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.
Today on Facebook, we are sharing our contributors’ Christmas trees around the world!
Check out this tree from World Mom, Tara Wambugu in Kenya:
Follow our World Moms Blog Facebook Page for an inside look into our World Moms’ homes and visit our Christmas trees around the world!
Have a tree to share? We’d love to see it! Have a menorah or other holiday décor to share? Yes, please! Post it in the comments in our World Moms Blog Facebook page!
On December 9th, 2014, WorldMomsBlog.com, a global community for women that writes from over 20 countries on motherhood, culture, humans rights and social good, will join media influencers and top government officials at The White House in Washington, D.C. The goal of the discussions will be “to increase awareness among young people and encourage their participation in educational, cultural and professional exchanges.”
“I am extremely honored and enthusiastic to be invited into the conversation around millennials and global and cultural exchanges at the home of the President of the United States of America.” — Jennifer Burden, Founder of WorldMomsBlog.com
In 1993 Jennifer won a scholarship from her hometown of Brick Township’s Board of Education to live with a family in Japan for a summer during high school. Her experience through Youth for Understanding was life-changing, and she still remains close friends with the Miyaji family in Japan.
“We’ve attended each other’s weddings, watched our families grow and exchanged support during tragic events of September 11th, 2001 and the tsunami that impacted Japan in 2011. It has been a mind opening experience to have such a connection with a family elsewhere on the globe, similar to the connections we are now making to mothers through World Moms Blog.”, says Burden.
However, Jennifer is just one of the many WorldMoms Blog.com community with a story of an early experience abroad that has made an impact. The invitation to The White House inspired us to ask our globally minded contributors about their early abroad experiences, if any. What we learned may surprise you!…
Our contributor, Ana Gaby from Stumble Abroad, is a Mexico native, who studied abroad in Canada during high school and in France in college. Karyn Van Der Zwet of Kloppenmum in New Zealand worked in London for four years during her 20s. And, Jennifer Iacovelli of Another Jennifer studied abroad in London, England while a junior at Syracuse University in New York, USA.
Dee Harlow, The Wanderlustress has lived all over the world and is now in Lesotho. She told us that during her 20s she was working abroad from the US in Singapore. K10K in Belgium of The Penguin and the Panther volunteered in Rumenia fixing up a local birth clinic and in Morocco helping to install an irrigation system in her early 20s. In fact, her husband proposed to her on that Morocco trip!
Kristyn Zalota of Cleanbirth.org went to Russia on an exchange just after the Soviet Union collapsed. And in college she did a semester in Luxembourg and went back to Russia after graduating and lived with a family. While, Kirsten Doyle of Running For Autism in Canada grew up in South Africa and lived and worked in Israel at age 23. She started on a kibbutz and then worked on farms.
Elizabeth Atalay of Documama spent a summer in Israel at age 17 after high school, a summer in Bolivia as college student at age 19 and backpacked around South America for the summer at age 21 and for 6 months through Africa when she was 24. She also spent four months backpacking around Asia/Pacific at 26 after college pursuing her work as a documentarian!
Jennifer Prestholdt, The Human Rights Warrior, took a semester off from Yale University when she was 20 and enrolled as a Norwegian student at the University of Oslo’s faculty of political science. She also worked at a barnehage (day care center) when in Norway. During law school, she spent two summers living in Geneva and working at the United Nations.
Nicole Morgan of Sisters from Another Mister went to college in South Africa, then spent a year traveling Europe, where she backpacked through Italy, Greece and Turkey. She volunteered for a while with the YWCA, and then spent six months working in a London advertising/graphics company while waitressing at night. Polish Mom Photographer, grew up in Poland and worked as an au pair as part of a cultural exchange program in U.S when she was 26. She also worked as a waitress in London, England for 2 months when she was 21!
Susie Newday of New Day, New Lesson grew up in the US and went on a program to Israel when she was 18. She lived and worked on kibbutz, and now resides in Israel. And, Olga Mecking, The European Mama, grew up in Poland and studied french in Nancy, France for a month. She then went on to study in Germany for a year, went to Canada for 4 months and then moved to Germany. She has now been living in the Netherlands for the past 5 years.
Tina Santiago-Rodriguez, Truly Rich Mom, of the Philippines grew up and studied in Brunei from kindergarten to secondary school, and then went back home to the Philippines to attend college. After graduating, she became a mission volunteer for her Catholic lay community and was assigned to Borneo (East Malaysia and Brunei) and Timor Leste for about 2 years, to do ministry work for youth and kids. She was then assigned to Manila for a year, then to Timor Leste with her parents and fiance for another year, before getting married at 26. She returned to Timor with her husband as newlyweds and stayed for another 4 years or so before returning to the Philippines.
