Hello World Moms!
Today on the blog we are sharing a video and photos from our time at the UN Correspondents Association (UNCA) gala from December 14th, 2015 on the blog!
World Mom, Purnima Ramakrishnan of India, won the Elizabeth Neuffer Bronze award for “Best Reporting on the UN.” She was unable to attend due to family obligations and the floods in Chennai, India, where she resides. In her place, Elizabeth Atalay, our Managing Editor, and I had the honor of accepting Purnima’s award for her at the UNCA gala. It was an incredible night!
Prior to the awards, I was invited to a private cocktail hour with fellow award winners, where we had the honor of meeting UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon!
After shaking hands, we had the opportunity for a mini photo session with the UN Secretary General.
Elizabeth and I met up with Dan Thomas, Communications Director and Spokesperson for the President of the UN. We worked with Dan when he was in Switzerland at the GAVI Alliance on a project to help raise awareness for vaccinations in the developing world. It was so fun to finally all meet in person!
Meeting and talking with fellow UNCA award winners was also a highlight of the night!
Please see the full list of the 2015 UNCA award winners at the UNCA.com site.
We are thankful to our community of readers, contributors and editors. Look what we can achieve with you all! Thank you for believing in us. We, at World Moms Blog, are looking forward to 2016 and have a lot of exciting plans to announce in the year ahead!
Happy New Year Around the World,
— Jennifer Burden, Founder and CEO of World Moms Blog
Video credit to UNCA. Photo credit of Jennifer Burden and Ban Ki Moon and the UNCA Award Winners to Jennifer Ehidiamen, whom we met at the UNCA awards.
Photo credit of Elizabeth, Dan and Jennifer to the author.
It is with great honor that we announce that World Moms Blog’s Senior Editor, Purnima Ramakrishnan, has been awarded an Elizabeth Neuffer Memorial prize for print and online coverage of the United Nations and UN Agencies.
Purnima is the joint winner of the Bronze award, which will be awarded at the United Nations Correspondents Association’s (UNCA) gala in New York City on December 14th, 2015 by the guest of honor, U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
As an active Senior Editor for World Moms Blog since 2011, Purnima’s posts include celebrating Day of the Girl in India through murals, her response to the Peshawar attacks in 2014, and speaking out after the Nepal Earthquake this year. Previously, she has also written about unwanted girl children in India, the Brazilian health care system, and breaking the caste system in India. You can find all of her posts at World Moms Blog on Purnima Ramakrishnan’s author page.
In addition to her work at World Moms Blog, she reported on poverty issues facing Brazil in her fellowship with The International Reporting Project. In 2013 she was a BlogHer International Activist Scholarship winner and travelled to Chicago, USA to speak on her advocacy for vaccines for children in the developing world. At the BlogHer conference she launched World Moms Blog’s successful 8 month #Moms4MDGs campaign to raise awareness for poverty issues around the world. Purnima has also been featured on The Gates Foundation’s Impatient Optimists blog, the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life blog, The Huffington Post and on Baby Center’s Mission Motherhood™.
“The dinner will be attended by U.N. officials, diplomats, Hollywood celebrities, corporate and cultural organizations and journalists from around the world,” according to the official award notice. We are currently (and excitedly!) coordinating arrangements with the hope that Purnima will be able to travel from India to New York City to accept this prestigious award in person.
It is also with a flood of emotions that we learned about the life of Elizabeth Neuffer, the woman for whom the UNCA award was named. Elizabeth Neuffer was The Boston Globe bureau chief at the U.N., who died in a car crash at the age of 46 while covering postwar Iraq in 2003.
An award winning journalist, she was the first to report that indicted war criminals remained in power in post-war Bosnia, where she spent a year reporting on war crimes. Early on in her career, she reported from federal court in Boston, Capitol Hill during the Clinton Administration, Moscow during the break up of the Soviet Union and the Middle East during the Gulf War. She then became European Bureau Chief from 1994-1998 in Berlin. Elizabeth also dispatched to Africa to report on the 1996 return of Hutu refugees from Zaire to their native Rwanda.
