#WorldMoms: Christmas Trees Around the World….

#WorldMoms: Christmas Trees Around the World….

Today on Facebook, we are sharing our contributors’ Christmas trees around the world!

Check out this tree from World Mom, Tara Wambugu in Kenya:

Christmas Tree in Kenya

 

Follow our World Moms Blog Facebook Page for an inside look into our World Moms’ homes and visit our Christmas trees around the world!

Have a tree to share? We’d love to see it!  Have a menorah or other holiday décor to share? Yes, please! Post it in the comments in our World Moms Blog Facebook page!

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter Today!

World Mom, Elizabeth Atalay, is on @BabyCenter Today!

Elizabeth Atalay Head Shot

As part of World Moms Blog’s collaboration with BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™, our World Moms are writing posts on maternal health around the world. In today’s post, Elizabeth Atalay in the USA writes about “Kangaroo Care”, a process of keeping newborn babies close to the mother. Kangaroo Care has been proven to prevent newborn deaths and aid in the development of preterm babies.

“Power cuts are a frequent occurrence in Ethiopia, as they are in many developing countries, and the lack of reliable power impacts health and development in many ways. To a premature baby clinging to life in an incubator, it could be deadly. In the past nearly ¼ of the babies would not survive in the NICU at the Black Lion Hospital due to complications from preterm birth, lack of resources and manpower. The American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines suggest a minimum of one Registered Nurse for every one to two patients in intensive neonatal care; at Black Lion there was one nurse for 10 or more newborns.”

Read the full post over at BabyCenter’s Mission Motherhood™!

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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2015 Marked World Moms Blog’s 5 Year Anniversary

2015 Marked World Moms Blog’s 5 Year Anniversary

 

World Moms 2015

In 2010 World Moms Blog launched from 3 countries. Today, we write from over 30 and have over 70 contributors. In five years there has been awards from the UN Correspondents Association for “Best Reporting on the UN” to Forbes Woman for “Best 100 Website for Women.” Our mothers have gone on reporting and/or speaking fellowships with the International Reporting Project, the UN Foundation and BlogHer.

World Moms Blog has sponsored a panel at the World Bank on the right to a universal education for all. The New York Times Motherlode and the Times of India has recommended our site to their readers. World Moms have been thanked in person by the UN Secretary General, invited to the White House, and have had conversations with royalty and global leaders on a variety of issues such as eradicating poverty, the Syrian refugee crisis, AIDS, the importance of study aboard and more.

We attribute the success of the site to having to solve a problem very early on: Who was going to run the blog while our founder was going to have her second baby?

At that point Jennifer Burden, our founder and CEO, had to become quickly comfortable with handing over responsibility. Kyla P’an, Purnima Ramakrishnan, Kirsten Doyle and Eva Fannon all volunteered to help out in February 2011.  And guess what? They are ALL STILL editing for World Moms Blog! Add on our current managing editor, Elizabeth Atalay; social media manager, Sarah Hughes; and relationships manager, Cindy Levin, and we are rocking it! Not to mention our awesome social media team: Nicole Morgan, Karyn Wills, Nicole Melancon and Amy Pohl!

These women have been the backbone of World Moms Blog, and without them, who knows where we’d be! The site has certainly been a group effort from very early on and the World Moms have been part of the decision making behind the blog.

In commemoration of 5 years of World Moms Blog, we’ve asked our contributors about their favorite moments of being a part of World Moms Blog. Here’s what they’ve had to say:

Maureen Hitipeuw of Indonesia: 

“Definitely meeting Ruth Wong (Singapore) and Susan Koh (Singapore) last June. It was chaotic at first with me getting lost in their huge airport, and then we had so much fun.”

World Moms Singapore Airport 2015

World Moms, Ruth Wong of Singapore, Maureen Hitipeuw of Indonesia and Susan Koh of Singapore are all together for the first time at the Singapore airport in 2015. Maureen had a layover and called on her fellow World Moms!

Tara B. of the USA: 

I love having Karyn Wills (New Zealand) as a FB friend on the opposite side of the globe. I love her winter posts during my summer, and her warm sunny summer posts brighten up my dark PacNW winter. Plus every evening when I check my social media before bed, she is posting to start her day. It reminds me of the great big world chugging along out there. Plus Karyn is funny as all get out.”

Meredith of the USA: 

“I love reading the comments when I have a post run. It makes me feel like I am not alone in what I am feeling as a mother.”

Martine deLuna of the Philippines: 

“Definitely one of the best parts was meeting Ruth Wong in Singapore two years ago!”

WMB Singapore Philippines 600

World Moms, Martine deLuna of the Philippines and Ruth Wong of Singapore, meet for the first time in 2013!

