Tag Archives: education

A Call For #Water4all On #WorldWaterDay 2014

A Call For #Water4all On #WorldWaterDay 2014
Image provided by WaterAid

Image provided by WaterAid

The irony was not lost on me. I knew as I sipped the cool glass of water that this was not a luxury shared by most back at home.   Here I sat in a café in New York City meeting with Water Aid representatives, discussing clean water, and sanitation in developing countries. Meanwhile, there was a water ban going on in my own hometown. Deadly E. Coli bacteria had been detected in the public water source. Stores had already run out of bottled water, families had to boil their water for use, and the town was in crisis.  As a mom I felt guilty enough being away from home for a conference for several days, and now this!   There is nothing like an interruption to what you take for granted  to make you appreciate it more.

Everybody has a #WaterStory, and as a traveler I have many.  Water is an issue I have had to think about often on visits to developing countries. When you scoop your drinking water out of a river to drink, with floaties swirling around, despite the iodine tablet you put in to make it potable, it makes you think.  When visiting villages in Borneo I too used the village river to bathe in, to wash my clothes, and to drink from. In the Sahara I felt what is was to be parched by the lack of water, and in the Congo I carried 20 lb. Jerry cans to and from the local spring to gather fresh water for use. Sure I got sick a few times along the way, but I always had the proper medication I needed with me when I did.  According to the UN around 90% of sewage in the developing world is discharged untreated into rivers, some of those same rivers I bathed in and drank from I’m sure.

Doing laundry in the river  Photo taken by the author

Doing laundry in the river
Photo taken by the author

The fact is that according to #WaterAid 768 million people in the world today do not have access to safe drinking water.  That is roughly 1 in 10 people in the world who do not have access to clean water with which to cook, wash or to drink. Water is something that runs abundant where I live, that is so taken for granted,  yet is worth more than gold to those who don’t have it. Water is Life after all.

Access to clean water and sanitation is a key element to breaking the cycle of extreme poverty.  Women and girls are most effected by lack of access to water and sanitation.  In many areas girls miss out on school because they spend much of their day walking miles to access clean water for their families. Those girls who do make it to school often drop out once menstruation begins if there are no private toilet facilities available. UNICEF reports that 6,000 children die of water related diseases every day.  The most susceptible being children under the age of five. 

Here are some water facts shared by WaterAid to think about:

  • 97.5% of the earth’s water is saltwater. If the world’s water fitted into a bucket, only one teaspoonful would be drinkable.
  •   For every $1 invested in water and sanitation, $4 is returned. (WHO)
  • While the world’s population tripled in the 20th century, the use of renewable water resources has grown six-fold. (World Water Council)
  •  The average North American uses 400 liters of water every day for their drinking, washing and cooking. The average person in the developing world uses only 10 liters every day.  (WSSCC))
My #CheerstoH2O Selfie

My #CheerstoH2O Selfie

Saturday March 22nd is World Water Day! Let’s come together to take action. You can use your voice to tell congress to support the Paul Simon Water for the World Act. Or upload photos of you drinking water with the hashtag #CheerstoH20 , do you like mine? You can also use Facebook or twitter to share the message of #Water4all or share your #waterstory.

Water Aid works side-by side with local communities to ignite monumental change by giving them the tools that they need to break down barriers and make water and toilets an accessible reality for everyone in their community. WaterAid has helped 19.2 million people reach safe water since 1981. Learn more about how we make it happen! – www.wateraid.org

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global teamI 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.

 

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

What Are The Millennium Development Goals?

What Are The Millennium Development Goals?

The Millennium Development Goals are 8 international development goals set after the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000. These goals were agreed upon by all 193 United Nations members to be achieved by 2015. At the time it must have seemed very far off in the future, but today marks 1,000 days until the goals are to be met. Millennium 1,000 has filled a schedule of 1,000 minutes of digital programing today to mark the goal and inspire momentum in achieving the 8 Millennium Development goals globally. You can join the conversation, or learn more by following the hashtag #MDGMomentum. I will be taking part in 1/2 hour Twitter chats with World Moms Blog at 6pm on the topic of #MDG2 Education using @worldmomsblog and #MDGMomentum, again at 9:30pm with Social Good Moms (where I am a member of Global team of  200) on #MDG5 “Picturing Maternal Health: A Look at Maternal Health Through Facts and Photos.” using #SocialGoodMoms & #MDDGMomentum hashtags, and then again at Midnight with World Moms Blog on #MDG4 Child Survival  using @worldmomsblog & the #MDGMomentum hashtag. I hope to see you at one or more! Below are fantastic infographics on each of the Millennium Development Goals from the United Nations. Much progress has been made, already extreme poverty has been halved since 1990, but we have so much farther to go by 2015, we need to work together to achieve these goals.

I am Malala

I am Malala

This past October the world was shocked and saddened by the Taliban assassination attempt on a 14 year old schoolgirl, Malala Yousafzai.  Malala had been a thorn in their side since the tender age of 11 when she wrote a blog about the oppression under Taliban rule in her town of Mingora, Pakistan.  She became an activist fighting for the right of girls to education in Pakistan, something the Taliban stands vehemently against. Instead of killing Malala as they had intended, by shooting her in October, they sparked an education movement that has gone globally viral. Instead of snuffing her one small voice, they have ignited a firestorm of education initiatives that span the globe.  The UN has designated November 10th as Malala Day, and United Nations Special Envoy on Global Education Gordon Brown has pledged to help Pakistan formulate a plan to provide education to all of Pakistan’s children by 2015.    Malala is on her way to recovery, reading, writing and walking again, and sure to be fighting for her cause again soon. She has unwittingly become an international symbol of girls right to education worldwide.  Today I stand with Malala to defend the right of girls everywhere to equal education, and signed the global petition to make my voice count.   You can stand with Malala today too.

CLICK ON THE PHOTO OF MALALA TO WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW 

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.

Follow along with us here on Tumblr, on TwitterPinterest, and Facebook for the latest Global Team of 200 news.

 

October 11 Has Been Declared The International Day of The Girl

October 11 Has Been Declared The International Day of The Girl

Photo by Michelle Amarante

The U.N. has declared October 11th as The International Day of The Girl.   We live in a world where some of us can take for granted the rights of our daughters.  While in other areas, girls live in oppression and subjugation.   In Pakistan, just the other day, a 14 year old girl was shot for speaking up about girls rights to education.   When watching the documentary Half The Sky last week, one of my favorite points made was that to educate a girl, is to educate a community.   By excluding their girls from the education process, a nation is really cheating itself out of half of its full potential.  Just  imagine the possibilities if these countries educated their girls along with the boys.  Only then can a community truly rise to its full potential.

On December 19, 2011, the United Nations General Assembly declared October 11 as the International Day of the Girl Child, to recognize girls’ rights and the unique challenges girls face around the world.

For its first observance, this year’s Day will focus on child marriage, which is a fundamental human rights violation and impacts all aspects of a girl’s life. Child marriage denies a girl of her childhood, disrupts her education, limits her opportunities, increases her risk to be a victim of violence and abuse, jeopardizes her health and therefore constitutes an obstacle to the achievement of nearly every Millennium Development Goal (MDG) and the development of healthy communities.-UN.org

Click here to learn how you can help to empower girls around the world.  With the support of the world behind them, I cannot wait to see how our girls around the globe will change the world, and what they will accomplish!

Photos:  Elizabeth Atalay

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.