2014 Highlights…and We’re off on Blogcation!

2014 Highlights…and We’re off on Blogcation!


Season’s Greetings Readers!

As the end of December approaches, so does the end 2014. We would like to thank YOU, for joining us and coming along for the ride over this past year.  You…sharing our posts, posting comments, and interacting with us on social media…THAT is what keeps us going!

This past year has been another amazing one for World Moms Blog (WMB).  As we touch on some highlights from 2014, you will see that these world moms get around!

After all that, we are getting ready to take a blogcation break to spend time with family, friends, and re-energize for 2015.  We hope that you will get the chance to do the same.  And if you find yourself looking for something to read, come on by and catch up on posts you may have missed in 2014!

Wishing you all a joyful end of the year.  Come back on Monday, January 5th to help us kick off 2015.


World Moms Blog

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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#WorldMoms at Google with @ONEWomenGirls for #AYASummit!

#WorldMoms at Google with @ONEWomenGirls for #AYASummit!

World Moms at AYASummit

This week, a delegation of #WorldMoms is in Washington, DC for the ONE Campaign’s Women and Girls’ Summit (#AYASummit) cohosted with Google. The excitement of hearing from social good game changers such as author and NY Times columnist, Nick Kristof, Edith Jibunoh from the World Bank speaking on Electrify Africa, Barrett Ward from FashionABLE, Jamie Drummond, cofounder of ONE and many more!

We are excited!  And, we can’t wait to take you with us — you can follow the Twitter feed #AYASummit and look out for updates this week on our Facebook Page! And, of course, we will be featuring it in our next newsletter — are you signed up?

#WorldMoms attending the #AYASummit this week are Nicole Melancon, Elizabeth Atalay, Nicole Morgan, Cindy Levin, and myself, Jennifer Burden. Here’s what we are saying…

Nicole Melancon of thirdeyemom.com has just come back from the Grand Canyon and has already landed in DC! This is no surprise for those who follow this jet-setting mom!  She writes in her post about the #AYASummit:

“Today, after a whirlwind week in Arizona I’m back on a plane again. This time I’m heading east to Washington DC and this time I’ve got work to do. I am off to attend an amazing  two-day conference at Google’s DC headquarters hosted by ONE Women and Girls called the AYA Summit. The Summit will be an inspiring, jam-packed two-days filled with some of the world’s leading speakers and do-gooders who advocate the rights of women and girls in the developing world with an emphasis on Africa.

The word “Aya” is a symbol from Ghana that represents endurance, resourcefulness and growth. It is the perfect name for a summit that will focus the progress that has been made and the challenges that remain ahead to elevate women and girls around the world.”

Elizabeth Atalay of documama.org has been supporting the ONE campaign for a long time! She is excited to hear from the keynote, Nick Kristof, as she writes in her #AYASummit post:

“The AYA Summit keynote speaker is Nicholas Kristof, who just released a new book co-authored by his wife Sheryl WuDunn titled A Path Appears: Transforming Lives, Creating Opportunity.  When companies hire women they are more likely than men to re-invest their earnings back into their children, families, and communities. We will hear from companies providing opportunities to women that can enable them to lift their families out of the cycle of poverty.  While on an International Reporting Project trip to Ethiopia this past summer I had the opportunity to visit a partner factory of  FashionABLE , whose CEO Barrett Ward will be speaking on a panel at the summit. It was an impactful experience to meet some of the women in person who are now able to support their families in a dignified way after having been trained to create the gorgeous scarves produced by FashionABLE.”

Nicole Morgan of sistersfromanothermister.com, who has two daughters of her own, has taken to advocating to girls worldwide. She writes in her #AYASummit post:

“I am blessed to be in Washington DC as one of 75 women invited to attend the AYA Summit. The invitation to attend was both humbling and an honor. These are the words of ONE:

During the summit, we will showcase both the progress against and challenges of extreme poverty. We will also highlight the role that everyone must play if the bold goal of virtually eliminating extreme poverty by 2030 is to be met. We believe that every voice and every hand is vital, whether it is the non-profit or faith communities, businesses, or governments. As a leading digital influencer, we believe that your voice and talents are central to this fight.

When girls and women are given the necessary education and tools, they can be change-makers within their families and communities. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, the summit will explore what it means to be born female in Africa, and what we, working together with our African partners, can do to make sure that all girls and women reach their potential. The summit will bring together leaders from the non-profit, government, private sector and celebrity arenas.

And just a few weeks ago, I had the privilege of being in Washington, DC, previously, with #WorldMom, Cindy Levin, the Anti-Poverty Mom at the World Bank, and we have reunited for the #AYASummit! Here is a snipped from Cindy’s #AYA Summit post:

“I’ve been fighting poverty with the ONE Campaign for many years, so it’s thrilling to be on the ground floor of this new effort. The emotional mother in me yearns to help girls in developing nations who are so much like my own girls in every way that matters. The engineer in me knows that the most logical & effective way to break the cycle of poverty is to nurture and educate girls who are under-served and are the mothers of tomorrow. Empowering girls gets at the heart of so many problems!

I’ll get a concentrated few days to focus on issues facing women and girls in the developing world with other go-getting grasstops-types in the audience. Through a series of talks, panels, visuals, and demonstrations, we’ll learn what it means to be born female in Africa and what we – along WITH girls and women in Africa – can do to help people meet their full potential. The idea is to stimulate our thoughts and conversations by looking at more controversial topics from different points of view.”

