Category Archives: Tween/Teen

Ensuring Every Baby Survives It’s #FirstDay ; Save The Children’s Report on Newborn Health

Ensuring Every Baby Survives It’s #FirstDay ; Save The Children’s Report on Newborn Health

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When my first baby was born and handed to me all cleaned, and swaddled I looked up to my Doctor to ask “can I kiss her?” He laughed and said, “yes, she’s yours, you get to take her home”. Suddenly I was responsible for a life! Just like that!

Each time as a mother giving birth I was on edge waiting to know that everything is going to be o.k. Even for baby number four, probably more so for baby number four, since I was of “advanced maternal age”, I was worried. That was here. In the USA, with modern medicine and an ambulance at the end of a  911 call. You might be surprised to learn that despite all that we still fall behind 68 other countries in newborn deaths the first day of life. Pretty shocking, isn’t it? In developing countries however the numbers are far worse. Too many mothers are not getting the pre-natal care they need, and often birthing alone in unsanitary conditions.

The first 24 hours of a babies life are the most critical, and while advances in preventing child mortality have cut that number in half according to a new report out today from Save The Children, Newborn health still continues to lag behind in progress. The report states that nearly half of all deaths of children under five are newborns. The greatest tragedy is that most of these deaths are preventable.

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In many rural communities there is a shortage of healthcare workers to aid in safe delivery. With community based healthcare workers in place, with the knowledge to resuscitate a newborn who is not breathing, and teach new mothers techniques such as breastfeeding and kangaroo care, newborn lives could be saved.

Save The Children is calling on both world leaders and private sector partners to join in what is being called the Five Point Newborn Promise in 2014 to save newborn lives. This plan calls to:

  • Issue a defining and accountable declaration to end all preventable newborn mortality, saving 2 million newborn lives a year and stopping the 1.2 million stillbirths during labor
  • Ensure that by 2025 every birth is attended by trained and equipped health workers who can deliver essential newborn health interventions
  • Increase expenditure on health to at least the WHO minimum of US$60 per person
  • To pay for the training, equipping and support of health workers, and remove user fees for all maternal, newborn and child health services, including emergency obstetric care
  • The private sector, including pharmaceutical companies, should help address unmet needs by developing innovative solutions and increasing availability for the poorest to new and existing products for maternal, newborn and child health.

The new report, “Ending Newborn Deaths,” shows one half of first day deaths around the world could be prevented if the mother and baby had access to free health care and a skilled midwife.

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The Save The Children “Ending Newborn Deaths” Report

Read the full report and find out more about how you can be a part of the change by visiting the Save The Children to get involved.

I wrote this post as part of The Global Team of 200, a highly specialized group of members of Mom Bloggers for Social Good that concentrates on issues involving women and girls, children, world hunger and maternal health.

Our Motto: Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.

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Ava Anderson; How A 14 yr Old Is Revolutionizing The Cosmetics Industry

Ava Anderson; How A 14 yr Old Is Revolutionizing The Cosmetics Industry

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GUEST POST BY LISA DAVIS

About 5 years ago I started hearing about Ava Anderson, a 14-year-old girl who at the time lived right in my town of Barrington, RI. She, along with her parents, created a skincare line called Ava Anderson Non-Toxic. The reason Ava decided to make these products herself was that everything she was finding on the market contained harmful chemicals that were unsafe to use.

I recently spoke with Ava’s mom, Kim, and asked her a few questions about Ava and the history of the company. Kim imparted to me the story of how Ava watched a news segment one night in 2009 that exposed how many toxic chemicals are in teenage girls’ bodies from the products and makeup they use (there were hundreds). Ava was so horrified by what she saw that she immediately went through her home and threw out all of her personal care products. When Kim realized everything had been thrown out, she said to her daughter, “I support you in this, but I cannot leave the house without lipstick and deodorant!”

Ava even started a blog that soon had a thousand followers, in an attempt to recommend safer products for people to use.  But to her dismay, there were almost no safe products on the market. Everything contained chemicals of concern. And why were 1,342 toxic chemicals banned in Europe and only 9 banned in the US?

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Ava2 copy bear copyAva decided to create her own line of safe skincare that contained no harmful chemicals.  After the skincare line, they added the body care, hair care, and home cleaning lines as well. Now, the company is growing exponentially because people are becoming much more aware of and concerned about their exposure to toxins in their environment.  Their mission is not just to sell products, but to share the message of needed changes in chemical policy in the United States.

  Personally, the more I learned about the dangers of what we put on our skin and in our bodies, the more upset I got. Coincidentally around the same time my own skin had become increasingly unmanageable. No amount of facials, medicine, or costly skincare seemed to improve its condition.

When I switched to Ava Anderson products (that contain only organic botanicals) my skin looked and felt SO much better. I started using more of the Ava Anderson line of products (home care, hair care, etc.). I love them, the company, and how good my skin looks. And I love that it is good for myself, my family, and the environment. I believe in the products so strongly that I even became a rep for the product line, and I love the message of living toxin-free. If you would like to learn how to lead a healthy, more toxic-free life or to check out Ava’s products, you can visit my website.

