Dramatic Travels Podcast Features Two #WorldMoms

Dramatic Travels Podcast Features Two #WorldMoms

 

Often World Moms contributors are also global travelers, and we are excited that a new travel podcast called Dramatic Travels recently featured two of our contributors. Nicole Melancon had the honor of being the very first Dramatic Travels podcast interview to air, and more recently Elizabeth Atalay shared her travel stories in Episode 9.

Aaron Schlein launched the inspirational family travel podcast Dramatic Travels earlier this year as a resource for family travel, a way to ignite curiosity, and to open people’s minds to the power of travel. In each episode Aaron talks travel with passionate and experienced travelers who are sharing the world, and that love of adventure, with their kids.

Travel opens up a world of possibilities, education, and cross cultural appreciation in a unique and impactful way that no other type experience can.  A large part of our mission at World Moms Network is to cultivate cross cultural understand to help build a better world for all of our children. To hear about Nicole and Elizabeth’s travel adventures and how they are sharing their love of travel with their families you can listen to their podcast interviews here:

Nicole Melancon on Dramatic Travels

Nicole Melancon is a freelance journalist, blogger, and social good advocate living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her husband and two children. A world wanderer at heart, she has visited over 40 countries for both work and pleasure and is still wandering.

Nicole founded her blog, ThirdEyeMom, in 2010 after a life-changing trip to Nepal where she trekked the Annapurna circuit with her father. Landing in India, she received her “third eye” which symbolizes wisdom. It reinforced her strong belief that you must view the world with a third-eye and as openly as possible. On ThirdEyeMom Nicole writes about travel, culture and social good issues focusing on poverty, global health, education, human rights, women and girls’ empowerment, food security and the environment. She is a member of Impact Travel Alliance Media Network, an alliance of journalists, content creators and social media influencers around the world who are passionate about sustainable tourism, and she volunteers with Travel+SocialGood Blog Coordinator.

In May of 2013 Nicole traveled to India as a member of Mom Bloggers for Social Good  to report on water, sanitation, newborn health, and education. In July 2014, she traveled to Ethiopia to report on newborn and maternal health as a fellow with the International Reporting Project, and was a Social Good Fellow for the UN Foundation Social Good Summit, and chosen to attend ONE Women and Girls first AYA Summit in Washington DC in 2015. In July 2015, Nicole climbed Mount Kilimanjaro with Solar Sister, a non-profit organization that brings solar electrify to Sub-Saharan Africa. She has been on two separate press trips to Haiti in 2015 and 2017, and reviewed an all-women’s learn to surf camp in Nicaragua in 2016. Most recently she travelled to Kenya to work on the 2018 Follow the Liters Campaign with LifeStraw where the mission was to deliver safe water to the one millionth child.

Elizabeth Atalay on Dramatic Travels

Elizabeth Atalay is a Digital Media Producer and Managing Editor at World Moms Network. In 2016 she traveled to Haiti to visit artisans in partnership with Heart of Haiti and the Artisans Business Network. 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. In 2013 Elizabeth traveled to Johannesburg, South Africa with Social Good Moms report on reproductive health and a women’s collective in Alexandra Township.  At 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, and The Gates Foundation.  Her writing has also been featured on ONE.org, Johnson & Johnson’s BabyCenter.com, EnoughProject.org, GaviAlliance.org, and Worldmomsblog.com. Elizabeth has traveled to 70 countries around the world but home is in New England with her husband and four children.

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This is an original post for World Moms Network.

 

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World Moms Network

World Moms Network is an award winning website whose mission statement is "Connecting mothers; empowering women around the globe." With over 70 contributors who write from over 30 countries, the site covered the topics of motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Most recently, our Senior Editor in India, Purnima Ramakrishnan was awarded "Best Reporting on the UN" form the UNCA. The site has also been named a "Top Website for Women" by FORBES Woman and recommended by the NY Times Motherlode and the Times of India. Follow our hashtags: #worldmom and #worldmoms Formerly, our site was known as World Moms Blog.

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WORLD VOICE: Volunteer Abroad with Unearth the World #studyabroadbecause

WORLD VOICE: Volunteer Abroad with Unearth the World #studyabroadbecause

In 2013, Kathryn Pisco and her husband Mike left their corporate jobs and decided to take a trip of a lifetime in an attempt to unearth and discover the world. Over the next 250 days, the pair traveled to over 20 countries and volunteered at 5 different volunteer projects.

