All I could do was watch her chest rise and fall – as I did with my own newborn girls – and I clung to the possibility that, in this place, because of the nutritional peanut-paste we make, her life would continue.” -Navyn Salem, Executive Director, Edesia Global Nutriton Solutions.
Navyn Salem was shocked when she first heard the drastic statistics on global child malnutrition, and she was amazed that she had not heard about it sooner. As a mother herself she could not imagine a parent having to lose a child to something as easy to resolve as malnutrition, so the former stay-at-home mother of four, took it upon herself to do something about it.
With over 23 million children suffering from malnutrition in some form, and the cause of about one third of all child deaths globally, she realized there was not enough attention on the issue, and yet it seemed the simplest to tackle. Her father was born in Tanzania, and as an area that she had a connection to, she knew that she wanted to give back to that part of the world.
Five years ago the seeds for Edesia were planted. She began by speaking with experts, with a goal to increase access to products already out there, by expanding research and studying best practices until she developed a plan. (more…)
Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer, Managing Editor at World Moms Network, and a Social Media Manager. She was a 2015 United Nations Foundation Social Good Fellow, and traveled to Ethiopia as an International Reporting Project New Media Fellow to report on newborn health in 2014. On her personal blog, Documama.org, she uses digital media as a new medium for her background as a documentarian. After having worked on Feature Films and Television series for FOX, NBC, MGM, Columbia Pictures, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, and Castle Rock Pictures, she studied documentary filmmaking and anthropology earning a Masters degree in Media Studies from The New School in New York. Since becoming a Digital Media Producer she has worked on social media campaigns for non-profits such as Save The Children, WaterAid, ONE.org, UNICEF, United Nations Foundation, Edesia, World Pulse, American Heart Association, and The Gates Foundation. Her writing has also been featured on ONE.org, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter.com, EnoughProject.org, GaviAlliance.org, and Worldmomsnetwork.com. Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world, most recently to Haiti with Artisan Business Network to visit artisans in partnership with Macy’s Heart of Haiti line, which provides sustainable income to Haitian artisans. Elizabeth lives in New England with her husband and four children.
My six year old son has a resuable water bottle with a pink top that is covered with bees and daisies.
When it’s time to replace our son’s gear, we let him choose what he likes without telling him things are specifially for boys or girls. However, most things are marketed to boys (with monsters, bugs or vehicles) or to girls (with flowers, crowns and birds). This marketing seems everywhere from a young age, with advertisements showing boys holding the “boy” stuff and girls with the “girly” stuff. From toys to flatware, everything is divided.
Do I mind this early play into gender stereotypes? Yes and no. I am ok with having multiple versions of a toy in different colors available, but I would prefer they were not marketed to a specific gender. And if I am being honest here, I have fallen in step with the divide. My son wears lots of blue and zero pink. Would I mind him wearing pink? No, but I buy what is easy and available, and I don’t go out of my way to get him t-shirts that span the color of the rainbow. If he asked for a pink t-shirt, I would do my best to find him one.
In the meantime, I am educating my son about choosing what he likes and being confident with those choices regardless of advertisements.
My son first became aware of these gender rules in preschool. When we were looking for a replacement for a broken toy, he asked if it was OK for him to get the pink “girl” one rather than the blue “boy” one. I explained it was the exact same device, but just in different colors, so he could pick whichever one he preferred. He ended up with the blue one, and I made a mental note that the days of “that’s for girls” was coming. (more…)
Tara is a native Pennsylvanian who moved to the Seattle area in 1998 (sight unseen) with her husband to start their grand life adventure together. Despite the difficult fact that their family is a plane ride away, the couple fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and have put down roots. They have 2 super charged little boys and recently moved out of the Seattle suburbs further east into the country, trading in a Starbucks on every corner for coyotes in the backyard. Tara loves the outdoors (hiking, biking, camping). And, when her family isn't out in nature, they are hunkered down at home with friends, sharing a meal, playing games, and generally having fun. She loves being a stay-at-home mom and sharing her experiences on World Moms Network!