Help Mothers and Children Around the World with the Global Moms Relay

works-01

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother’s Day!

On May 1, 2015, United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson hosted the Moms+SocialGood conference, a one-day event for mothers, experts, and a global audience to share dialogue on how to improve and emrich the lives of mothers and familes around the world.  Speakers such as Jennifer Garner, Save the Children CEO Carolyn Miles, U.S. Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power, photographer Anne Geddes and more.  The theme for this year’s event was

What kind of world do you want for your family in 2030?

I encourage you to watch videos from the event as they are eye-opening, inspiring, and an excellent reminder that we all need to have a responsibility for families to thrive in their communities, no matter what country or economic situation.

Some significant points that resonated throughout the event:

  • Every 20 seconds a child dies from a vaccine-preventable disease.
  • Medical complications from pregnancy and childbirth are leading causes of death among girls ages 15-19 in low–and middle–income countries. And girls between the ages of 10 and 14 are five times more likely to die in pregnancy or childbirth than women aged 20-24.
  • For millions of mothers living in poverty, access to vital health information is a matter of life or death.
  • Ethiopia is among the countries with the highest number of annual newborn deaths: nearly 90,000 in 2012

What Can You Do to Help?

works-01

The Moms+SocialGood event kicked off the Global Moms Relay led by the Global Moms Challenge.  From May 1, 2015 through to Father’s Day on June 19, 2015, advocates, mothers, fathers, community leaders, and celebrities will be sharing personal stories of what they want for all families in the future.  Each day they will “pass the baton” to another to share more stories.  The final hope is that we as a global audience can join the conversation and share awareness of critical concerns affecting mothers and children worldwide.

For every share of these stories and posts, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 on each social network, up to $300,000, to help moms and children through UNICEF, MAMA (Mobile Alliance for Maternal Action), Shot@life, and Girl Up.

It’s that simple.  So please follow these channels, share posts and help raise funds!

Global Moms Relay website: http://www.globalmomschallenge.org/globalmomsrelay/

Global Moms Challenge on Facebook, Twitter, InstagramGoogle+, Pinterest, and Youtube

You can also follow the converstion at #GlobalMoms

 

Thanks!

~Lani

Continue Reading

Become an Advocate for Common Sense Kids Action

commonsenseaction

commonsenseaction

 

Do you want to be part of a movement to help put kids and education at the top of the U.S.’s priority list?

Common Sense, the organization widely known for providing unbiased information, recommendations, and innovative tools to advocate for children in media and technology, has recently launched Common Sense Kids Action.  This is an opportunity to join with others in working with policymakers, business leaders, and advocates across the nation in driving policies at the state and national levels that impact children with regards to education.  This includes critical needs such as:

  • online safety and privacy
  • access to high-quality early education
  • access to high-quality digital experiences
  • reducing childhood poverty

I have long referred to Common Sense Media as a trustworthy resource for guiding information for my children including reviews for movies, apps, and books as well as instructional tools for my classroom and fellow teachers.  They are a strong force in promoting success for children in the 21st century both inside and outside of the classroom.  I strongly urge you, whether as an educator, parent, or citizen, to become an advocate for Common Sense Kids Action.  As an advocate, you will receive email alerts on legislative activity that impacts your local community as well as have the opportunity to share your actions and these issues with your friends.

Education is such a critical issue for the progress of our society.  The decisions we make today great impact the success of the future.  This is an impactful way to stay informed and have a voice in preparing children for the challenges and needs of what is to come.  Please get involved!

You can sign up here!  Follow Common Sense Kids Action on Twitter @CSKidsAction.

 

 

Continue Reading

Start a Ripple in the Global #SocialGood Pond

IMG_2052

I turned 40 yesterday.

I gave birth to my 4th child last week.

In anticipation of these two major milestones, I’ve been deeply contemplating the last few years of where my life is going.  What do I want to do with my time, talents, and passion.  Am I fulfilling the purpose God has given me?

Do I even know what that purpose is?

When I started to revamp my blog a few months ago, I decided I wanted to make social good as one of my focuses.  I brainstormed in my journal ideas of what will make me feel good about how I’m utilizing my energy and time.  Helping push benevolence in the world was one of those goals.