Learning about the life of Elizabeth Neuffer reminds, us, at World Moms Blog that there is so much work left unfinished when it comes to reporting on human rights and justice in the world. We will gladly carry a small spark from the large torch she lit by the example of her leading reporting. It is an honor for Purnima to receive this award as an Senior Editor for World Moms Blog. Congratulations to Purnima Ramakrishnan and the entire World Moms Blog team! We will continue to work hard to provide a voice for women around the world and speak up for those who need us most.
Thank you to the UNCA Awards Selection Committee for their selection and congratulations to all UNCA award winners!
For more on the UNCA.
“Elizabeth Neuffer, 46, Reporter Overseas for the Boston Globe” and Wikipedia Elizabeth Neuffer.
What would it be like to see the impact that our donations make in places around the world that need it most? And what would it be like to be able to do that with your partner? I don’t travel as much as I would love to because although longer-term trips can be amazing, I find it difficult to leave my kids for more than a few days at a time. I’ve given that a whirl before. But recently, a really unique opportunity called the “AmeriCares Airlift 2014” presented itself. The event took my husband and I to Nicaragua for a 24 hour social good trip. Yep, only 24 hours! The experience was all due to the generosity of my husband’s employer, Cognizant, who has financially supported the global health work of AmeriCares for years.
The event began at Westchester Airport in New York on September 20th. I checked in wearing heels and went through a security check for the plane that was donated to the event by Sun Country airlines. By the way, did I mention, we were also celebrating our wedding anniversary on the trip?
One hundred of the 850 gala guests would be boarding the plane at the end of the night to Nicaragua, and those 100 were given flashing bracelets at check-in.
The casual airport hangar had been magically turned into a fancy gala. We sat with the Cognizant table, where I got to meet some of my husband’s coworkers, who were excited to tell us about AmeriCares Airlifts of years past and what to expect. We were excited, and yet, nervous, too!
The event included Nicaraguan music, and afterwards we set our attention on this very video about AmeriCares relief efforts in the Philippines after typhoon Haiyan. Emotions were flying. It was engagement with people like Jen in the video below that led to the Airlift Benefit raising over $2 million dollars for everyday global health issues and relief efforts!:
Jen’s story was heartfelt and amazing, and she was even in attendance at the event from the Philippines! Authors, Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, spoke next at the event about their latest book, “A Path Appears.” They noted that the same part of the brain that enjoys sex and chocolate is the same part of the brain that makes us want to give. So interesting, right? I was excited to hear from the duo because I had read and cherished “Half the Sky”, the book about human trafficking that they coauthored, which helped further motivate my activism for women and children worldwide.
In fact, just this past week, I got to meet Nicholas Kristof at the AYA Summit in Washington, DC. I explained that I had heard him speak last month at #Airlift2014, and he was genuinely excited to hear how the 24 hour trip to Nicaragua was. Kristof said he always wondered what that trip would be like. I told him that he should join them on the flight next time!! Could you imagine being on a social good trip with Nick Kristof??? My fingers would be crossed to be in his group, so I could hear his questions to the people we met along the way!
We also heard from long-time AmeriCares supporter and actor, Tony Goldwyn, who plays the President on Scandal. Tony became the first celebrity spokesperson for Americares. And Erica Hill of NBC MCd the event. Time flew by before they announced that it was time to board the flight. Steve and I quickly headed to the makeshift airport hangar changing rooms to change into clothes for the flight. It was go-time!
We were divided into 4 color-coded groups. my husband and I were in the blue group. Our group indicated what bus we were to ride once in Nicaragua and what places we’d be visiting. Each bus visited 3 health facilities. Because there were 4 buses, we all didn’t visit the same ones. The flight went quick because I knew we wouldn’t be getting very much sleep, so I tried to keep my eyes closed the entire time. If I wasn’t sleeping, I’d at least be relaxing to be able to take in the importance of the site visits. Once we arrived in the middle of the night in Managua, our bus took us to our hotel, where we were able to get 4-5 hours more sleep.
Early in the morning, we met the entire group for breakfast in a hotel conference room and were briefed on Nicaragua. The statistic that is still singed into my heart is that “2 out of 3 pregnancies are unwanted” in the country. It is even difficult to write. I thought it was a typo. But, as the day went on, I’d learn that it was true…
Stay posted to WorldMomsBlog.com for Part II of Jennifer Burden’s adventure to Nicaragua with AmeriCares and #Airlift 2014 on behalf of Cognizant.
Photo credits to the author.