“I was not born for one corner; the whole world is my native land.” -Seneca
I don’t just believe this quote. I feel it. I am in love with our beautiful planet. The world is a gift filled with life, adventure, and beauty. Wonderful things await those who are willing to travel and experience this gift firsthand. I want these things for my children. I want them to have friends in every land and favorite places across the sea; to taste new flavors, see new sights, and hear new sounds; to know that this world was made for them, borders can be crossed, different is good, and change can open up doors. I want to broaden their horizons and open their minds to this gift, this world… our native land. (more…)
Today was the 2nd anniversary of Hurricane Sandy, which pummeled the east coast of the United States. Whether our #WorldMoms are reporting on Hurricane Sandy in the U.S.; Typhoon Typhoon Bopha or Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines; or the Christchurch Earthquake in New Zealand, globally, we are interconnected and have become very aware of the risk of natural disaster.
We are thankful that our friends from Save the Children tap us on the shoulder and remind us to share information with our global community about keeping our kids safe in the event of a disaster every year. Family Check List? Reunification Plan? We are busy helping with homework, changing diapers, researching universities, and we appreciate this much needed reminder!
This video really hits home. How do we know how to reunify with our children in the even disaster struck while they were at school? What is the school’s reunification plan? Have you asked for it?
TIP!: Not feeling in the mood to prepare today? Here is something to watch NOW to get you in the mood:
TIP!: Tomorrow night at dinner, go over this Disaster Check List with your family!
TIP!: #WorldMoms, Take the Pledge!
I pledge to protect children.
I will learn how to keep my kids and children in my community safe in emergencies.
I will share this information with my friends and family.
And I will take action to prepare my home and community.
I appeal to my government to take action, too.
So when disaster strikes, together we’ll be ready and our children can be safe.
Head on over to Save the Children for more information, and to sign up to take the pledge!
We may remember to go for our annual mammogram or OB visit, but let’s not forget the annual check-in for our strategy to protect our little ones if disaster strikes. Join me in printing out that checklist, #WorldMoms!
Do you have any tips for our community about being prepared in the event of emergency? Please share them with us!
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credits to Save the Children.
What would it be like to see the impact that our donations make in places around the world that need it most? And what would it be like to be able to do that with your partner? I don’t travel as much as I would love to because although longer-term trips can be amazing, I find it difficult to leave my kids for more than a few days at a time. I’ve given that a whirl before. But recently, a really unique opportunity called the “AmeriCares Airlift 2014” presented itself. The event took my husband and I to Nicaragua for a 24 hour social good trip. Yep, only 24 hours! The experience was all due to the generosity of my husband’s employer, Cognizant, who has financially supported the global health work of AmeriCares for years.
The event began at Westchester Airport in New York on September 20th. I checked in wearing heels and went through a security check for the plane that was donated to the event by Sun Country airlines. By the way, did I mention, we were also celebrating our wedding anniversary on the trip?
One hundred of the 850 gala guests would be boarding the plane at the end of the night to Nicaragua, and those 100 were given flashing bracelets at check-in.
The casual airport hangar had been magically turned into a fancy gala. We sat with the Cognizant table, where I got to meet some of my husband’s coworkers, who were excited to tell us about AmeriCares Airlifts of years past and what to expect. We were excited, and yet, nervous, too!
The event included Nicaraguan music, and afterwards we set our attention on this very video about AmeriCares relief efforts in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. Emotions were flying. It was engagement with people like Jen in the video below that led to the Airlift Benefit raising over $2 million dollars for everyday global health issues and relief efforts!:
Jen’s story was heartfelt and amazing, and she was even in attendance at the event from the Philippines! Authors, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, spoke next at the event about their latest book, “A Path Appears.” They noted that the same part of the brain that enjoys sex and chocolate is the same part of the brain that makes us want to give. So interesting, right? I was excited to hear from the duo because I had read and cherished “Half the Sky”, the book about human trafficking that they coauthored, which helped further motivate my activism for women and children worldwide.
In fact, just this past week, I got to meet Nicholas Kristof at the AYA Summit in Washington, DC. I explained that I had heard him speak last month at #Airlift2014, and he was genuinely excited to hear how the 24 hour trip to Nicaragua was. Kristof said he always wondered what that trip would be like. I told him that he should join them on the flight next time!! Could you imagine being on a social good trip with Nick Kristof??? My fingers would be crossed to be in his group, so I could hear his questions to the people we met along the way!
