SOCIAL GOOD: The GAVI Global Tea Party in India

SOCIAL GOOD: The GAVI Global Tea Party in India

World Moms Blog is working with GAVI Alliance to create an international documentary to raise awareness of the importance for life-saving vaccinations for children in developing nations.

We plan to do this through the “GAVI Global Tea Party”, created, here, at World Moms Blog. A team of contributors from World Moms Blog host a party and discuss the significance of vaccines and plan on spreading the word to advocate and support saving the lives of chidden in developing nations.

I eagerly accepted World Mom Blog’s founder and Shot@Life supporter, Jennifer Burden’s, invitation to host a party in India at my residence because I believe in GAVI. I believe in what GAVI supports. I believe that every child should have a chance at life. I know that somehow saving a child’s life is very important in the evolution of the planet. It all started with an email from Jennifer with a very glamorous subject, “Would you like to be a movie star?” Wow, Yes, for this important cause I would, wouldn’t I?

I started planning. I had to first find a videographer. I put up a status messages on Facebook. I asked around to all my friends and made them put up status messages, too. This went on for a month, and I almost gave up. One day, a childhood friend and photographer told me that he knew a videographer who would be willing to help. So, Srinivas and I started talking and things clicked. The party was meant to be!

I called up a few friends and gave them the background of this party and more importantly, why I support this cause. There is at least one child dying every 20 seconds due to a vaccine preventable disease, and we could do something to stop it. The enthusiasm was contagious and all of them said yes to the party. I had a star guest for the party too – my own 90-year-old grandmother who is a mother, a grandmother and a great-grandmother too. Yes, oh yes, the party was taking shape!

I was still feeling nervous and so edgy that I emailed Jennifer at least 25 times on the day before the party. This wonderful woman replied to every one of the mails as soon as she received it. It must have been the middle of the night for her. Yes, she did not sleep the whole night, stayed up and calmed every one of my fears.

I made notes. I was absorbing all the information available about GAVI and vaccinations. I was worried about the conversation flowing around during the filming of the party. What if we came to a standstill, where no one was speaking? What if everyone started speaking about playdates and tantrums and picky-eating and we lost the main focus? What if? What if? What if?

In the end, the party took on a life of its own. The GAVI videos we saw were such great conversation starters. We saw a video about a mother losing her child in Nicaragua and another one about diarrhea and pneumonia in Sierra Leone. We take so much for granted here, but at least 45% of deaths are due to just these two diseases, which are apparently not even killer-diseases if managed properly.

My friends were moved with the Sierra Leone video. My fears were put to rest when I just listened to my friends speaking from the heart about how they strongly felt the need to support the cause of vaccination. I just had to allow them all to feel. The conversation then steered towards India being declared Polio free by WHO. My 90-year-old grandmother was the star of the movie, I should say. Look at this collage below to know how it all went.

Party with a purpose!

Party with a purpose!

Most of the guests took the spirit of GAVI back with them. They said they were going to speak about it with their colleagues and friends.

I should thank all my friends and my grandmother for the success of the party. Her presence and words were strong enough, and her wisdom was truly noteworthy. Her words set the tone for the party –

“One generation’s effort in strictly adhering to the immunisation schedule will carry on for all generations to come, to help eradicate a particular disease. That is how small pox and polio were eradicated in India.”

(In her children’s generation small pox was eradicated, and in her grandchildren’s generation polio was eradicated). In her times and her children’s time all this was done by only the government in whatever way it could, by the personal interest of some physicians and a few people only. But today she feels that organisations like the GAVI Alliance and Shot@Life with a great public appeal and huge voices are a god sent blessing, indeed.

GAVI affected everyone’s lives that day including our children. Check out the below photo of them chorusing, “We want a disease-free world.”

"We want a disease-free world,"the children chorus.“We want a disease-free world”, the children’s chorus.

I started viewing GAVI with a different perspective myself.

Indian Vedic texts say that the human life is the highest form of life and evolution at its peak. And blessed is a soul to be born as a human being and while he/she is given a chance at it, definitely efforts must be made to preserve life, nurture it and utilise it to the maximum benefit.

