Yesterday, throughout many of the households I know, moms were pampered in a variety of ways. Here, I had a scavenger hunt that lead to coupons for free hugs and kisses and time spent with kids who won’t fight. I enjoyed great efforts to make breakfast and then was awarded the gift of alone time to sit and watch mindless television for as many uninterrupted hours as I wanted.
I know many of my friends were doing the same. Facebook was crowded with pictures of breakfast in bed and family trips to the zoo in the bright sunshine. All through the US, my friends were rewarded for a job well done.
While I enjoyed my day thoroughly, I couldn’t help but think about all the moms around the world who weren’t celebrating. Instead, they were fighting for the lives of themselves and their children. Moms, we’re mostly all the same in so much as we share a deep desire to protect and promote our kids. We share a love that most of us did not know before bringing babies into our life. We are alike in our dreams for our kids and our hopes for their future. Moms, are mostly the same around the world, except that our opportunities and circumstances are not.
Last Thursday, I got to spend the day with an incredible group of people who are doing their part to even the playing field for mothers and children around the world. The United Nations Foundation Every Child Counts Initiative led to something fantastic called the Global Moms Relay, a sixty day written celebration of mothers and children that helped raise over $300,000 dollars for organizations like Girl Up, Clean Cookstoves Alliance, MAMA and Shot @ Life. Last Thursday was the culmination of this relay and we got to hear from the participants who shared their stories, as well as the groups that benefitted from that sharing.
It is still incredible to me how many women and children around the world are at risk daily. What’s even more shocking though is how simple some of the solutions are for taking away that risk. Less shocking to me is the incredible power women have when they band together and are given the tools necessary to get things done. These groups don’t just whisk into places “less fortunate” and administer their charity and leave. No, these organizations are designed to strengthen and empower women to take care of themselves and their own, which is all we want anyway isn’t it? Empowering women to create their own destiny will change the world and these groups are doing just that.
MAMA is an organization that delivers information about infant care to mothers via mobile phone. Mobile phones, another thing we take for granted here in this country as we race out every two years for the latest and greatest, are being used to empower women and save the lives of children around the world. Thanks to MAMA and their mobile messages, mothers can take their health and the health of their children into their own hands. That’s my kind of empowerment.
The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is, in their own words, “a public-private initiative to save lives, improve livelihoods, empower women, and protect the environment by creating a thriving global market for clean and efficient household cooking solutions.”
Did you know exposure to smoke from inefficient cooking modalities is one of the world’s largest killers? The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves is trying to ensure that people have the means to prepare their food in a way that is safe for them and their environment. As someone who spends her days thinking of the healthiest ways to feed people, this struck me a lot. We all know that being without food is a danger, but few of us think of preparing foods as part of that issue. Thank goodness the people at The Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves do.
See? Large problems with simple solutions to save the lives of moms and children around the world. Mothers, we’re all alike in our basic wants and needs for ourselves and our children. So, what are you going to do to help level the playing field for those less fortunate than we, the pampered?
Visit these organization’s websites or the United Nations Foundation Global Mom Relay page for more information on how you can get involved in empowering moms to improve the world.
I was an invited guest to the Mom+Social Summit because of my passion for and involvement in maternal and child health. All opinions expressed here are my own. Facts and figures either came from notes I took that day or the organizations’ websites.
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