It was during their volunteer experiences that they learned the ins and outs of volunteering abroad. Although their time volunteering was meaningful, they were surprised to see how broken the system was.

A lot of projects charged tons of money for volunteers, were not exactly beneficial to the host community, and were not sustainable. The couple returned home and realized that they had to share their knowledge and experience of what they learned.

In 2014, they launched their social enterprise Unearth the World, an international volunteer organization that strives to improve the international volunteering industry by promoting cross-cultural learning, fostering reciprocal partnerships and elevating social consciousness through responsible international programs.

Today they work with 6 non-profit partners in Peru, Nicaragua, Mexico, Guatemala and Zambia which they have personally visited to ensure that each volunteer experience benefits the local community and provides sustainable change. Since they founded Unearth the World, 200 people have already dedicated 3,500+ hours of service over the past two years in collaboration with their six international nonprofit partners. 

Teaching in Peru with Unearth the World

I first met Kathryn at the Women in Travel Summit in April and instantly connected. She is a mom like me and has a passion for sustainable travel and a zest for life. I knew I wanted to feature Unearth the World on my blog so I set up a phone interview to learn more. Here is a transcript of our conversation.

Me: What did you and your husband do for work in Chicago before setting off on your epic travel adventure? Had you ever traveled before? How did you pick your countries and volunteer projects?

Kathryn: Mike and I were both in sales for medical companies prior to traveling the world. While we had done quite a bit of personal travel in the past, it was more traditional tourism. We would maximize our allotted vacation time each year but that was the extent of our travel. Prior to our professional careers, I did a traditional study abroad program in Paris and Mike spent a summer living/volunteering in Nicaragua. Mike’s Nicaragua experience inspired us to volunteer on our epic adventure.

When choosing where to travel, we prioritized regions that were far away and – therefore – challenging to get to on a typical 7 – 10 day vacation. We also sought out countries that were relatively secure and affordable. Once we had outlined our 20-country itinerary we tried to spread our volunteer projects evenly throughout the trip. Our idea was to have a few weeks of personal travel and then a few weeks of volunteering. It ended up working out quite well!

We did a lot of research on where we should volunteer but found it really challenging to understand what organizations were legit based upon online research alone.

Me: Tell me a little bit more about the five different volunteer projects you did. What did you learn about the world of international volunteering?

Kathryn:  We taught English in Kathmandu, Nepal, worked at Children’s Homes in Chiang Mai, Thailand and Phnom Penh Cambodia, taught at a school in Ofaakor, Ghana and built homes in Mwandi, Zambia. Through these experiences we learned how important it is to ensure that you have the proper skills to engage in each project. I have adopted the belief that if you are not qualified to do something in your hometown – why would you be qualified to do it abroad?

We realized that so many of our projects were well-intentioned but not truly as helpful as they could have been. There was such a disconnect between the true needs of the community and the projects that were designed to appeal to volunteers. We heard horror stories about schools that were built and torn down each year with the sole purpose of attracting and making money off of international volunteers. We also experienced some great things! In Zambia for instance, the organization is 100% locally run and the entire community is engaged in the mission. Mike and I worked alongside local people and learned from them every step of the way. Finally, we saw how incredible cross-cultural exchange can be for both volunteers and local communities. We built authentic and lasting relationships at many of our projects and are still in touch with people from all around the world.

Me: How did traveling and in particular volunteering abroad change you?

Kathryn: In so many ways! I entered the trip thinking that – as a 30 year old woman – my values, personality and worldview were pretty set. On the trip I learned how to thrive outside of my comfort zone. I became a better communicator, leader, and person. I also realized that I have so much to learn from people of different cultures.

Me: Why did you decide to launch Unearth the World?

Kathryn: As I mentioned earlier, our five volunteer projects varied greatly in intentionality and impact and illustrated the pros and cons of volunteering abroad. We learned that there are many problems in the current multi-billion dollar volunteer travel space: a lack of financial transparency, an absence of meaningful volunteer training, and a shortage of community driven projects. So, we returned from our trip inspired to create our own social venture – Unearth the World – that strives to improve the volunteer travel industry by promoting cross-cultural learning, fostering reciprocal partnerships and elevating social consciousness through responsible volunteer exchange programs. We founded Unearth the World to make volunteer travel more transparent, accessible and positively impactful.

