WORLD VOICE: Paying My Grandmother’s Work Forward

WORLD VOICE: Paying My Grandmother’s Work Forward

My grandmother, Amelia, has been gone 3 years now. It is weird that she is not here, yet, I can still here her voice in my head. I remember how she would say an old fashioned, “How do you do?” to me and my toys or call soft serve ice cream “custard” on a hot Brooklyn’s summer’s day. She was always up for a walk after we ate, and one time we got lost, but eventually made our way back home! She always loved to read and talk and go. She got bored very easily. And, of course, there was always candy coated gum, “Chicklets”, in her purse to share. In fact, our 2nd post on World Moms Network, then World Moms Blog, in 2010 was about her life!

My favorite story was about how the family had run out of money during the Great Depression, and then she received a postcard in the mail from the State of New York to apply for free nursing training. It was her ticket out of upstate to come to the great, big city and pull her family out of the breadline. She was the responsible one in the family, ahead of her brothers (as she always told me!). And she knew what she needed to do. Amelia, my grandmother, answered the call, and was on her way to New York City to become a nurse.

Nursing was so important to my grandmother, and so far, no one in the family has carried on her torch in the medical field. So, when World Mom, Kristyn Zalota, had formed the nonprofit,, and was looking for donations to train much needed nurse midwives in Laos, I decided it was the perfect way to pay tribute to my grandmother. It is a great feeling to be able to provide a woman today an opportunity of life changing healthcare training, like my grandmother had once received. It is our family’s way of paying it forward. was founded in response to Laos having one of the worst maternal death rates on the planet. Attributing to these rates was the lack of adequate or accessible health care in rural areas and absence of sanitary supplies needed to prevent infection during birth.

Today, in cooperation with Yale University, has trained over 300 midwives and provided over 5,000 birth kits. It has been incredible to see Kristyn’s dream to help woman and babies be carried out as the organization grows.

This year is seeking to train in 43 clinics this year! Every dollar helps. Whether you can chip in for or towards a $5 birth kit, or train a midwife for $240, no donation is too small or too large! Just five dollars donated pays for a sanitary birthing kit, which also includes transportation for the midwives to attend a birth.

Here is a message from founder and World Mom, Kristyn Zalota:


World Moms Network community, please join me, as we seek to raise $1000 for the training of nurse midwives and birth kits this year! Whether you’d like to contribute to train a nurse midwife for $240 or chip in toward a $5 birth kit or anywhere in between, no donation is too small!

Here is the link to World Moms Network’s funding page. Won’t you join us to help save the lives of more moms and babies, as well as, give more woman the opportunity to midwife training? Let’s do this! (And thank you!)

This is an original post to World Moms Network from founder and CEO, Jennifer Burden in New Jersey, USA. is a 501c3 with no paid staff members. In the USA donations to are tax deductible. 



Jennifer Burden

Jennifer Burden is the Founder and CEO of World Moms Network, an award winning website on global motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Network writes from over 30 countries, has over 70 contributors and was listed by Forbes as one of the “Best 100 Websites for Women”, named a “must read” by The New York Times, and was recommended by The Times of India. She was also invited to Uganda to view UNICEF’s family health programs with Shot@Life and was previously named a “Global Influencer Fellow” and “Social Media Fellow” by the UN Foundation. Jennifer was invited to the White House twice, including as a nominated "Changemaker" for the State of the World Women Summit. She also participated in the One Campaign’s first AYA Summit on the topic of women and girl empowerment and organized and spoke on an international panel at the World Bank in Washington, DC on the importance of a universal education for all girls. Her writing has been featured by Baby Center, Huffington Post,, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life, and The Gates Foundation’s “Impatient Optimists.” She is currently a candidate in Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs in the Executive Masters of Public Affairs program, where she hopes to further her study of global policies affecting women and girls. Jennifer can be found on Twitter @JenniferBurden.

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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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