 

Sarah Hughes of the USA: 

“The day I met Jennifer Burden at her house to drop off hats after Hurricane Sandy!!! xo”

Jen Burden and Sarah Hughes Hurricane Sandy

World Moms, Jennifer Burden and Sarah Hughes, distribute hats for victims of Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Michelle Pannell of the UK: 

“My highlight was my introduction to WMB & that was meeting Jennifer Burden and Cynthia Changyit Levin at the first night of the #AYAsummit, which was the social. As the only Brit in the room, I didn’t really know anyone, but you ladies embraced me and made me feel welcome and a part. That night encapsulates all of what WMB is about. Mums/moms coming together, sharing, laughing, being real, sharing their hearts for a broken world and extending a hand in friendship/ kindness. I actually feel quite teary now! Sincerely thank you. x”

Nicole Morgan of the USA: 

“I am so blessed to know many of the WMB moms in real life … and they count amongst my very best friends. I clearly remember meeting our fearless leader in San Diego so many years back, and am so grateful for our friendship. We have shared late night conversations, countless meals, and even a bed at a conference since. With this amazing group, I have attended multiple events, supported dozens of causes … had so much fun with our #posseofpossibilities … we have even had a slumber party in Jenn’s basement! These girls are my rock .. and for those in far flung places … who check on me and share love from afar .. yes Karyn Wills (New Zealand), Purnima Ramakrishnan (India) and Maureen Hitipeuw (Indonesia)… the love is endless.

World Moms ONE Strengthie

World Moms at a ONE event in NYC in September 2015 pose for a “Strengthie” with Neha Misra of Solar Sisters.

 

Frelle of the USA: 

“Meeting so many at BlogHer12!”

World Moms at the BlogHer conference in NYC in 2012.

World Moms at the BlogHer conference in NYC in 2012.

 

K10K of Belgium: 

“Meeting Mirjam Rose (Netherlands), Olga Mecking (Netherlands), Tinne De Beckker (Belgium) and Jennifer Burden (USA) in Antwerp, Belgium!”

World Moms met for an afternoon in Antwerp Belgium in 2014! Olga Mecking of the Netherlands, Mirjam of the Netherlands, Jennifer Burden of the USA, K10K of Belgium and Tinne of Belgium.

World Moms met for an afternoon in Antwerp Belgium in 2014! Olga Mecking of the Netherlands, Mirjam of the Netherlands, Jennifer Burden of the USA, K10K of Belgium and Tinne of Belgium.

Julie Dutra of Portugal: 

“Meeting Martine De Luna (The Philippines) on Skype and getting my blog revamped with her help!

Kyla P’an of the USA: 

“A highlight for me was stepping in as interim editor in chief just a few months after WMB started because  Jennifer Burden needed to take a little “maternity leave” after having Jess. Nothing gives you insight to the crazy mechanics of an organization like running it. I love our network of mothers around the globe. Forget the sentiment that it takes a village to raise children, for me, it takes a World.”

World Moms Dee Kyla Jen and Nicole Melancon

World Moms meet in Washington, DC in 2012! Dee Harlow, Kyla P’an, Jennifer Burden and Nicole Melancon.

Karyn Wills of New Zealand: 

“All of what everyone else said about the friendships and getting to know people from other places but unexpected consequence of that is having contact with people actually living stories we hear of (or don’t hear of) in the media from a local perspective. From attacks in Israel to the every day effect of the fires in Thailand on countries close by, and everything in between, I feel like I have a far greater understanding of what’s going on thanks to the friendships I’ve made here.”

Ruth Wong of Singapore: 

“I agree that the friendships forged here have been such a blessing, and it’s amazing to have friends all around the world through WMB. I dream that one day, we’ll all get to meet in person!”

 

Aisha Yesufu of Nigeria: 

“When darkness falls in the middle of the day, when at the precipice of depression, when one loses all hope in humanity, a single word, smile, hug sent across continents from a World Mom just sets the world right for me. This community also gives the voiceless one the voice to be heard by many across the world.

‘Indeed we are good people.’ That’s the message I get from my World Moms Blog family. Thank you for bringing me in touch with humanity.”

Jennifer Burden of the USA: 

No doubt, meeting my fellow World Moms is so meaningful — on Skype, on the phone and in person! This community of women has meant so much to me. Behind every strong woman is a community of strong women! I look forward to finding ways in which we can make more of these offline meetings happen in 2016!