MeWhere did you come up with the name?

Kathryn: Unearth the World was actually the name of our travel blog during our nine month trip. We thought it really encompassed what we were trying to accomplish on our journey. We sought to unearth – or discover – the world around us in a meaningful way. We decided to give our business the same name because we believe that international service and cross-cultural exchange is a great way to understand the world around us.

Me: What makes you different from other volunteer organizations?

Kathryn: We saw that the industry lacked financial transparency and affordability with many projects costing several thousand dollars for just one week. We also saw a lack of community driven projects. Instead, we saw many volunteer opportunities that were created with the purpose of bringing in tourists rather than actually addressing a true need in the community. Additionally, we saw that many of the volunteer sending organizations fail to train and educate their travelers before and after their trip leading to uninformed and unqualified volunteers. These problems in the industry saddened us greatly. UTW’s innovative model addresses the problems in the volunteer travel market in three ways: transparency, reciprocity and volunteer preparation.

Me: What has been the most powerful experience you have experienced with Unearth the World?

Kathryn: That is a tough question. I am always impressed by the transformative effects of our programs.

I have seen the biggest impacts on people who have not had previous international experiences. For instance, we recently had a student from Cornell University join a group trip to Nicaragua. He had never been out of the country before. His experience volunteering in Nicaragua sparked something in him. He immediately booked a second trip – this time to Zambia – to continue to engage with the world. Upon returning to school, he is considering shifting his major to something more focused on social impact and he has begun to volunteer in his local community.

Another great story is from one of our Advisory Board members – Amy. She took her two daughters to Nicaragua as a way of exposing them to different cultures. A memorable moment from their program was when one of her daughters turned to her and said “Mommy, I want to do really well in school so I can continue to travel and learn about the world.”. Amy was so inspired that she joined our board.

Me: What kind of advice can you give someone who wants to try volunteering abroad?

Do your research and ask tons of questions. Make sure that you have a true understanding of the impact on the community and planet that your trip is having.

To learn more about volunteering with Unearth the World, please visit their projects page to learn more about our opportunities.

Have you ever volunteered abroad?

This has been an original post by Nicole Melancon of Thirdeyemom in the USA. Additional posts by Nicole on World Moms Network. 

From September 21st-23rd, 2017 World Moms Network will be at the International Travel Bloggers Summit on Study Abroad and Global Citizenship using social media to engage more students and people to study abroad! Follow the Summit at hashtag, #studyabroadbecause.  

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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World Voice: My Guide to 2016’s Gifts that Give Back

World Voice: My Guide to 2016’s Gifts that Give Back

What better gift is there than teaching your child the spirit of giving this holiday season! Why not create a family tradition that gives back by supporting one of these amazing organizations with holiday gifts that help people around the world?

A few years ago, I began highlighting different organizations that offer wonderful gifts that also give back to a cause. I began to curate these lists of Gifts that Give Back because I realized that we too as a consumer have a responsibility to make the world a better place, and there is no easier way than purchasing a gift that gives to your loved one and also gives back to someone in need. From purchasing a scarf that sends girls to school in India or a bar of homemade all natural soap that provides economic resources to communities in Africa, there is so much you can do. With the holidays right around the corner and millions of dollars being spent on gifts, imagine the difference we can make as consumers if we use our money to do good while giving. It is fabulous that so many amazing organizations exist today to help improve the world.

Here is a list of some of my favorite gifts that give back for this holiday season. Enjoy!

For Her

 

Bloom & Give

Bloom & Give sells beautifully handcrafted scarves and bags made in India using techniques passed on from generation to generation. Each product is designed in the US by one of Bloom & Give’s designers, and made in India with love. Bloom & Give donates 50% of their profits to support girls education programs in India through their partner Educate Girls to improve the lives of girls in Rajasthan.

