In October, several #WorldMoms attended the ONE Girls & Women AYA Summit at the Google Headquarters in Washington, DC. One of the many powerful panels we heard from was entitled Change Through Economic Opportunity, where both major fashion companies and small start-ups weighed in on how they impact the lives of women through economic empowerment. With the holiday season upon us, World Moms decided to share some of the ways we love to use our purchasing power to give back, and how you can too.
Sydney Price of Kate Spade NY spoke about the Kate Spade On Purpose line at the AYA Summit panel. Each piece in this collection is handcrafted in Rwanda creating sustainable economic opportunities for women and reshaping their community.
Jane Mosbacher Morris , founder of To the Market, also participated in the panel on Change Through Economic Opportunity at the AYA Summit. To The Market provides a marketplace for the beautiful handcrafted goods that give women survivors of war, disaster or abuse a chance to support themselves and their families.
World Moms Elizabeth Atalay and Nicole Melancon had the pleasure of visiting the FashionABLE factory in Ethiopia this past summer and we have all been writing about and wearing the gorgeous scarves made in Ethiopia for years. It was great to finally meet founder Barrett Ward at the AYA Summit this past fall where he participated on the panel as well. FashionABLE is now expanding operations to include products made in Kenya and a beautiful line of leather products, all while providing social service programs of health care, education in a trade, and assistance with child care for their artisans to help them build better lives for themselves and their families.
“Through your purchase, you are ABLE to provide opportunity, and a woman is ABLE to have a new choice.”-LiveFashionABLE
The Giving Keys provides jobs for those transitioning out of homelessness, giving them the opportunity to rebuild their lives. The necklaces & bracelets are super cool as is the message of the Giving Keys:
“When you get this Key, you must give it away at some point to a person you feel needs the message, then write us the story of why you gave it away. We employ those looking to transition out of homelessness.” -The Giving Keys
You can read Giving Keys stories of those who have given and received keys on their site.
Shop the ONE Campaign store Holiday Gift Guide for some fabulous items where you know everything is fair trade and ethically sourced. By doing so you support the ONE Campaign in it’s goal of eradicating extreme poverty.
Alex & Ani Bracelets
Alex & Ani Charity by design products are another of our favorites. A percentage o profits goes back to designated non-profits. Their products are made in the USA from recycled materials, and spread the message of positive energy! They have branched out from bangles to key chains, and candles, wine charms & more!
From South Africa, The Mielie bags employ women of the townships in South Africa.
Mielie Bag Made in South Africa
Our mission is to design and produce innovative, export-quality hand-crafted products using reclaimed materials – with the aim of creating employment and restoring dignity and financial independence to South Africans.- Mielie
The Anchal Project Mission merges design, business, and education to empower marginalized and exploited women living in India. Their scarves are gorgeous and the company was founded by two Rhode Island School of design Grads.
Anchal is an Indian word that means shelter, or refers to the edge of a woman’s Sari used to provide comfort and protection for loved ones.-Anchal Project
Kids Books from Little Pickle Press, a B Corporation, are some of our favorite books for kids!
Lollie Beads Bracelets are created from fair trade recycled glass beads made in Uganda. So they are not only gorgeous (the glass beads look and feel like sea glass) but they are good for the environment AND help support sustainable living in a developing country.
Tom’s keeps its designs fresh while still managing to provide shoes and glasses to those who need them. We love their One for One business model (and pledge to support it with as many shoes as we can get away with!)
1000 Shillings Ugandan Paper bead necklaces. The women artisans earn capital for their own small businesses by making limited-edition products for 1000 Shillings. Each product sold through 1000 Shillings helps a woman establish a small business, which enables her to support her family. They also aim to tell the in-depth story behind each artisan. The company works with six single mothers in the Namatala slum, Uganda.
A Gift As A Gesture:
Sometimes it is hard to find the perfect gift for someone who has every material thing they desire. Still you want to give something as a token of your appreciation to them and the below gifts are the perfect solution that everyone can feel good about.