Lisa Davis is a Biologist with a MA in Creative Writing, and a mother of three. She was recently selected by the United Nations Foundation as a Shot@Life Champion.Lisa copy

 

 

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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When Students #Choose2Matter

When Students #Choose2Matter

IMG_1183Today I was supposed to go in to my daughter’s school as a community mentor for a program called Choose2Matter.  I’ll be honest that I was intimidated when I saw the list of fellow mentors that included a Congressman, Senator and Aerospace Engineer among them. Not knowing too much about the program, or exactly what my role would be I went to the parent’s meeting last night to find out more. Angela Maiers  impassioned presentation gave me a glimpse of why her TEDx Talk went viral and what inspired this movement to begin with. She shared her ideas on empowering young people by challenging them to use their own personal genius to change the world for the better. To dream big, know that they have the power to make an impact, and to take the reigns of finding solutions to the worlds most pressing challenges. By the end I knew why I would be there. This is what I do everyday, dream big, brainstorm ideas for changing the world, here on Documama and as Social Good Editor on World Moms Blog, we are constantly looking to feature those individuals who are taking on the world to impact change. I believe in the power of One, and more than anything I believe our youth are the ones with the solutions. They are the problem solvers of the future, and everyday I come across amazing opportunities for young people to get involved. We were snowed out today, but I can’t wait to see where all this goes tomorrow. In the meantime here is a list I had compiled to share with students of opportunities and connections just waiting to happen.

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Change Starts With You! Check out these resources to start today!

Global Citizen

http://www.globalcitizen.org

Take Action: Earn Points : See Impact

Girls Who Code

http://girlswhocode.com

To inspire, educate, and equip girls with the computing skills to pursue 21st century opportunities.

VolunTeenNation

http://volunteennation.org

Volunteer opportunities, Community Service, Scholorships & Grants

WorldPulse

http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/programs/voices-of-our-future

To foster a new generation of empowered women leaders actualizing and vocalizing their visions for change.

GirlUp

http://www.girlup.org

Girl Up envisions a world where all girls, no matter where they live, have the opportunity to become educated, healthy, safe, counted and positioned to be the next generation of leaders.

Beacause I’m A Girl/Plan International

http://becauseiamagirl.ca

Education/skills & support to move girls out of poverty to Opportunity.

World Leadership School

http://www.worldleadershipschool.com

The mission of World Leadership School is to empower young leaders to find new and innovative approaches to the world’s pressing problems.

Also check out resources on the Choose2Matter site

X-Box or Nintendo? It depends of your taste for violence.

X-Box or Nintendo? It depends of your taste for violence.

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I am not a big fan of violent video games, so clearly I’m not about to support a company that produces a product that feeds into real life armed conflict. The question is not about which company makes the most violent video games, and the X-box or Nintendo question is no longer about which has the better graphics.  It’s about which company has a conscience and how much it bothers consumers that people across the world may be harmed in the making of the toy they are about to buy.

The Enough Project’s Raise Hope For Congo campaign wants to raise consumer electronics awareness in time for the Black Friday shopping frenzy. According to the  Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List  they have released the X-Box is the clear choice in this selection.  The consumer electronics products we use daily rely on certain minerals to function, the source of those minerals in some areas fund violent conflicts that have lasted decades. Companies are aware, and some have acted responsibly to make sure the resources they purchase are not part of the problem.

I only learned the truth about Conflict Minerals when listening to Photographer Marcus Bleasdale give his incredibly powerful National Geographic presentation at the Social Good Summit in NYC this past fall.  The images he showed opened my eyes to the source of elements of the very cell phone in my hand.  Suddenly I was connected to those people in the photographs.

Over 5.4 million dead. Over 2 million displaced. Congo is home to the deadliest conflict since World War II.-www.enoughproject.org

I can honestly say I never thought I’d feel the emotion of gratitude when thinking about my son’s X-Box habit, but now that I know what I know,  him playing the X-Box compared to the Nintendo, is a relief.  Turns out  according to the research done for the rankings, Nintendo is the worst company, dead last,  in terms of accountability along the supply chain. Basically, they don’t care where they get them, or who gets hurt along the way, as long as they can make and sell their products. Microsoft, the maker of the X-Box, on the other hand has a green light ranking on  The Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List   marking it as one of the companies that has taken proactive steps to trace and audit their supply chains, pushed for some aspects of legislation, exercised leadership in industry-wide efforts, and started to help Congo develop a clean trade.

Our consumer dollars give us the power to hold the quality of  lives of others in our hands. I am not talking about crushing fellow customers in the black Friday rush into Wal-Mart here.  I am talking about becoming aware of how things are made,  and choosing to be a conscientious consumer .  When we have money to spend, we can choose to spend it on those companies who are actually making a positive impact in this world, as opposed to those who are just out to make a buck.   You can see how the companies you are planning to buy from are rated here in this chart and then purchase accordingly, yes we do have a say in what goes on across the world. Our consumer dollars speak volumes on these issues, and the pressure on companies to take responsibility has turned the tide of the conflict in the Congo.

Last week, Alysha Atma of the Atma Foundation put it beautifully. We were on a conference call with ONE, ENOUGH Project, and JWW, all organizations working towards, preventing genocides, improving accountability and transparency from governments, and large companies.  Alysha told us she was inspired to make a difference by her young son, when she realized that every action has a personal story behind it.  she explained;

“He inspired me to put dinner table talk into action. I realized that every day is an opportunity to give back. I wanted him to learn that a responsibility comes with the good fortune of him having been born here.”

I love that sentiment, every day is an opportunity to give back. So what can we do?

-Share the message on Social Media to help raise awareness about the issue.

-Use the power of your consumer dollars wisely and with good conscience by check the The Conflict Minerals Company Rankings List  before you buy so you know if you want to support that company or not.

The Raise Hope For Congo movement needs your help to increase demand for conflict-free electronics products. As a consumer, you can influence electronics industry leaders as they weigh whether or not to invest in making their supply chains transparent and producing verifiably conflict-free products. Tell companies that if they take conflict out of their products, you’ll buy them.

-Send an e-mail right now to electronics companies letting them know you care where they source their materials.

-Get involved in campaigns with organizations such as Enough, JWW, Atma Foundation and ONE that are working towards conflict free products in the Congo.

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