Bloom & Give just released a new fall line with lots of beautiful products. Here are some of my favorites for the holidays. www.bloomandgive.com

Bird + Stone

A made-in-NYC jewelry start-up that invests in female entrepreneurs in the developing world. Bird + Stone uses jewelry as a funding vehicle for micro-loans and financial training and invests in single mothers in Kenya to start farming businesses, lift their families out of poverty, and follow their dreams. www.birdandstone.com

b.a.r.e soaps

b.a.r.e. soaps is an all natural, socially conscious soap & candle company. b.a.r.e stands for “bringing antiseptic resources to everyone”. Proceeds from the sales are reinvested into social causes such as a soap rebatching initiative in India and a program to help children with essentials in Uganda. www.bare-soaps.com

Heart of Haiti

Designed to improve and enrich lives, Macy’s offers an extraordinary collection of art and gifts to promote change and hope in Haiti. Each purchase supports that artisans on the ground so they can have a sustainable income. http://www1.macys.com/shop/featured/heart-of-haiti

Obakki Foundation

The Obakki Foundation is a small Vancouver-based foundation, created and run by local fashion designer (Obakki), mother and wife, Treana Peake, contributes 100 per cent of all public donations to their humanitarian projects. The foundation has drilled or rehabilitated more than 850 wells in the war-torn country of South Sudan, bringing clean water to an estimated more than one million people. And they have just promised six remote villages in the country that the foundation will help them to build a better future by providing each village with a much needed fresh water well. All that Obakki Foundation needs to do this is to sell 500 of each of the new, stylish colours of scarves – as a part of their Scarves for Water program. www.obakki.com

Preemptive Love Coalition

Preemptive Love Coalition brings emergency relief and medical care to families on the front lines of the world’s most polarizing conflicts—in places like Syria and Iraq. But we don’t leave once the fighting is done. We stay and empower refugees to reclaim their future from the ashes of war. www.preemptivelove.org

Veerah

As a mission-driven brand, each and every detail has been thoughtfully planned to marry purpose and responsibility with practicality and, of course, beauty both inside and out. The company furthers this idea through its partnership with She’s The First, an organization that helps to provide education, mentorship, supplies and training to girls in developing countries. Every step taken in VEERAH is one stylish step closer to ensuring women everywhere can make their mark. www.veerah.com

 

 

For Him

Cotopaxi (adventure outdoor apparel and gear)

www.cotopaxi.com

Cotopaxi is an outdoor company that funds sustainable poverty alleviation, moves people to do good, and inspires adventure through innovative outdoor products and experiences. Their unique business model enables their grantmaking in developing countries and represents a commitment to sustainable product design and charitable giving. The Luzon Del Dia backpack is created with salvageable materials that would otherwise have been headed to the landfill, and no two backpacks is alike.

Mission Belt

www.missionbelt.com
Mission Belt Company makes no-hole leather belts, nylon belts and an assortment of licensed NBA, NHL and NCAA belts that give back. Giving back has been part of Mission Belt since day one and is the reason behind the company name.  A dollar from every belt sold goes to fight global hunger and poverty. To date, over 28K Kiva (peer-to-peer micro lending) micro-loans have been funded from the sales of Mission Belts.

Health 2 Humanity

www.h2hsoap.com

Health 2 Humanity goes beyond soap. Every H2H purchase helps fund international vocational programs that create jobs, grant scholarships, develop skills, and improve the lives of people around the world by offering hygiene solutions in developing countries. Through the development of these programs, the company plans to put an end to global health inequality.

TOMS (shoes and eyeglasses and coffee)

www.toms.com

With every purchase you make of either a pair of shoes or eyeglasses, TOMS will help a person in need. One for one. It feels great to know that when I buy a pair of TOMS shoes, someone else far away who who really needs shoes is getting a pair as well! TOMS also supplies fair trade coffee. If you buy one bag of coffee, TOMS supplies one week’s worth of clean water to a family in need.

 

For the Kids

Happisnappi 

Happisnappi kid’s accessories are the perfect way for your little ones to accessorize with ease! Happisnappi accessories have interchangeable pieces, making matching different outfits as easy as can be! Simply choose an embellishment and snap it on to the hat or headband! For every hat sold, Happisnappi gives another to a children’s hospital. www.happisnappi.com

Goodbye Malaria

Goodbye Malaria, an initiative by African entrepreneurs who aim to eradicate malaria in our lifetime. Malaria is a disease that is completely preventable and treatable, although it kills more people in Africa than HIV/AIDS and is the biggest killer of children on the African continent. Goodbye Malaria enables Africans to raise funds and advocate against malaria, whilst creating employment across the continent. Their beautiful online shop which sells products that “save a life in your sleep” offers African-made pajamas, bracelets, slippers, pencil boxes and teddy bears, all which employ local women and protect families in Mozambique against malaria. www.goodbyemalaria.com

