#WorldMoms were thrilled to be invited by Save The Children to the preview screening and discussion of the new Documentary A Path Appears, Executive Produced and Directed by Maro Chermayeff, this past Thursday in New York City. The film is based on the book by the same title by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times journalists Sheryl WuDunn and Nicholas Kristof. World Moms Founder Jennifer Burden, Senior Editors Kyla P’an and Elizabeth Atalay, and special contributors Maria Mostajo and Polly Palumbo attended the event held at the New York Historical Society. A Path Appears will air in the USA on PBS three Mondays in a row, starting tonight.
The first segment that airs tonight focuses on sex trafficking in the United States and uncovers the raw truth of its prevalence and pervasiveness in American society today. An estimated 300,000 children are at risk of being trafficked into sexual slavery, and according to Nicholas Kristof a startling 10% of men in the USA buy sex online. The film points out the sad fact that most of the victims of sex trafficking are runaways, and the reality that often when a low income kid goes missing the first ones looking for them are the pimps. This powerful film gives a truly eye opening, and heart sinking look into the reality of the varied demographics involved in the human trafficking industry in this country, and highlights the need to prosecute the pimps and Johns perpetuating the industry, instead of the prostitutes who are actually the victims in it all.
As part of the Women and Girls Lead initiative, through heartrending, inspiring storytelling A Path Appears will take viewers on a journey across the globe, to drive home the universality of gender inequality and the roots of vulnerability. The series will lead viewers to a deeper understanding of these critical issues and the proven methods of bringing about change.-PBS Independent Lens
Save The Children, our hosts of last Thursday’s event, and one of the sponsors of the program, kicks off the film’s 2nd episode, “Breaking the Cycle of Poverty,” which will air next Monday, Feb. 2 at 10 pm on PBS. That episode will feature Save The Children’s early education program that we covered on World Moms Blog in an interview with Save The Children Artist Ambassador, Jennifer Garner in 2014. In the film Nicholas Kristof travels to West Virginia with Jennifer Garner to report first hand on the home visits that are so effective in literacy early intervention.
Early education is the best investment to break the cycle of poverty in America. All children deserve the chance to succeed in school and life. — Save The Children
Save The Children’s call to action is to sponsor a U.S. child which helps to provide home visits to pregnant moms, infants and toddlers, and elementary school literacy programs in some of the poorest, most isolated communities the nation. The earlier we reach children the better, and in fact, research shows that reaching babies under the age of 2 has the greatest affect on high school graduation rates and crime according to the book, “A Path Appears” by Kristof and WuDunn. The types of visitation programs that Save the Children provides for mothers of babies under 2 years old are underfunded, yet breaking the cycle and teaching mothers how to read to their children, and interact with their babies emotionally, is proven to be effective.
The third episode will take viewers into the largest urban slum on the continent of Africa, Kibera in Kenya. There viewers see the amazing story of transformation inspired by a man who grew up in Kibera, and founded Shining Hope community programs and a school for girls with his wife. The positive impact of which is rippling through the community.
We hope you will join us in watching this important documentary series, and that the world is inspired to action by the powerful stories told within.
World Moms founder Jennifer Burden at the event with Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Senior Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama.
Photo credits to World Moms Blog and A Path Appears.
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.
Since having children, my husband and I have developed our own household lingo. Maybe we just got punchy after too many sleepless nights, but we started using code words. Also, as can happen from time spent living intimately with a group, our family has developed a repertoire of inside jokes that we reference often but would mean nothing to outsiders.
Today I share with you a few of my favorites from the past 10 years. (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!
“Need to go and get his hair cut…” I made a mental note as I run my fingers through his now obviously long hair.
“But why Mommy?”
“Oh no, I missed a question…” I inhale and look at him deeply. “Why what? Sorry I was just thinking you need a haircut soon.”
“But why you have to go back to work?”
Sigh…I tried to compose myself even as his messy hair is still between my fingers.
“Because I have to make a living so I can pay for your school. So you could do after school activities…” and so I can add you to a health insurance coverage (I added this bit in my head).
“Will you work out of town?”
“No, Pumpkin. I will find something here.”
“Ok…” he hugged me and I hugged him back tightly and told him I only ask that he study well in school and he behave well.
“You know I love you and I will always be there for you, right?”
“I love you Mommy…” and in the dimmed room I wiped my tears.
The memory of his teacher’s reactions when I told her last year that I will be moving to Bali to pursue a career flashed before me. Back then, she told me that my son’s behavior in school has improved so much ever since I quit working. She was worried.
And for the past few days I’ve been weighing all my options.
Working from home through my writing is sadly not enough to cover everything we need, my son and I. Being a single mother, I am the sole breadwinner, and I have realized for months now how behind I am on getting his needs met. New school uniforms…thanks to my parents, that and my son has a brand new sturdy backpack for school this year from them.
I was content working from home. I get to spend more time with my son; I am home when he gets home from school. We are happier. I didn’t have to get up around dawn to beat morning traffic. I am a happier single mother.
So, I have decided to put my contentment aside, dust up my resume and started sending them out today. Hoping my old field of career will have an opening somewhere, somehow. He will be fine, I keep telling myself. My son understands that I need to do this not just for the obvious financial reasons but also to help me feel better about being productive again.
How do you prepare your kid(s) when you go back to work full time? Any advice?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maureen from Scoops of Joy in Indonesia.
Isn’t it a blessing that we aren’t able to see into the future? That we only get to live life one moment at a time, in the present?