We also heard from long-time AmeriCares supporter and actor, Tony Goldwyn, who plays the President on Scandal. Tony became the first celebrity spokesperson for Americares. And Erica Hill of NBC MCd the event. Time flew by before they announced that it was time to board the flight. Steve and I quickly headed to the makeshift airport hangar changing rooms to change into clothes for the flight. It was go-time!
We were divided into 4 color-coded groups. my husband and I were in the blue group. Our group indicated what bus we were to ride once in Nicaragua and what places we’d be visiting. Each bus visited 3 health facilities. Because there were 4 buses, we all didn’t visit the same ones. The flight went quick because I knew we wouldn’t be getting very much sleep, so I tried to keep my eyes closed the entire time. If I wasn’t sleeping, I’d at least be relaxing to be able to take in the importance of the site visits. Once we arrived in the middle of the night in Managua, our bus took us to our hotel, where we were able to get 4-5 hours more sleep.
Early in the morning, we met the entire group for breakfast in a hotel conference room and were briefed on Nicaragua. The statistic that is still singed into my heart is that “2 out of 3 pregnancies are unwanted” in the country. It is even difficult to write. I thought it was a typo. But, as the day went on, I’d learn that it was true…
Stay posted to WorldMomsBlog.com for Part II of Jennifer Burden’s adventure to Nicaragua with AmeriCares and #Airlift 2014 on behalf of Cognizant.
Photo credits to the author.
Do you know who Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh is?
Don’t worry. I hadn’t heard of her until just a day or two ago.
When I read about her, my first thought was how wonderful she was. My second was how glad I was of the opportunity to find out about her. My third: what a strange week of news.
It’s largely thanks to Dr Stella Ameyo Adadevoh that the World Health Organisation was able to announce recently that Nigeria – that chaotic, corruption-riddled country – was free of Ebola, the deadly virus currently killing thousands across west Africa in the worst outbreak of the disease known so far.
Dr Adadevoh was the doctor who took care of Patrick Sawyer. Sawyer was the Liberian man who brought Ebola to Nigeria. Nigeria had never had a case of Ebola before. Sawyer denied having had any contact with Ebola, despite his sister dying of the disease. He fought to get out of the hospital. His employers fought to have him discharged.
Adadevoh not only diagnosed a disease previously unseen in her country, but she resisted huge pressure to let it go, according to accounts from the doctors who worked with her.
She quarantined Sawyer – no small task, given his violent attempt to flee – “He pulled his intravenous (tubes) and spilled blood everywhere”, said one witness. She rebutted accusations from the Liberian ambassador that she had kidnapped Sawyer. She contacted the authorities, and she got hospital staff the training and materials they needed to treat Sawyer safely.
Sadly Adadevoh herself contracted the virus and died on August 19, one of eight deaths in Nigeria from Ebola. Not long afterwards the Nigerian government released its National Honours list for this year. Adadevoh was not on it because, as a government spokesman explained, the awards are never given posthumously.
I’ve seen two stories this week about Dr Stella Adadevoh. She did a great thing, and died for it, and too few people noticed.
In contrast, I’ve seen at least twenty-two stories this week about Rene Zellweger, an actress who changed her face and prompted acres – and acres – of media coverage.
I have nothing against Zellweger. Indeed, I have a degree of (angry) sympathy. I recognise the pressure on actresses over forty who are looking for work.
But what a strange week of news, when a woman who has done so much was unseen by so many, and another woman was not just seen but ripped apart for being far too visible.
I’m a journalist by trade. I accept that much of this disparity is down to skewed ideas among major media outlets of what makes news.
But we too – by we I mean us women – bear a responsibility for the way in which women’s lives and achievements are reported. Too often we read and comment on the scandalous stories. Too often we’re boosting the click rates and thus telling those media outlets that yes we are interested in reading this stuff. We are perpetuating the myth that it’s ok to pass judgment on other women purely because of the way they look. We are contributing to the noise around the non-stories that is stopping us from hearing the real ones.
I want to read about more Stellas. Don’t you?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Sophie Walker of the United Kingdom.
This week, a delegation of #WorldMoms is in Washington, DC for the ONE Campaign’s Women and Girls’ Summit (#AYASummit) cohosted with Google. The excitement of hearing from social good game changers such as author and NY Times columnist, Nick Kristof, Edith Jibunoh from the World Bank speaking on Electrify Africa, Barrett Ward from FashionABLE, Jamie Drummond, cofounder of ONE and many more!