Bureo

Bureo makes skateboards and sunglasses from recycled fishing nets. Operating a recycling program in Chile, ‘Net Positiva’, Bureo’s programs provides fishing net collection points to keep plastic fishing nets out of our ocean. Preventing harmful materials from entering the ocean, these recycling programs protect wildlife and supporting local fishing communities through financial incentives. Bureo is on a mission to find innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastics, and inspire others to join them in the movement to protect our oceans.  www.bureo.co

Love your Melon

Love Your Melon began with a simple idea of putting a hat on every child battling cancer in America. Since 2012, they’ve donated over 80,000 hats to children battling cancer and with each product purchase, they donate 50% of net proceeds to their select charity partners to help end the fight against pediatric cancer. Over $1.5 million has been raised so far! One of the biggest days of the year for Love Your Melon in terms of raising money for their nonprofit partners is Cyber Monday. This past Monday $414,095 was raised, over double that of last year. www.loveyourmelon.com

Pals Socks

Pals Socks are socks for kids that come mismatched on purpose, because it’s fun to be friends with someone different than you. They are all about inspiring kids to keep an open mind to all kinds of people and new ideas/experiences.  Pals Socks also give a percentage of their profits to an organization that also helps make our world a better place. They support anti-bullying, animal rights, the environment and more. www.palssocks.com

And of course World Moms Network’s very own mini-shop!

2016-wmn-mini-shop-oh-the-colors

 

 

 

 

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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World Voice: Kurandza – One woman’s passion to help #FeedMozambique

World Voice: Kurandza – One woman’s passion to help #FeedMozambique

Meet Elisabetta Colabianchi, Founder of Kurandza, a non-profit social enterprise that invests in the future of women in Mozambique. I have featured her work and organization before on my blog and include their products under my Gifts that Give Back Guide. Kurandza uses education, entrepreneurship and sustainable development programs to help create opportunity and change for women and their communities. A devastating two-year drought in Mozambique has caused widespread hunger inspiring Elisabetta to shift gears and focus on hunger relief. Here is her heartwarming story. 

Percina and Elisabetta, two wonderful friends who met in a village in Mozambique while Elisabetta was a Peace Corps volunteer. Photo credit: Nicole Anderson of Sorella Muse Photography

Percina and Elisabetta, two wonderful friends who met in a village in Mozambique while Elisabetta was a Peace Corps volunteer. Photo credit: Nicole Anderson of Sorella Muse Photography

“Kurandza: To Love”: Written by Elisabetta Colabianchi, Founder and Designer, Kurandza

I’d known there was a hunger crisis in Mozambique, but what really got to me was hearing that HIV positive mothers were faced with choosing between letting their children starve or nursing their children past the recommended time despite the risk of passing on HIV.

Prior to founding my non-profit organization, Kurandza, which means “to love” in the local Changana language, I lived in Mozambique as a Peace Corps volunteer for three years. While there, I worked at a rural hospital counseling mothers on the prevention of HIV transmission to their babies, and had successfully prevented the transmission to hundreds of children.

At first, I thought that maybe the mothers who continued to nurse despite the risk were doing this because they forgot their training. Or I thought perhaps I hadn’t taught them very well after all.

#feedmozambique

But when I counseled one of these mothers over the phone last month from my home, now living thousands of miles away in California, I realized she knew exactly what she was doing, and that it hurt her to do so. She knew that by continuing to nurse her child past the recommended time, she was putting her baby at risk to contract HIV. She knew that when a child contracts the HIV virus, it often leads to mortality.

This mother has already successfully raised five HIV-free children because she followed the prevention techniques. But this time is different. This time there isn’t any food for her to feed her child because of the two-year drought. There isn’t any water to grow crops on her farm to produce the food that her child desperately needs to survive. Water is a life source that they are without. Like all the women in her community, she knows that if she stops nursing, her baby will most likely die of malnutrition. So she is making the best choice for her baby by nursing despite the possible outcome.

The women facing this impossible choice is what made me pause and reassess the work I was already doing in Mozambique through Kurandza. Even though we’re in the middle of creating new educational and entrepreneurial programs for the women there, we’re refocusing our energy to something more urgent this month, because I know in my heart that we need to address the hunger crisis now.