So, that’s our #WorldMoms team reunited, here, in Washington, DC this week! I also can’t wait to meet new friends from the social good blogging world! In fact, check out these #AYASummit posts from bloggers Kelly Pugliano from Eat Picks and Jennifer Iacovelli  from Another Jennifer, to name a few!

We are united to change the world for women and girls!

This is an original post to WorldMomsBlog.com by founder, Jennifer Burden of New Jersey, USA.  

Photo credit to the World Moms.

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, ONE.org, 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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SOCIAL GOOD: What the World Needs to Know about the World Bank

SOCIAL GOOD: What the World Needs to Know about the World Bank

Cindy and Jim Kim (low res)

What is the World Bank and what does it do? If you ask an average American, you’ll likely get a blank stare or a wild guess. “Is it like when we played Monopoly as kids and one person got to hand out all the money?” quipped Mackenzie Astin on Vox Populi Radio recently when host Sean Astin tried to explain it to him. “It’s probably where all the countries keep their money,” said my 8-year-old to her sister. Whatever the answer, you’ll usually not hear “they fight poverty” as a first guess, but that’s exactly the key to what an everyday person should know about the World Bank.

While attending the 2014 RESULTS International Conference in June, my daughters and I had a chance to meet World Bank President Dr. Jim Yong Kim moments before he took the stage for an interview in front of hundreds of RESULTS volunteer activists who work every day to end poverty. While we awaited his arrival, I had time to reflect on the role of this man and the World Bank on what kind of world my kids will inherit from my generation.

The World Bank is a United Nations financial institution that provides loans to developing countries. Yet it’s not a bank in the ordinary sense. It’s a partnership that exists to reduce poverty and support development of impoverished nations. Imagine that…a bank with a mission to fight poverty! It provides low-interest loans, interest-free credits, and grants to developing countries to fund programs like education, health, agriculture, and environmental resource management. Where does the money come from? Donor countries, banks, multilateral institutions, and private sector investors all contribute to this vital source of financial and technical assistance to developing countries around the world.

Dr. Kim’s audience cheered wildly that day, holding signs saying “We love the World Bank” because they knew he was going to re-assert the World Bank’s mission end extreme poverty by the year 2030. In fact, the World Bank has set two goals for the world to achieve in that time:
1.    End extreme poverty by decreasing the percentage of people living on less than $1.25 a day to no more than 3%
2.    Promote shared prosperity by fostering the income growth of the bottom 40% for every country

Picture 17 copy

Wow. That’s only 14 years from now. In 2030, my 10-year-old will be 26 years old. Is it possible that in their adulthood, my children could live in a world without extreme poverty? Will they actually have to explain to their children what it was like when millions of people struggled to live on less than $1.25 a day because that kind of suffering won’t be found on the news?

Dr. Kim spoke of his belief that we should focus on the moral imperative to end poverty and shoot for big goals even before we precisely know how to get there. He said our attitude should be “balancing between moral reasoning and the humility that we may not have everything together…but going for it anyway because it’s the right thing to do.”  Helping to save lives and educate children is a goal in itself. Plus, evidence for economic benefit of poverty elimination has now caught up with the ethics. For instance, 24% of economic growth is due to better health outcomes. We also now have evidence to show that education is not just nice to have…it’s necessary for growth. So, we should not be afraid to set the incredible goal and then work backward and say, “To achieve our goal, what kind of organization do we need to be to meet that?”

Is Dr. Kim an idealist? Yes, I do think so, but he’s an idealist in the very best way. He has a grand vision of what is possible coupled with a practical leadership style revealed in his insistence on “results based financing.” He wants the World Bank to focus on impact on the ground rather than getting money. When we can report incredible results like a neo-natal mortality drop in Argentina of 74%, donors witness what is possible and invest more.

The path Dr. Kim describes toward the end of extreme poverty is in no way easy. For one thing, it requires confronting the status quo and our assumptions about what works. We need to ask tough questions of organizations providing services, like, “Are you where the poor people are? Are your clinics convenient for you or for the people in poverty who you serve?” The World Bank has a critical role to measure and release regular data about poverty using sophisticated techniques so that we can make great decisions, inspire more funding, and get great results.

In summary, he concluded for us,

“We are not a hard-hearted organization just focused on increased GDP. We are dedicated to ending poverty and making sure that everyone participates.”

All in all, I feel extremely lucky. I feel lucky that I had a chance to meet a man of such vision. I feel lucky that as an advocate for global health and education in this era, I – personally – have a role in bringing about the end of extreme poverty. But most of all, I feel very hopeful and fortunate that if we work together with leaders like Dr. Kim, my daughters will see the end of extreme poverty within their lifetimes and millions more mothers will see their babies grow to be as strong and healthy as mine.

This is an original post written by Cindy Levin for World Moms Blog.

Cindy Levin

Cynthia Changyit Levin is a mother, advocate, speaker, and author of the upcoming book “From Changing Diapers to Changing the World: Why Moms Make Great Advocates and How to Get Started.” A rare breed of non-partisan activist who works across a variety of issues, she coaches volunteers of all ages to build productive relationships with members of Congress. She advocated side-by-side with her two children from their toddler to teen years and crafted a new approach to advocacy based upon her strengths as a mother. Cynthia’s writing and work have appeared in The New York Times, The Financial Times, the Washington Post, and many other national and regional publications. She received the 2021 Cameron Duncan Media Award from RESULTS Educational Fund for her citizen journalism on poverty issues. When she’s not changing the world, Cynthia is usually curled up reading sci-fi/fantasy novels or comic books in which someone else is saving the world.

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