Photo by Elizabeth Atalay
Heifer International :
“Heifer International’s mission is to work with communities to end hunger and poverty and care for the Earth. It all started with a cow. Moved by the plight of orphans and refugees of the Spanish Civil War as he ladled out meager rations of powdered milk, Dan West, an Indiana farmer, volunteer relief worker and Church of the Brethren member, grasped that the people needed “a cow, not a cup”—cows that could produce milk so families would not have to depend on temporary aid. From that simple idea, Heifer International was born.” – From the Heifer International Website
Save two lives, those of a mom and her newborn baby, with CleanBirth.org and the perfect holiday gift of Bags of Love and Miracles, a handmade bag with a beautiful full-sized honor card inside ($20) and 4 mothers in Laos will receive birthing supplies and safe birthing education.
Mom2Mom Africa is a Canadian Not-for-Profit Organization, established to help empower women and children through education. The benefits of education and global awareness apply to us all. Your gifts this season will help to buy books, school uniforms and school supplies for the Mom2Mom Africa students in Tanzania.
Wishing Happy Holidays to You All,
May You Give As Good As You Get!
Do you know other organizations or shops that belong on this list?
This is Day 4 of a trip to Uganda with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. World Moms Blog founder, Jennifer Burden, was part of the delegation to observe UNICEF’s Family Health Days in October 2012.
Elizabeth, a volunteer health worker and Ugandan mother who helps to administer life-saving vaccines to children under 5 years old in Fort Portal with World Moms Blog Founder, Jennifer Burden, on a Shot@Life trip to Uganda in October 2012.
At Church in Uganda
Sunday, we rose and prepared for the Family Health Day in the town of Fort Portal, which is about a 4 hour drive from Uganda’s capital, Kampala. Our delegation split in two because there were two Family Health Days within our reach that our group wanted to cover, so some of our group headed to a Catholic Church. I was with the group that was at an Anglican church for a Family Health Day.
It was that day that I met John the Baptist, a man who wished to continue school to become a priest, but economics didn’t allow him to do so. He now worked for the town of Fort Portal and accompanied us on our trip. It turned out John the Baptist has a 6 year old daughter, and she and my own 5 year daughter are becoming pen pals over e-mail. What a fantastic cultural experience that may grow out of this trip for two of the world’s children!
We arrived at a grassy knoll with a church on top of the hill. It was picturesque. The familiar (to me) tune of hymns were coming from the building, and on the outside, the health workers were setting up their stations under trees and outside of buildings. Signs were words scrawled on paper: “HIV Testing Here” “Immunizations for Children Under 5”, etc.
First, Cindy Levin’s curiosity led us all into the mass. We sat on what looked like hand made wooden pews and the church inside was painted sky blue and had what looked like Christmas garland hanging from side to side overhead. The energy of the people singing inside was intense! As the priest spoke in a local African dialect, I was able to follow the mass. Not from what he said, but by the sing-song of his tone. I recognized the “Our Father” and the “The Apostle’s Creed” from my days of growing up as a Catholic, although I currently choose not to practice a religion now.
UNICEF Family Health Day
Afterwards we met with health workers, including a lab technician conducting HIV testing, a nurse midwife, and various volunteers administering vaccines, taking blood pressure and testing for malnutrition in small children. The delegation spent time observing each post, but former Mexican nurse, Felisa Hilbert, took it one step further and helped take blood pressure to the smiles of many people waiting in line.
Felisa Hilbert, a former nurse from Mexico, volunteers to take blood pressure during a UNICEF Family Health Day on a Shot@Life trip to Uganda.
Families waited under the shade of large, beautiful trees for their family members who were utilizing the health services. I had the chance to see children receive polio vaccinations.
Interacting with the mothers who were receiving these immunization services for their children was profound for me, after spending almost a year advocating for their children to have access to them.
The people we met in Uganda were curious and open to conversation, and so were we. Having previous been an British colony, English is common in Uganda. Having this common medium, made it possible for our delegation to really experience the local culture and people of Uganda.
I asked so many questions, met so many people and took a lot of notes. The trip has been an asset for me in leading discussions on Twitter for social good for World Moms Blog, for presenting on Shot@Life, in my writing, and in lobbying US Congress on global health and vaccines, talking to friends. But perhaps, it’s greatest impact will be on my daughters due to the multitude of stories I share with them about the children I met in Uganda. My experiences as part of this delegation were so meaningful. Thank you, again, to the UN Foundation and Shot@Life for giving me this great gift that I will continue to share in my advocacy.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden, in NJ, USA. To read more about Jennifer’s trip with Shot@Life to Uganda, check out Day 1 about UNICEF offices in Kampala, Uganda, Day 2 of her trip at a UNICEF Family Health Day in Mumbende, Uganda and Day 3 about signs of poverty.