Over 25 million people in Mozambique don’t have enough food or water

The drought has caused crops to die and food prices in the nearest stores to increase by over 200%. In a community of high unemployment and dependence on farming their own crops to survive, villagers are unable to purchase food for themselves. Because of the hunger crisis, children are eating one meal a day.

In response to the hunger crisis, Kurandza is raising $250,000 this month to provide immediate food along with long-term water and sustainable agriculture solutions so that the community can continue to farm, growing their own crops if the drought persists. All the food aid will be sourced in the local community to boost local commerce.

It’s important to supplement humanitarian assistance with long-term solutions such as building multi-functional water wells so that the community will be able to continue farming and growing their own crops even if the drought continues.

If you would like to learn more, visit www.kurandza.org

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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WORLD VOICE: Save a Life in your sleep with Goodbye Malaria

WORLD VOICE: Save a Life in your sleep with Goodbye Malaria

“If you think you’re too small to make a difference you haven’t spent a night with a mosquito”.‐ African proverb

The figures are staggering. According to the World Health Organization: “About 3.2 billion people – nearly half of the world’s population – are at risk of malaria. In 2015, there were roughly 214 million malaria cases and an estimated 438,000 malaria deaths. Sub-Saharan Africa continues to carry a disproportionately high share of the global malaria burden. In 2015, the region was home to 89% of malaria cases and 91% of malaria deaths. In areas with high transmission of malaria, children under 5 are particularly susceptible to infection, illness and death. More than two-thirds (70%) of all malaria deaths occur in this age group. In 2015, about 305,000 African children died before their fifth birthdays” making malaria the leading killer of children in Africa. (Source: WHO 2015 statistics).

Although these figures are frightening, what is even more shocking is that these deaths are entirely preventable. Per the World Health Organization, “Increased prevention and control measures have led to a 60% reduction in malaria mortality rates globally since 2000”. This is amazing progress that brings hope that we will be able to wipe malaria off the face of the earth forever.

Eradicating malaria is the dream of South African-based Goodbye Malaria, an organization  I interviewed to learn how a team of African entrepreneurs, predominantly women sprayers and socially minded businesses, are coming together to “save a life in your sleep” and eradicate malaria in their lifetime. Here’s their story.

Goodbye Malaria began as a dream of successful African entrepreneur, Robbie Brozin, founder of Nando’s food chain. Robbie traveled throughout the African continent with Humanitarian adventurer, Kingsley Holgate, who is known as the most traveled man in all of Africa. During their travels, Robbie realized that malaria was killing so many people and no one was doing anything about it. In fact, malaria is the number one killer of children in Africa, yet is entirely preventable.

Inspired to do good and fight to end malaria, Brozin along with three other African entrepreneurs founded Goodbye Malaria in February 2013. Goodbye Malaria helps to raise funds to support on the ground malaria elimination programs in Mozambique, to educate and advocate against malaria all while creating employment across the continent. Their beautiful online shop which sells products that “save a life in your sleep” offers African-made pajamas, bracelets, slippers, pencil boxes and teddy bears, all which employ local women and protect families in Mozambique against malaria.

How it works:
Goodbye Malaria employs a crew of both male and female sprayers (over 70% of the sprayers are women) who go house to house within the communities and spray the inside of the homes with a specially formatted insecticide to kill malaria-transmitting mosquitoes. Goodbye Malaria provides extensive training for the sprayers whose job is not easy. They must wear heavy, protective uniforms and masks in often very hot weather. Yet, the job is rewarding and there has been much success. In Southern Mozambique’s Maputo Province, the results from a preliminary pilot project from the first Goodbye Malaria spray round started in October 2013 show that the population of Boane district has been protected for two consecutive years, and prevalence has been reduced by 70%.
Goodbye Malaria Women Sprayers

Goodbye Malaria Women Sprayers

Why Mozambique?

Although Goodbye Malaria is based in South Africa, South Africa does not have malaria. Mozambique was a logical place for Goodbye Malaria to start their work since it borders South Africa, has a high rate of malaria transmission, and also has special ties with the Nandos and Goodbye Malaria founder Robbie Brozin. Nando’s famous chicken originated in Mozambique. Their award-winning “peri-peri” sauce is made from red hot chilis grown there. Goodbye Malaria works directly with the government of Mozambique and other non-profit organizations on the ground in two large areas of the country. Roughly 200,000 people have been impacted by their work yet there is much more to do.