World Moms Blog

World Moms Blog is an award winning website which writes from over 30 countries on the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Over 70 international contributors share their stories from around the globe, bonded by the common thread of motherhood and wanting a better world for their children. World Moms Blog was listed by Forbes Woman as one of the "Best 100 Websites for Women 2012 & 2013" and also called a "must read" by the NY Times Motherlode in 2013. Our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan, was awarded the BlogHer International Activist Award in 2013.

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OMAN: Raising Children As Global Citizens

OMAN: Raising Children As Global Citizens

Is it possible to raise children to be global citizens in a conservative society?

Is it possible to bring the ideas of globalization in a culture that might reject anything new?

Is it possible to raise children as global citizens, yet respect their own culture?

These are the questions that we as parents, caregivers or educators should be aware of, when raising/educating children in the current global world. For me, as a mother of three children in a conservative society, I believe it is not only possible but a necessity.

Extremism in any culture, I think, is partly a result of isolating a society from the world to the extend it rejects and fights anything that differs from them regardless of the reasons.

Therefore, some effort is needed. Our children are not only influenced by us as parents. They are influenced by all the other constituents of the society they evolve in especially.

As parents, we may start with ourselves. We may be culturally-sensitive, non-judgmental and educated to the differences around us.  We may be very careful to what we say in front of children when they ask questions related to different cultures and ethnicity. We, ourselves, can be judgmental unfortunately sometimes towards a specific culture and may be careful with any words we utter in the presence of our children.

The other thing that I believe is crucial are resources. Books, television, internet programs,  and after-school activities could be diverse. We are lucky to have diverse and a rich market that allows us to learn everything about anything. Travelling allows us more exposure to different cultures and learning opportunities.

I think that learning English (or any other language) at a young age provides more contact to different “diverse” materials. We do have more diverse materials in English than , say, in Arabic.

Charity works wonders in an interesting way too. You may involve your children in a charitable action into giving to others who are in another country or culture. This provides a learning opportunity, empathy towards others and a responsible child who believes he/she can make a change.

Preparing children to be global citizens is a must at the present. We will not be present at every step they take in their lives, but at least prepare them to manage better in a fast growing world.

What are your ideas to raise a global citizen?

This is an original post from our #WorldMom, Ibtisam from Oman for World Moms Blog.

Picture Credit to the author.

You can find more of her wonderful perspective on her blog: ibtisammusings.com.

Ibtisam Alwardi

Ibtisam (at Ibtisam's musings) is an Omani Mom of three, living in the capital city of Oman ,Muscat. After working for ten years as a speech and language therapist in a public hospital, she finally had the courage to resign and start her own business. She had a dream of owning a place where she can integrate fun, play and 'books', thus the iPlay Smart centre (@iplaysmart) was born. Currently she is focusing on raising awareness through social media about parenting, childhood, language acquisition. She started raising awareness on (the importance of reading) and (sexual harassment) targeting school-aged children. Ibtisam enjoys writing, both in Arabic and English, reading and working closely with children. She plans to write children books (in Arabic) one day. Contact Ibtisam at ibtisamblogging(at)gmail.com.

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USA: Outcasts, Refugees, and Giving Thanks

USA: Outcasts, Refugees, and Giving Thanks

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On November 26, 2015, here in the USA there was a celebration. It is called Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is celebrated by many Americans as a day when the ‘Injuns and pilgrims feasted together in harmony’. When possible, families gather to spend the day eating a plenteously-sized meal, and go over the things for which they are thankful.

When I came to the U.S. I heard of a couple of stories behind the meaning of Thanksgiving. I heard it marked a day in American history when pilgrims came from England and after having being helped to plant food by some Natives, they all gathered and had a big feast with the first harvest. I was also told that there was an exchange in which the Natives gave the English food like wild game, and the English gave the Natives blankets contaminated with smallpox which wiped out almost an entire First Nation. So it is that without researching further, I knew I didn’t want to celebrate this particular thanksgiving day without looking into its history first. I was okay with my family gathering, eating good food, and giving thanks for all that I had. I just wasn’t about giving thanks for the planned killing of anyone.

During the course of my life I have figured out that I am too idealistic. I am also fairly optimistic, so saying that I am ‘too’ idealistic feels wrong. However, as life has proven, I am too much of an idealist. That’s okay; I am still staying true to that for I am sure there is purpose in it, and I am rewiring some other thinking patterns. All this to say, that by the time I heard of the smallpox story, I knew there was a great chance that this had actually happened. The idealist in me immediately asked why any human would cause suffering and death to his fellow, but Sophia the realist started going down a list of atrocities that she knew about, that would make this new information less shocking.

The research I did before was in books I do not recollect the titles of. I presently did some more research, though, and I came across a story that an educator put together so the truth about the First Thanksgiving day may be shared with elementary school-aged children. With this story there were books cited and more information given in a more graphic manner than that written for young children.