We had four generations of people assembling that day to help humanity and make this world a better place in their own tiny way. Though I hosted the party,though my grandmother’s wise words set the tone of the party, I think it was a team effort by all of us here –  World Moms Blog contributors, our fans and readers for supporting our causes of social good and advocating for organisations like the United Nations Foundation, their Shot@Life campaign and the GAVI Alliance. We are all here striving to make this world a happy, healthy and peaceful place.

This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Purnima, our Indian mother writing from Chennai, India. Her contributions to the World Moms Blog can be found here. She also rambles at The Alchemist’s Blog.

A team of World Moms Blog contributors have been hosting GAVI Global Tea Parties around the world to help launch an international grass-roots effort of advocacy for life-saving vaccinations for children in the developing world.  The parties are being filmed for a documentary. If you are also interested in hosting a party of your own, please drop us a mail at worldmomsblog[at]gmail[dot]com.   

Photo credit to the author.

Purnima Ramakrishnan

Purnima Ramakrishnan is an UNCA award winning journalist and the recipient of the fellowship in Journalism by International Reporting Project, John Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. Her International reports from Brazil are found here . She is also the recipient of the BlogHer '13 International Activist Scholarship Award . She is a Senior Editor at World Moms Blog who writes passionately about social and other causes in India. Her parental journey is documented both here at World Moms Blog and also at her personal Blog, The Alchemist's Blog. She can be reached through this page . She also contributes to Huffington Post . Purnima was once a tech-savvy gal who lived in the corporate world of sleek vehicles and their electronics. She has a Master's degree in Electronics Engineering, but after working for 6 years as a Design Engineer, she decided to quit it all to become a Stay-At-Home-Mom to be with her son!   This smart mom was born and raised in India, and she has moved to live in coastal India with her husband, who is a physician, and her son who is in primary grade school.   She is a practitioner and trainer of Heartfulness Meditation.

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CHINA: Feng Jianmei and the Forced Abortion Issue

CHINA: Feng Jianmei and the Forced Abortion Issue


Warning: Link to graphic photos in this post.

Living in China, I often find myself standing up for this country, giving my temporary home the benefit of the doubt. Mass poverty? Yes, but economic and social development take time. Corruption? Oh yeah, but what government doesn’t have its scandals? Human rights abuses? Undeniable, but the ‘bad guys’ are only a small fraction of the population.  China often gets beat up and bullied by the media, but I often remind myself of how far and quickly that China has come.

But sometimes, things go too far. I cannot ignore them, I cannot stand up for China or defend its actions.

A few weeks ago, news broke about the story of a young woman named Feng Jianmei. Feng was seven months pregnant with her second child- a big no-no under China’s One Child Policy. Feng and her husband were required to pay a hefty fine for violating the Policy; the fine actually only amounted to about USD$6000, but it was an unfathomable sum for them, almost an entire year’s income.

Unable to pay the fine, at seven months pregnant, Feng was forced to have an abortion. (more…)

Mamasgotwanderlust (China)

You could say that Taryn has travel in her blood: a South African-born Canadian, Taryn has lived in Toronto, Vancouver, and Indiana, and has travelled extensively to Iceland, Israel, Italy, India, and a few places that don't begin with the letter I. After a brief stint as a travel guide writer, where she realized that her dream job was actually a lot of work for not much pay, she gave in to the lure of a steady job (and pay cheque) and settled in Canada's beautiful capital, Ottawa.

In 2010, she embarked on her biggest adventure when her daughter Charlotte was born. A few months later, her hubby J. accepted a work assignment in Russia, and the family moved to Moscow. In 2011, Taryn accepted a work assignment of her own in Beijing, China where she currently lives. While excited about the opportunity to live in the world's biggest up-and-coming country (and to practice herMandarin skills), moving to China has meant leaving J. behind in Russia while he finishes up his work assignment before moving to Beijing this summer.

In the meantime, Taryn juggles career-dom, living in a foreign culture, and being a temporary single-mom to a spunky toddler. Taryn is also the blogger behind Mama's Got Wanderlust, where she writes about her adventures in travelling, parenting, and living abroad.