“Save a Life in your Sleep”:

Goodbye Malaria operates as a Social Benefit Organization (SBO) not a NGO (non-governmental organization) meaning in addition to outside funding, they also use profits from products to go directly to support their operations on the ground. Goodbye Malaria’s tagline is “Save a Life in your Sleep”. By shopping at Goodbye Malaria’s online store, your purchase helps in two ways. First, by creating jobs that support local South African entrepreneurs. Second, the proceeds directly fund the spray program in Mozambique.

The head of Goodbye Malaria’s merchandizing, Kim Lazarus explained that the products are all about changing lives and saving lives. There is a link between how woman in South Africa are making products that will make a difference in the lives of their sisters in Mozambique. It is a wonderful concept.

The products:

The online shop at Goodbye Malaria offers some wonderful products for sale and provides shipping right in the US. Every product is made in South Africa, and the products are 100% transparent, sustainable and ethically sourced.

 

BPicMonkey CollageHomemade “Shwe Shwe” pajama bottoms: Shwe Shwe is a popular South African fabric. It is bright, colorful and authentic. The idea behind the pajamas is that you are covered at night while someone else sleeps safely at night in Mozambique (as mosquitos mostly bite at night). They also make pencil boxes, hats, and slippers out of the same cotton fabric.

Teddy Bears: The homemade teddy bears are another special story. Each bear is unique and made by a different woman. The bears are called the “Mashozi” bear which means “the woman wears the pants”. The name came after Kinsley’s late wife who was an inspiration.

Bracelets: The Goodbye Malaria bracelets are made by the “go gos” – a term used for grannies who watch children who lost their parents from HIV/AIDS. Making the beads and bracelets provides them with extra income and they also involve the children in the process.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Skype call with co-founder Kim Lazarius. When I ended the call, I sat in wonder and amazement feeling completely inspired that there are such amazing people in the world doing good and saving lives, with passion. I instantly ordered a pair of Goodbye Malaria pajama bottoms for myself for the holidays. When I wear them, I can think about how fortunate I am to not have to worry about malaria but also that I’m hopefully saving a life while I sleep.

To learn more about Goodbye Malaria, click here. To view their online shop, click here.

This is an original post written for World Moms Blog by Nicole Melancon of ThirdEyeMom.com.

Nicole Melancon (USA)

Third Eye Mom is a stay-at-home mom living in Minneapolis, Minnesota with her two children Max (6) and Sophia (4). Her children keep her continually busy and she is constantly amazed by the imagination, energy and joy of life that they possess! A world wanderer at heart, she has also been fortunate to have visited over 30 countries by either traveling, working, studying or volunteering and she continues to keep on the traveling path. A graduate of French and International Relations from the University of Wisconsin Madison, where she met her husband Paul, she has always been a Midwest gal living in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Chicago. This adventurous mom loves to be outside doing anything athletic (hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing or simply enjoying nature), to travel and volunteer abroad, to write, and to spend time with her beloved family and friends. Her latest venture involves her dream to raise enough money on her own to build and open a brand-new school in rural Nepal, and to teach her children to live compassionately, open-minded lives that understand different cultures and the importance of giving back to those in need. Third Eye Mom believes strongly in the value of making a difference in the world, no matter how small it may be. If there is a will, there is a way, and that anything is possible (as long as you set your heart and mind to it!). Visit her on her blog, Thirdeyemom, where she writes about her travels and experiences in other lands!

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World Mom, Nicole Melancon, is on @BabyCenter Today!

World Mom, Nicole Melancon, is on @BabyCenter Today!

Nicole Melancon Headshot 2015 600

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, Nicole Melancon in the USA writes about the importance of “Lie and Wait Houses” when it comes to maternal health for women in Ethiopia.

“The Project Mercy Lie and Wait House was about a three hour drive south of Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, in the heart of rural Ethiopia. From the outside, the pink-colored concrete building was simple, except for a small sign stating the center’s name. Inside was one large room with two small beds, a white plastic chair and a dirt floor. On the chair, Menesch, aged 40, sat while nursing her three-month old daughter, her eighth child. The baby, like all of her children, had been delivered at home with no trained labor assistant.

Next, on one of the beds laid Menesch’s older daughter…”

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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