Photo credits to the author.
Jennifer Burden traveled by invitation of the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign to Uganda to observe UNICEF’s Family and Child Health Days, where children are provided life-saving vaccinations. This post reflects on Day 3 of her adventure in October. She has previously reported on day 1 about UNICEF offices in Kampala, Uganda and day 2 of her trip at a UNICEF Family Health Day in Mumbende, Uganda.
On Day 3 of our Ugandan adventure we took a detour. We were scheduled to meet with the health staff who were going to be working at the Family Health Days that we were visiting on Sunday, but they were still busy preparing for Sunday. So, we found ourselves with unexpected free time. What better thing to do in Africa when your plans fall through than to visit one of Uganda’s national parks?
Queen Elizabeth National Park in Uganda. Jennifer Burden of World Moms Blog with Jenny Eckton of the blog, Formerly Phread while in Uganda in October 2012 with Shot@Life.
Saturday’s adventure led us to Queen Elizabeth National Park, where we went on a river safari cruise on Lake Edward. We saw a multitude of hippos and buffalo, as well as, elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and beautiful birds. We hopped a riverboat and spent the entire time out on the water. I have never seen so many hippos in my life. Apparently, some had been brought to the park in the 1960s, and they’ve been expanding every since! One moment the waters would appear empty, but the next many hippo heads popping up out of the water! Babies followed their moms. They swam around together in groups. Absolutely incredible!
Culture & Signs of Extreme Poverty
The excursion was a fantastic opportunity for our delegation to get a feel of the country’s natural beauty and a great team building exercise. We were bonded going into the next Family Health Day. However, driving through the extreme poverty on the long bus ride through the country really put into perspective how much UNICEF’s efforts were needed.
We saw homes made of only big sticks and mud with reeds or tin for roofs. Although they are great “green” homes for the country’s beautiful African sun drenched days, they are unsuitable when temperatures become very cold at night and there is no running water or electricity.
Ugandan house made of mud and sticks.
Also, children were seen walking long distances in school uniforms, many alone. Women, men and children carried large yellow containers to collect water in and walked for miles home. An image that will never cease to amaze me — the site of an African woman balancing her load on her head and walking on the roadside barefoot.
Woman in Uganda walking on side of road in western Uganda.
Unfinished homes and store fronts were quite common. We were told that owners would save up for bricks and then add gradually to the structure over many years. It was not uncommon to see unfinished storefronts in use or piles of bricks that had been delivered to unfinished residences. Bricks were made of heated, dried mud.
Here is an example of a typical storefront. This one is a bicycle shop and a clothing store. Often times, the storefronts were painted by companies seeking to advertise mobile phones and other products.
Common roadside storefront in Uganda.
We were truly humbled by our trip out to western Uganda. The further we drove away from Kampala, the more common it was to see mud huts. And storefronts were everywhere, often with mothers manning them and children playing outside. Day 3 was a truly memorable day. We captured photos that changed us and that will stay in our advocacy hearts forever. This day was good for our delegation to get to know each other better and prepare for the next round of Family Health Days on Day 4.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.
Photo credits to the author.
A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to write on maternal health for The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s amazing blog, Impatient Optimists. The foundation is “guided by the belief that every life has equal value, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation works to help all people lead healthy, productive lives.” I chose a story out of Uganda from when I visited there with a delegation from the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. I described my meeting with a nurse midwife from one of UNICEF’s Family Health Days in Fort Portal, Uganda.
Jennifer Burden of World Moms Blog and Cindy Levin of RESULTS talk to a lab technician in Fort Portal, Uganda, while there with a delegation from the Shot@Life campaign. Photo credit to Stephanie Geddes.