I read the article and I leave it to you to read it as well. As I scrolled down and read more, I read the following paragraph and immediately I thought about the current situation in Syria, its people who are fleeing war seeking refuge amongst other human beings, and how many of said other humans are responding to this need. This paragraph reminds us of the history of U.S. Americans’ Anglo-Saxon ancestors, and so it is ironic that any of their descendants should feel okay saying Syrian refugees aren’t welcome to this land.

“….The Puritan “Pilgrims” who came to New England were not simply refugees who decided to “put their fate in God’s hands” in the “empty wilderness” of North America, as a generation of Hollywood movies taught us. In any culture at any time, settlers on a frontier are most often outcasts and fugitives who, in some way or other, do not fit into the mainstream of their society. This is not to imply that people who settle on frontiers have no redeeming qualities such as bravery, etc., but that the images of nobility that we associate with the Puritans are at least in part the good “P.R.” efforts of later writers who have romanticized them.(1) It is also very plausible that this unnaturally noble image of the Puritans is all wrapped up with the mythology of “Noble Civilization” vs. “Savagery….”  Chuck Larsen quoting Berkhofer, Jr., R.F., “The White Man’s Indian”.
ΔΔΔ
 
We were driving by downtown the other day (what city is irrelevant) and saw people standing by the side of the road with signs reading ‘Refugees are not welcome here’. Immediately my mind rewound to when outcasts from England came here, and it is their descendants who are now standing on the side of the street saying they don’t want refugees here. These current refugees aren’t even outcasts, they are simply people who are no longer safe in the country they know as home. I say this very simply because I cannot pretend to understand what Syrians and all people in the middle of war zones are going through. Many Americans can afford to feel so detached because the war isn’t on American soil. However, we are at war, and the side of war we do not see here, is the side where there are humans who are suffering and dying. It’s easy to not put ourselves in other people’s shoes when we don’t see or know what they are going through. To feel anything but heartbreak or anger when seeing footage of women, children, and men being carried…body parts dangling, faces torn…. of children’s bodies washing up on shore or lined up with other dead children’s bodies… to know that there are humans who feel something other than heartbreak or anger, and who instead feel good as if these ‘strange people from a foreign country’ deserve it, is heartbreaking! It’s the kind of thing that makes me ashamed of being human. We have become so accustomed to these imaginary lines dividing our world, that we believe they are actually real. Otherwise, how could we feel anything but compassion for a father trying to find refuge for his remaining family?
I know I think too ideally. I know this. And I also know that because of this I tend to leave challenging questions and conversations alone. Truth is, though, that as a person I am hurt every time I see a sign/banner, a meme, or other social media image, saying something negative about a refugee. It’s like there is no compassion and history is forgotten. Actually… history isn’t forgotten. History is re-written; which is why the truth about Thanksgiving is not told in schools. It is changed a little, and changed a little more, until it is just the nice Pilgrims and the Indians who were sharing a nice harvest feast. This is why people forget where they came from, and this is part of the reason why when it comes to deciding whether or not we would welcome a refugee into our city or country, we feel comfortable and proud in saying “No, refugees are not welcome here!”
Ultimately my point is this: We are human. All of us. Chinese, Kenyan, Norwegian, Sioux, Japanese, Syrian, Mexican, Goan, etc… etc… etc…
We are all… human.  How dare we not extend our hand in support of our fellow human in need?
Let’s not forget where we have come from, and let’s work together to build a better humanity. For those of us feeling a bit more self-assisting than altruistic (for whatever the reason), it may be good to remember that helping another person makes us feel good inside. If we were to die the moment after helping another living thing (human or otherwise), maybe our sincere moment of kindness would redeem us from other times when we weren’t so kind. Thus it is that extending our hand to someone in need is a win-win.
Hopefully, if there ever comes a time when we need help, someone will reach out and say “Come, you are welcome here.”
Are you and idealist or a realist?  How do you feel it affects how you think about world issues?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Sophia. You can find her blogging at Think Say Be and on twitter @ThinkSayBeSNJ.
Photo credit to Rakel Sánchez.  This photo has a creative commons attribute license.

ThinkSayBe

I am a mom amongst some other titles life has fortunately given me. I love photography & the reward of someone being really happy about a photo I took of her/him. I work, I study, I try to pay attention to life. I like writing. I don't understand many things...especially why humans treat each other & other living & inanimate things so vilely sometimes. I like to be an idealist, but when most fails, I do my best to not be a pessimist: Life itself is entirely too beautiful, amazing & inspiring to forget that it is!

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