Nicole Melancon, the Thirdeyemom, studied in Paris when she was 21 and worked as a fille au pair (nanny) and French intern the following year. While, Hannah Ashton moved to the US from the UK when she was 17, went to university in the US, but did her junior year back in the UK. She ended up staying in the US for three years after she graduated. And, Erin Threlfall went to Germany to study at a university and then went volunteered at a refugee camp in Ghana, where she stayed for 11 years!
Sophia Neghesti Johnson of Think Say Be from Tanzania volunteered in Santa Cruz, CA at Bosch Baha’i School for a year at 18. She then studied in Los Angeles, CA and Tampa, FL in her mid 20s with a focus on psychology. At 24 she worked as a freelance photographer for celebrity events in Los Angeles, CA, & has continued freelancing in Florida to sponsor girls’ education in Zanzibar at Regeza Mwendo School.
Our contributor, Anne Marie Wraight in Greece, went to Germany on a cultural exchange programme from the UK. Her choir and orchestra played several concerts together with the youth orchestra from Berlin. They also had a musical to perform which was a great hit!!! She was part of a group that stayed with the musicians from the host orchestra so they could practise our foreign language skills. This exchange took place every 2 years. She says it was, “Great on EVERY level of cultural exchange!”As a result of the experience, Anne Marie did her gap year in Berlin, where she volunteered with retired people who lived on their own and had special needs and taught English. She then moved to Greece in her early 20’s and still resides there today!
Jennifer Burden will be bringing these stories of the WorldMomsBlog.com community and more to Washington. The invitation to The White House is a big milestone for World Moms Blog, and we are over the moon about including our community in these top-level discussions of global importance for students and young adults! This honor is a true reflection of the hard work of our entire global editing and contributing staff toward running the site and opening minds to what life is like for mothers all over the world. Congratulations to every single World Mom!!
Did you travel abroad when you were in your teens or 20’s on a trip that has impacted your life? Tell us your story in the comments, and we will take it to Washington!
WorldMomsBlog.com is a community that shares the stories of over 60 contributors from over 20 countries on motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. We have been named a FORBES Woman Best Website for Women, ’12 & ’13; a NY Times Motherlode “must read” and recommended in the “The Times of India”.
I cried tonight. Real tears rolled down my face and my heart ached. My husband came and wrapped his arms around me and asked “Is it the suddenness of it?” You see, my dear friend is about to have a baby boy. Her first. I am so excited for her and so happy for her, she has wanted this for so long.
When she told me that she was pregnant, I immediately told her that I would give her my Bugaboo stroller – you know, the one that starts as a bassinet and converts to a big kid stroller as the child grows, has shocks on the tires (which you certainly need in the rough NYC streets) and accessories up the wazoo. I had my stroller for 7 1/2 years, and used it with both of my children. It was my son’s first “bed”, since I didn’t see the utility in buying a separate bassinet that he would only use for a few months. I had all of the accessories for it, from the cute little umbrella to the board that my son rode on once my daughter was born and it had been reconverted to a bassinet.
Last month my husband cleaned all of the hardware, vacuumed any loose crumb and reassembled the bassinet to prepare for this new baby boy to enjoy his turn to ride in his luxurious ride. He lovingly washed away our lives and children from it. I bought a new color canopy for it (I had red. My friend wanted blue).
I am happy that the stroller will bring such happiness to another family, especially a family that is so close with mine. I am happy that it will not collect dust, in a corner, now that my 3 1/2-year-old has almost outgrown it. I am happy that we are definitely getting our money’s worth, by passing it on to another child to use and grow into.
So why did I cry? Why am I still choked up as I write this? It’s because all of a sudden I realized that the removal of the stroller makes it so final.
Even though I said when my daughter was born, that I was done having children, somewhere in the back of my heart, I guess I still held out hope that we may decide to have another. My children have now started to ask for another baby, and I explained that we would not be having any more, but I am realizing that I haven’t fully accepted it.
I know that I currently feel overwhelmed with my work and family obligations. I can barely take care of myself and my family and home the way it is – how could I add another baby to the mix? I have finally gotten back to exercising and taking care of me – do I have the strength go through another pregnancy again especially as I am so close to turning 40 (shhh – don’t tell…. I will forever be 29 in my heart :))? I don’t think so. At least not right now.
I made the decision not to have anymore children, but taking our first stroller out of my home-made it so final, and I guess with this act I realized that maybe… just maybe… there is another soul out there who is destined to join our little family of four. Or, maybe not. But at least for now, if the time comes, that little soul will have a different stroller.
Have you ever doubted your choice in continuing/stopping to grow your family? What was your defining/questioning moment?
This is an original post to World Moms Blog by Maman Aya of New York City in the USA.
Photo credit to Carol at If By Yes.