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Travel Itinerary for the Week of July 30th!

On Monday we head to China to hear from Taryn @ Mamas Got Wanderlust. She tells us a heartbreaking story of how a woman’s rights were violated in the name of public policy.

On Tuesday, we will hop on over to India, where The Alchemist recently hosted a special kind of tea party. Come read about how it all went, all in aid of the GAVI Alliance, which advocates for access to lifesaving vaccines for all children.

On Wednesday, we will be in Australia, where Fiona @ Inspiration to Dream ponders whether we as a society are neglecting to teach our kids basic life skills like cooking, cleaning and changing a tire. Are we fostering too much reliance on Googled instructions?

On Thursday, we fly to Texas to hear from Diana @ Hormonal Imbalances. This mom thought that working at home would allow her to spend time with her daughter, but she found it difficult to get anything done! Come read about how she solved her problem.

On Friday, we will be in Canada, where a year ago Salma undertook the giant task of relocating. She tells us what it was like and how she and her family are adjusting to their new life.

On Saturday, check out the Saturday Sidebar with Eva Fannon, where the World Moms give their thoughts on an important topic, and chime in with your answers to this week’s question!

And we have BIG NEWS!! Next week our website will have a new look!  The actual date of the change is to be announced, so keep checking back!

***If you are subscribed through to our site, and you receive e-mails every time we publish a post, you will have to resubscribe on the updated site.***

Once the new site goes live, our WordPress subscriber list becomes defunct.  And, for fun — once you’re signed up on the new site, you will be entered to win a World Moms Blog T-shirt!

We hope you’ll hop on over to the check out the site this coming week to sign up again once it’s up and running, and look out for international giveaway announcements for the month of August to celebrate the change!

— World Moms Blog

Our World Moms Blog logo was designed by the creative Erica Joyner Designs in Virginia, USA.

This World Moms Blog Travel Itinerary is written by Kirsten Doyle @ Running For Autism 

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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Saturday Sidebar: When are children old enough to bathe themselves?

Saturday Sidebar: When are children old enough to bathe themselves?

This week’s Saturday Sidebar Question comes from World Moms Blog writer Maman Aya.  She asked our writers,

“At what age did you let your child(ren) bathe/shower themselves?”

Check out what some of our World Moms had to say…

Tina Rodriguez of Philippines writes:
“My kids are still five and three, but we’re trying to get our five-year-old-going-on-six to learn to bathe himself in preparation for the future! :)” (more…)

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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UNITED KINGDOM: Has Anyone Seen My Mojo?

UNITED KINGDOM: Has Anyone Seen My Mojo?

It’s raining and I am running.

To be more truthful: it’s pouring, and I am sort of jogging.

Actually let’s be honest. The rain is of epic, Biblical proportion and I am managing a staggering trot at best.

Bowed but not yet beaten by the joys of a British summer, I have laced my anorak hood so tightly that all I can see are the tops of my trainers as I shuffle along, head down. Even then they are a watery blur amid the precipitation driving into my face.

The last time I ran seriously was three months ago, when I completed the London Marathon. After some (more…)

Sophie Walker (UK)

Writer, mother, runner: Sophie works for an international news agency and has written about economics, politics, trade, war, diplomacy and finance from datelines as diverse as Paris, Washington, Hong Kong, Kabul, Baghdad and Islamabad. She now lives in London with her husband, two daughters and two step-sons. Sophie's elder daughter Grace was diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome several years ago. Grace is a bright, artistic girl who nonetheless struggles to fit into a world she often finds hard to understand. Sophie and Grace have come across great kindness but more often been shocked by how little people know and understand about autism and by how difficult it is to get Grace the help she needs. Sophie writes about Grace’s daily challenges, and those of the grueling training regimes she sets herself to run long-distance events in order to raise awareness and funds for Britain’s National Autistic Society so that Grace and children like her can blossom. Her book "Grace Under Pressure: Going The Distance as an Asperger's Mum" was published by Little, Brown (Piatkus) in 2012. Her blog is called Grace Under Pressure.

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