So where do you start?  When trying to be part of change in a big world, it feels like you are a small pebble…not even a rock, in the pond.  However,

a small pebble can be all that is needed to cause a giant ripple.

I want to be that pebble.

First step?  Get inspired.  

I decided as part of my first step towards influencing social good in the world, to read for inspiration.  My first read is Renewable, by Eileen Flanagan.

IMG_2052

If you feel as if you’ve lost a certain level of gumption and passion from your youth, this may very well be the first book for you to start with to remind you of your former self.  As an adult, wife, mother, and all of the other hats I wear, it is so easy to fall into the mundane and forget to live life towards passion and purpose.  Renewable is the story of someone similar.  Eileen Flanagan pens a biography focused on her transformation from global change agent, to suburban mother, and back to global change agent.  The book begins on her venture in protesting at the White House at age 49…after years of living the classic mini-van mom life in suburbia.  What is delicately revealed in each following chapter is how global concern and compassion is not a new perspective for Eileen Flanagan.  We immediately are taken back to her post-college experience as a Peace Corps volunteer in Botswana.  There we join her on her journey of self-discovery, global understanding, and commitment to serving the greater good.  Beyond these life lessons, we are brought full circle as she reignites her passion for global good as she gets acquainted with Quaker activists.

Why Should You Read It?

Ever feel like you’ve lost your purpose and are not living up to your potential?  Do you sometimes feel like you no longer have a gauge on what your potential may be?  Renewable is  good reminder for us all to view the world once again as something amazing that we need to be part of.  Aside from following her self-transformation as a Peace Corps volunteer, the journey is also full of significant cultural lessons.  For example, early on she learns that in Botswana, there is no cultural equivalent to “borrowing” or “lending”.  Giving and sharing with your neighbors is not only an expectation, but a norm for their society.  Saying “please” is considered rude as no one is required to beg each other for anything, unless there is distrust for the person you are asking help from.

Consequently, these cultural awakenings and references to global history in Africa and other countries abroad make this a perfect read for your middle school and high school students.  What a better way to get young future adults to get empowered to cause global change.

Note:  Renewable was released March 3, 2015.  You can purchase the book here and connect with the author, Eileen Flanagan on Twitter @eileenflanagan.

 

 

What’s the next step? Find a vehicle(s) to focus some time and effort into.

This is definitely more open ended, but think about causes, issues, and concerns that you want to help resolve.  There can be many on your list-organizations, individuals, locales.  However, you only need to start with one.

If you are at a loss of where to start your cause, I suggest you read the following:

IMG_2053

 

100 Under $100:  One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women by Betsy Teutsch is a perfect place to start.  Consider it a reference guide to a variety of global causes around the world that affect women.  There are images, descriptions, and contact information on organizations and individuals who are leading the charge on issues including women’s health, water and sanitation hygiene, subsistence farming, transportation, domestic technology, finance, and more.

One organization that I want to take a closer look at for involvement is The Advancement for Rural Kids (ARK).  I found it under the “School Lunch” category and was happy to see that they serve my parents’ homeland of the Philippines.  They work to ensure that all children have the opportunity for a healthy meal at school, which may be the only full healthy meal they have each day.  We take this for granted with public education in the United States.  Being an educator, I think a healthy meal is important for students to be able to learn and perform well at school.  What is even more amazing about this organization, is that it combines eco-agriculture with the schools they support.  Rather than simply handing out food to the schools, they empower the schools to grow their own vegetables and fruits through sustainable techniques.

Why Should You Read It?  

It’s an excellent resource for finding tons of organizations that are existing around the world to empower women.  Whether you are looking for a place to start, or are looking for additional movements to support, this is a great reference.

 

Note:  100 Under $100 was released March 6, 2015.  You can purchase the book here and connect with the author, Betsy Teutsch on Twitter @BetsyTeutsch.

So this is my start.  Will I start a ripple? I may or may not, but I’m certainly going to try.  What about you?  Will you accept my challenge in starting a ripple?

~Lani

 

Disclosure:  I received both of these books from She Writes Press through my involvement with Mom Bloggers for Social Good.  The thoughts and opinions written here are completely my own.

Continue Reading