World Moms, you must go over there and check out what I learned about prenatal care from the trip and the instruments used for pregnant mothers. And you won’t believe how many checkups the nurse midwife is hoping that her patients attend and what percentage actually do. And why babies who have an HIV positive mom and who are not HIV positive must stop breastfeeding at 1-year old. Ok, enough here. The answers are all over at my post at The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, “What I Learned from a Midwife in Uganda“. Go there, and check out their site!
Comments here are closed. Go on over there to comment!
This post is a continuation of the interview with Dr. V.R. Purushotham that ran on Tuesday, April 23rd.
In an effort to better understand health care services in India and help expand public awareness, World Moms Blog Senior Editor, Purnima, has interviewed several physicians. The first in this series is an interview with Dr. V. R. Purushotham, a pediatrician in Bangalore, India, and is being run during World Immunization Week. He is consulting in St.John’s Medical College, Bangalore.
Purnima Ramakrishnan: What are some of the most pressing health concerns for children where you work?
Dr. V.R. Purushotham: The primary concerns are anemia, malnutrition and infections as these are major causes of poor growth and mortality in the community.
PR: What is the socioeconomic level of the area you work in? Are the families of the children rich, poor, middle class, etc.?
Dr. P: Being a referral hospital we see children from a varied strata but a majority are from a weaker socioeconomic level.
PR: What is your opinion on the alleged link between vaccines and autism, and how do you answer parents who come to you with those concerns?
Dr. P: There have been enough scientific studies to confirm that MMR vaccine is not associated with autism. The timing of the vaccine was a major reason as to why it was implicated. Previous scientific papers stating their association have been refuted. My view is that the damage caused by measles, mumps and rubella is far more than an unlikely association which is unproven.
PR: What is the biggest obstacle in India for all children to receive routine vaccinations? – Government policy? Financial resources? Supply of vaccines? Access to healthcare facilities? Trained practitioners? Geographical barriers/lack of infrastructure to reach rural areas? Cultural beliefs about vaccines?
Dr. P: The obstacles are multifactorial, but financial constraints and infrastructure would be the major ones. Community education initiatives have helped in this regard too and we are gradually seeing a positive change towards improved healthcare.
PR: And what could help overcome those obstacles the most? Political influence? Foreign resources? Medical staff training? Communication/Awareness campaign?
Dr. P: Better awareness and door to door coverage services would help us overcome these barriers .
PR: As far as you have followed World Moms Blog, do you think WMB has been making an impact in improving the vaccination and immunisation awareness in India? Or do you think blogs and internet do not reach those socio economic echelons where people do not adhere to vaccinations? And if so, how do you think WMB can help bridge the gap?
Dr. P: Any forum which discusses and promotes health from the grassroots in a positive manner is playing a constructive part in the society and WMB is one of them. Having said that, it is the personal and community based initiatives which tend to have a larger impact. I concur that the population with access to blogs would be well aware of the basic requirements of vaccination .
The fact is that you are and will make a difference to the people who do read WMB and I would urge you to keep up the good work.
This post is the first in a series of interactions with physicians and health care workers in India by Purnima Ramakrishnan on behalf of the World Moms Blog.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by The Alchemist, 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.
The photograph in this post is credited to Jennifer Burden and was taken at a UNICEF Family Health Day in Kampala, Uganda, where children were being immunized in October 2012.
The World Moms are making a difference in the world, and we get excited to see our friends and readers run with something we’ve advocated for. Today we are featuring a guest post from a friend of the blog, Shilpa, owner of the online global home and fashion retailer, Harabu House.
“Equal pay for women”, “Healthy Children”, “A Good Sleep”, “A Good Education”, “Safe and Healthy Pregnancies” are just some of the wishes expressed for world moms at a casual event hosted by Jennifer Burden, founder of World Moms Blog. Jennifer had organized this event to highlight her trip to Uganda with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life program, while telling a group of about 30 women about the women behind World Moms Blog and their social good initiatives.
A mutual friend of ours had suggested that Jen and I would hit it off with our interest in all things global, and we sure did! I was thrilled when I received an invitation to her event as I wanted to know more about her trip to Uganda.
We enjoyed wine, cheese and chocolate at Jen’s house and shared our own wishes for world mothers on a tree created from cardboard on her wall. Then, she called us into her family room in the middle of the party for a presentation. With her laptop connected to her T.V., she took us on a journey to Uganda through pictures. (more…)