Typically, after Thanksgiving in the United States, the following Friday and Monday, known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday, kick off the holiday shopping season. Black Friday, in the stores and Cyber Monday, online. However, Giving Tuesday follows and is what now kicks off the holiday “Giving Season.” This movement has been around for several years already.
With so much poverty around the world, the fact that a movement, based entirely on the giving of time and money, is gaining momentum gives me great hope. Did you know that you do not just have to give money on Giving Tuesday? You can, instead, donate your time. This means many more of us can get involved.
How great is a movement that the whole world can participate in as a collective unit with one goal in mind: to give?
So take today to think about the something you want to change most in the world. And give. Give of your money. Give of your time. Give only what you can. From around the world to your local community, find out how you can participate today, Tuesday, December 1st.
As each year of Giving Tuesday goes by, more and more organizations are getting involved, which plays at my heart strings. For example, here, in Canada this is the first year that Waterloo Region in Canada will be launching Giving Tuesday in an official manner. The community is rallying around local groups and causes in a way that I would never have imagined!
Let’s kick off the giving season and make this the most memorable Giving Tuesday the world has known to date.
A Note From our Founder:
Today, World Moms Blog asks our readers to consider volunteering, donating and/or advocating for these 4 organizations that have been created by our contributors or employ them. Click on over to see why they are worthy of your #GivingTuesday love!
- Mom2Mom Africa helps to educate and provide a better life for children in Tanzania. What started as a penpal project of a mom in Canada, turned into an education sponsorship program, a school being built, class trips provided and much more!
- Cleanbirth.org, which helps to provide a safer birth experience for mothers in Laos through clean birth kits and nurse midwife training. Started by an American mom who pledged to single-handedly take on poor maternal health statistics.
- The Advocates for Human Rights is the workplace of our resident contributor and human rights lawyer. The organization provides opportunities to volunteer, donate and/or advocate for their life saving and life changing work to help people worldwide.
- Edesia makes Plumpy’Nut which helps provide nutrition for children who need it most in the developing world. And did you know that our Managing Editor works there in digital media?
Tell us what you’re doing for Giving Tuesday…
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by contributor, Alison Fraser, in Canada.
It’s the kind of thing that keeps you awake at night.
Even if it is not your own child.
On the night of April 14, dozens of armed men showed up at the dormitory of the Government Girls Secondary school in Chibok in northeastern Nigeria. Dressed in Nigerian military uniforms, they told the girls that they were there to take them to safety and herded the girls into trucks and onto motorcycles. At first, the girls believed them. But when the men started shooting their guns into the air and shouting, “Allahu Akbar,” they realized that the men were militants from Boko Haram and that they were in serious danger.
Nearly 50 girls managed to escape by running away or jumping out of the trucks. But as many as 276 school girls (higher than the initial reports of 234) between the ages of 12 and 17 were kidnapped, disappearing into the night without a trace. Three weeks later, their parents still have no idea where they are. And last week reports began surfacing that the abducted girls were taken across the borders to Chad and Cameroon and sold as brides to Islamist militants for 2,000 naira (about $12). While we still don’t know where the girls are or what has happened to them, these reports remain a chilling reminder of the threat of sexual violence faced by women and girls in conflict zones.
One of the worst things in this truly horrible story is that the girls who were abducted were targeted simply because they were exercising their right to go to school. Throughout the world, there is clear evidence that education is the key to reducing poverty for women and girls.
Access to basic education for girls has remained low in Nigeria; the northern region where these girls lived has the lowest girl child enrollment —in 2008 the net enrollment rate for girls into secondary school was only 22 percent. The girls (who were both Christian and Muslim) at the Government Girls Secondary School in Chibok must each have been determined to get an education in spite of tremendous odds. The fact that these girls were also risking violence to be in school illustrates how important the right to education was to each of them.
For more than two weeks, the Nigerian government failed to take effective action to find and rescue the abducted girls. The lack of government response has provoked outrage in Nigeria. Last week, several hundred participated in a “million-woman protest march” in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital to demand that more resources be put toward finding and securing the kidnapped girls. The protesters in Nigeria are joined on Twitter with a growing movement under the hashtags #BringBackOurGirls, #BringBackOurDaughters and #234Girls. Finally, international media outlets are paying attention to the story.
While it is ludicrous that it took more than two weeks of pressure from both inside and outside Nigeria to finally bring about action, there are signs that the increased international attention is having some effect.
This week, President Goodluck Jonathan met “through the night” with security, school and state officials and issued a new directive that “everything must be done” to bring back the abducted girls.
We at World Moms Blog stand in solidarity with the girls and their families. It’s time to #BringBackOurGirls!
Here’s what you can do:
1. Sign the Petition
Use social media to spread the word about the situation in Nigeria. Put massive pressure on the government, security forces, and the neighboring governments to spur them to action. Use the hash tag, #BRINGBACKOURGIRLS. Change your profiled picture to Bring Back Our Girls.
3. Get More Information
Read more by World Moms Blog contributor Jennifer Prestholdt in The Advocates for Human Rights post, “Nightmare for Nigeria’s School Girls,” at:
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by international human rights lawyer, Jennifer Prestholdt, of Minnesota, USA.
Where in the world do you live? And, are you from there?
I live with my husband and three kids in Minneapolis, MN, USA. The headwaters of the Mississippi River are in Minnesota, but I’m from the delta – Baton Rouge, LA. Growing up in south Louisiana was great, but it did not adequately prepare me for being the hockey mom that I am today. (My two sons play and I am still trying to learn the rules!) I have also lived in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Norway and Switzerland.
What language(s) do you speak?
My native language is English, but I also speak Norwegian. I also studied French and Russian.
When did you first become a mother?
October 9, 1999. Nine days past the due date, I might add.
Are you a stay-at-home mom or do you work?
Since my oldest son was born, I have worked everything from 10 to 100% time at a fabulous non-profit called The Advocates for Human Rights. Currently, I am working 90% time as the Deputy Director. It’s a good balance for me. I took extended parenting leaves with each of my kids and, I have to say, being a stay-at-home mom is the hardest work I have ever done. As my husband says, we “go to work to rest.”
Why do you blog/write?
I started blogging as a New Years Resolution in January 2011. I realized that I had many stories from my experiences in fifteen years of human rights work, but most of them had never been shared. Some of these stories are about the worst aspects of (more…)