We are excited! And, we can’t wait to take you with us — you can follow the Twitter feed #AYASummit and look out for updates this week on our Facebook Page! And, of course, we will be featuring it in our next newsletter — are you signed up?
#WorldMoms attending the #AYASummit this week are Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan, Cindy Levin, and myself, Jennifer Burden. Here’s what we are saying…
Nicole Melancon of thirdeyemom.com has just come back from the Grand Canyon and has already landed in DC! This is no surprise for those who follow this jet-setting mom! She writes in her post about the #AYASummit:
“Today, after a whirlwind week in Arizona I’m back on a plane again. This time I’m heading east to Washington DC and this time I’ve got work to do. I am off to attend an amazing two-day conference at Google’s DC headquarters hosted by ONE Women and Girls called the AYA Summit. The Summit will be an inspiring, jam-packed two-days filled with some of the world’s leading speakers and do-gooders who advocate the rights of women and girls in the developing world with an emphasis on Africa.
The word “Aya” is a symbol from Ghana that represents endurance, resourcefulness and growth. It is the perfect name for a summit that will focus the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain ahead to elevate women and girls around the world.”
Elizabeth Atalay of documama.org has been supporting the ONE campaign for a long time! She is excited to hear from the keynote, Nick Kristof, as she writes in her #AYASummit post:
“The AYA Summit keynote speaker is Nicholas Kristof, who just released a new book co-authored by his wife Sheryl WuDunn titled A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity. When companies hire women they are more likely than men to re-invest their earnings back into their children, families, and communities. We will hear from companies providing opportunities to women that can enable them to lift their families out of the cycle of poverty. While on an International Reporting Project trip to Ethiopia this past summer I had the opportunity to visit a partner factory of FashionABLE , whose CEO Barrett Ward will be speaking on a panel at the summit. It was an impactful experience to meet some of the women in person who are now able to support their families in a dignified way after having been trained to create the gorgeous scarves produced by FashionABLE.”
Nicole Morgan of sistersfromanothermister.com, who has two daughters of her own, has taken to advocating to girls worldwide. She writes in her #AYASummit post:
“I am blessed to be in Washington DC as one of 75 women invited to attend the AYA Summit. The invitation to attend was both humbling and an honor. These are the words of ONE:
During the summit, we will showcase both the progress against and challenges of extreme poverty. We will also highlight the role that everyone must play if the bold goal of virtually eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 is to be met. We believe that every voice and every hand is vital, whether it is the non-profit or faith communities, businesses, or governments. As a leading digital influencer, we believe that your voice and talents are central to this fight.
When girls and women are given the necessary education and tools, they can be change-makers within their families and communities. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, the summit will explore what it means to be born female in Africa, and what we, working together with our African partners, can do to make sure that all girls and women reach their potential. The summit will bring together leaders from the non-profit, government, private sector and celebrity arenas.
And just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being in Washington, DC, previously, with #WorldMom, Cindy Levin, the Anti-Poverty Mom at the World Bank, and we have reunited for the #AYASummit! Here is a snipped from Cindy’s #AYA Summit post:
“I’ve been fighting poverty with the ONE Campaign for many years, so it’s thrilling to be on the ground floor of this new effort. The emotional mother in me yearns to help girls in developing nations who are so much like my own girls in every way that matters. The engineer in me knows that the most logical & effective way to break the cycle of poverty is to nurture and educate girls who are under-served and are the mothers of tomorrow. Empowering girls gets at the heart of so many problems!
I’ll get a concentrated few days to focus on issues facing women and girls in the developing world with other go-getting grasstops-types in the audience. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, we’ll learn what it means to be born female in Africa and what we – along WITH girls and women in Africa – can do to help people meet their full potential. The idea is to stimulate our thoughts and conversations by looking at more controversial topics from different points of view.”
So, that’s our #WorldMoms team reunited, here, in Washington, DC this week! I also can’t wait to meet new friends from the social good blogging world! In fact, check out these #AYASummit posts from bloggers Kelly Pugliano from Eat Picks and Jennifer Iacovelli from Another Jennifer, to name a few!
We are united to change the world for women and girls!
This is an original post to WorldMomsBlog.com by founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credit to the World Moms.