There is some exciting traveling coming up for two of our editors at World Moms Network! One is embarking on her first trip to the US to connect with fellow World Moms, and the other is packing up well-needed supplies and heading to Haiti to support and learn from Artisans there.
Senior Editor, Kirsten Doyle of Running for Autism to travel to the USA to meet up with World Moms
In 2015 World Moms Kirsten Doyle and Mama Simona met in Cape Town, South Africa. This week, Kirsten Doyle of Canada is traveling to the US to meet World Moms, Jennifer Burden and Tes Silverman!
Kirsten Doyle has been volunteering her time to edit for World Moms Network, formerly World Moms Blog, for over 5 years. For the first time ever, she will meet with World Moms, Jennifer Burden and Tes Silverman (Pinay Perspective) in the USA! There have been countless video calls, emails and Facebook posts among the group, but they are super excited about their first face-to-face meeting.
“Kirsten has been editing since I went on maternity leave over 5 years ago, and she is a true rock to World Moms Network. Without women like herself who have stepped in when we needed them most, World Moms Network couldn’t be here today. I am so grateful, excited, and happy to meet her!”, says World Moms Network founder and CEO, Jennifer Burden.
Kirsten’s personal blog is Running for Autism, where she chronicles her family life in Canada, as well as, her life as a runner who fundraises for charities that support autism research. Her son George lives with autism, so the topic is close to Kirsten’s heart.
Over the past 5 years, she has had the pleasure to meet up with World Mom, Nicole Melancon of the USA, on Nicole’s trip to Toronto, and Mama Simona of South Africa, on her own trip to Cape Town. This is one of things World Moms talk about often behind the scenes — getting to meet each other in person!
The team in the US this weekend hopes to develop a creative training program for the women who write alongside them. Also, World Moms around the globe will be signing on to join them by video.
The upcoming meeting is for sure another milestone for us!
Managing Editor, Elizabeth Atalay of Documama, to head to Haiti to report on local artisans
Elizabeth Atalay of Documama is getting ready to embark on a trip to Haiti, where she will visit artisans there this week. She has packed up several suitcases full of relief items, too, for the people there, as not only is there widespread poverty on the island nation, but hurricane Matthew also took a devastating toll on the country this month.
One of Elizabeth’s passions has been to report on poverty issues throughout the globe, and this upcoming trip intertwines with another one of her passions, art.
“Over the years I’ve enjoyed painting, making pottery, photography, and paper making, and it’s no surprise that my daughter chose the path of art major at her high school. I am thrilled to have the opportunity to visit the artisans in Haiti in their work spaces, to learn more about their country and culture, and to get to see the creative processes that produce the beautiful Heart of Haiti pieces carried at Macy’s.”
The trip is being run by Macy’s, a department store in the US, and will focus around the Artisan Business Network, which matches artisans with markets for their goods outside of the country. Macy’s itself is one of those markets, as they sell Haitian art and wares in their stores. Elizabeth is the second World Mom to join this trip, as Nicole Melancon of Thirdeyemom also attended the reporting trip last year. We will be following Elizabeth’s trip on social media and the hashtag, #Bloggers4Haiti. Also, look out for her upcoming trip report for World Moms Network!
Safe travels, Kirsten and Elizabeth!
— World Moms Network
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, 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!”
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”
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 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.
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.
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 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!
There they were…
I walked up to them with a big smile on my face, feeling all excited.
“I’m sorry I got lost!”
I gave Ruth a big hug. She smiled the most genuine smile and said it’s fine. Susan was next. We hugged as if we’ve met before.
From afar, it may have looked like we were a bunch of women who were just catching up.
These two ladies, who had such big smiles, were so warm and welcoming. Sophie, Susan’s little girl, was a little gem. She brightened up our whole time together.
The truth is, I had never met them before.
Well, not in person, until that late June day where I was en-route to see my fiancé, and I had a long layover in Singapore.
Indonesia to Singapore is not that far, only a short flight away, but it was the first time I got to meet Ruth Wong and Susan Koh, my fellow contributors at World Moms Blog. They warmly welcomed me to Singapore and even made their way to meet me at the airport. It was truly amazing to experience meeting them for the first time.
Without a doubt, the one thing that brought us together there that day was…World Moms Blog.
It was sometime in 2011 when I decided to email World Moms Blog and ask if they would be interested to have a new writer from Jakarta, Indonesia. Jen replied excitedly and, as they say, the rest is history. World Moms Blog was the first international website I dared to write for.
Ruth and I have been working closely together for the past couple of years to organize World Moms Blog’s behind-the-scenes secret santa for our contributors or what we call “Fairy Moms”. Working on this project helped me get to know her better and was a fun way to get to know more of the World Moms.
And connecting with Susan led to our discussions on my issue with uterine fibroids. From her, I learned about the surgery options and the recovery period.
World Moms Blog has given me so much.
Not just a platform to allow myself to be a better writer, it has brought in friends from many different parts of the world. From New Zealand (Karyn) to Canada (Kirsten) to South Africa (Simona) and India (Purnima), to name just a few! Many of us are actively in touch behind the scenes of the site, and maybe that is not very known. World Moms Blog made the world a little smaller for me and has allowed some great friendships to blossom among its global contributors.
The time in which I really needed my fellow World Moms was the period just before and during when I came out publicly about my childhood sexual abuse. My friends at World Moms Blog were there, lending me their love and support at a time when I needed the most. This amazing group of mothers has become a tremendous support system for me.
Witnessing how much World Moms Blog has grown over the years and seeing the social impact that these women have brought into the world — from covering stories about child workers in Morocco to the Chibok girls of Nigeria who were captured, I can only say how proud I am to be a part of this amazing network of women.
I need them. The world needs more of this unique love and support across geographical, cultural, religious and political divides. I am proud to write at World Moms Blog. I am proud of what we are accomplishing together.
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Maureen Hitipeuw of Jakarta, Indonesia.
Photo credit to the author.