2014 was hard on my family. It was the kind of year that one would want to skip if its events could have been known in advance. After experiencing the indescribable joy of a new addition to the family at the end of 2013, things quickly went south for us. My husband lost his job (his employer downscaled); our kids were hospitalized numerous times; we moved to a new province, leaving behind all that was near and dear to us; and, in the midst of it all, I was frantically trying to be Supermom. It was exhausting.
Last year brought unfathomable hardships to my family, but also a lesson for which I’m eternally thankful.
No matter how dire our situation seemed, we would always, without exception, cross paths with someone whose situation was far worse. In every single instance, however, I was humbled by how they handled their situation with grace and even joy.
Take, for example, our beloved 59-year old nanny, with her beautiful toothless smile, whom we had to leave behind, unemployed, after moving to a new city. Still jobless after almost six months of non-stop job hunting, she still smiles at my inquiries and says: “Don’t worry, Madam, I’ll find something.” Or take the lovely young couple who occupied the bed next to ours in the pediatric ward during one of our hospital stays. Their gorgeous, tiny, one-month old son was admitted for non-stop seizures. Despite their own exhaustion and worry, this couple (and their parents, too) were the calmest, friendliest people in the ward, and enveloped their son and grandson with nothing but love. My list goes on and on.
So I enter 2015 determined to remember to count my blessings. Always and in all circumstances. Despite our year in the figurative wilderness, I realize I’m incredibly blessed to be a mom to two precious children and to be married to a man who’s my greatest supporter and fan. What a joy to be able to share this adventure called life. By any measure, I am richly blessed.
What unexpected lessons have you learned from the years that you might have preferred to skip if you’d known in advance how difficult they’d be?
This is an original post written by Karien P. in South Africa for World Moms Blog. She can also be found on her blog, Running the Race.
Photo credit: Rebecca Wilson and used under a Flickr Creative Commons License
Karien Potgieter is a full-time working mom of two toddlers. She has a master’s degree in ecology and works in the conservation sector in beautiful South Africa. Her other big passion, apart from her family and caring for the environment, is running. To date she’s participated in races on three continents and in six countries and she dreams of travelling to and running in many, many more. You can follow her and her family’s running adventures on her blog, Running the Race (http://www.runningtherace.co.za).
On the 7th of January I put on the television to hear more devastating news of an attack in France. Not again I groaned. Can’t one just have a terror free day? What kind of world do we live in? My 13 year daughter was with me and she was very angry. What kind of people are these? They better go and have their religion and stop using Islam for their bad deeds. This is not Islam. I couldn’t agree with her more. I felt the pain keenly. One of my problems is emphasising too much and internalizing, and personalizing any pain. With my vivid imagination I could feel it’s my husband killed and someone calling to inform me or coming over to tell me. I could also imagine being the one in my office and looking up to see an armed mad man and realizing this is it! The end, because that man has just come for me. I was so angry at the atrocities being committed in the name of a religion I practice which is all about PEACE.
The pain of people just mowed down by some sadistic killers had not begin to ebb away when on the 9th of January the news of the death of about 2000 was reported by Amnesty International (We usually get news late and most times from the foreign media) in an attack on a town called Baga in North east Nigeria by the deadly group known as Boko Haram who have unleashed a reign of terror in Nigeria. 2000 killed in a single day just like that? How can this be allowed to happen?
The terrorists not only killed people they razed down the town. Reports say they went after fleeing people into the bush and killed indiscriminately. A woman in labour was reportedly killed with her unborn baby halfway out of her. Men, women and children were all game. They did not spare women this time as they sometimes have. After the personal cry and grief. The crying comes with no tears for it has long dried up. I waited for some kind of explanation, some kind of consoling words and there was an overwhelming silence. Silence from my government whose 2000 citizens have just been massacred even if to give the usual. We condemn it and are on top of the situation. Nothing!!
To make matters worse that same government that said nothing of its 2000 citizens massacred had condole with the government of France over the killing of 17 of its citizens. Even to my government the citizens of another country meant more to it than its own citizens.
Top government officials of my country condoled and used #JeSuisCharlie and none of them used #IamBaga where 2000 were killed in a single day. I empathise with the people of France. I am part of those who did the virtual march by signing up, but when you are attacked, and your government shows its contempt by not acknowledging it, and shows so much solidarity to other citizens of another country, then the pain is doubly felt.
On 11th of January 2015 the world stood still for France. Over 1.5million marched in France with over 40 head of states. France cried out that it’s own has been touched. Their President gave a rallying call to its citizens that they would not be intimidated by terrorists and they will deal decisively with anyone who touched an inch of its citizens, and the citizens came out.
Over here I am treated with disdain for daring to stand and say citizens must be protected. When about 48 boys were killed on November 10th 2014 as they attended their morning assembly we were alone the #BringBackOurGirls movement in coming out to the streets and mourning them.
As I watched the solidarity march in Paris my daughter’s words echoed in my ears. She once said to me “Mummy, if one of those #ChibokGirls was an American they would have been found by now.” and I said to myself if those 2000 who were massacred in Baga were French the world would have stood, and perhaps make sure it never happened again. They are Nigerians, and I am a Nigerian, and I face each day knowing if I go down today I will just become a statistic, and nobody will care.
This is an original post written by Aisha Yesufu in Nigeria for World Moms Blog.
Will you join us in raising our collective voices to demand that the world to Bring Back Our Girls Now?!