global new born conferenceHere in the US we are blessed with many places mothers can take their children for  maternal education, immunizations and care.  Around the globe  many mothers are not so fortunate.   There are many global initiatives to help change this situation and improve the health of babies thus giving them a strong start in life.   The upcoming Global  Newborn Health Conference in South Africa is a wonderful event that will offer NGO’s, researchers and health experts the opportunity to come together.  Through their collaborative work they will develop programs that will positively impact newborn health around the globe.   The conference will challenge these experts to answer the questions  “Why are so many newborns in the poorest countries dying? And what can we do as a global community to save them?”

newborn2013.com

UN Photo/Albert González Farran

 I encourage you to  join me in spreading the word about this important event on April 15 -18 in Johannesburg, South Africa  You can follow these organizations on Twitter for conference updates.  You can also follow Dr. Gary Darmstadt (@gdarmsta),    on Twitter.  He is the  Director of the Family Health Division of the Gates Foundation and will be tweeting daily “Did You Know?” facts about newborn health

 

 

UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

UN Photo/Fardin Waezi

 

Empowerment thru creativity

1000 Shillings

Around the globe there are many who sell their creative work to support themselves.  Many times in third world countries the artisans do not receive adequate monetary compensation for their beautiful work.   It is unfortunate that some large corporate organizations who can afford to pay higher sums, purchase the artistic work at very low prices and re-sell the work for quite large profits.

The organization 1000 shillings is working to highlight and showcase  the beautiful bead work of several  Ugandan woman  at fair trade values.   This wonderful organization  was established to offer these women a platform to sell their beautiful products on the world market.  Each sale will help the artisan to build towards establishing their own local business.  This in turn will improve the life of the children and families of each woman.  These sales also will improve the local economy thereby benefiting the entire community.  With an improved local economy there is bound to more access to education/schools, improved infrastructure and more healthcare.

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

Ananse is the Adinkra symbol for creativity and wisdom

The beads being sold are all limited edition unique pieces of jewelry.  With this being a season of giving we all should consider purchasing gifts that can truly make an impact!!  You can learn more about the artisans, their beautiful jewelry and the great work being done at  the 1000 Shillings webpage. 

1000 Shillings

I  love everything Family!!  I am sure you have guessed this with the many posts I have written  which include something about family.   I have worked quite a bit on my own family history ……an amazing journey that I feel is a gift for my children.  I want them to know they are here because of the prayers, beliefs and hard work of those who preceded them in the family.  My daughter can proudly name 5 generations of  grandmothers!!   I am very fortunate because my maternal grandmother kept and shared a lot of family history which we have today.  I even have the daily diary of my Great Great Aunt circa 1900…..a true treasure and window into what life was like during those days….very hard!!

Sankofa design from Kiarablu

Sankofa reminds us to Return & Get what was left behind

I  encourage everyone to do some family research and/or documentation.  It is not only for yourself but also  for the children of your family.   If you are wondering “where do I begin”  ?  I suggest right where you are.  Begin with your immediate family,  your parents and grandparents.  Fill out the family tree with all that you know –  it will be more than you realize!!  Then begin the Sankofa journey……. ask for the information that is missing from other family members….siblings of your parents and grandparents, their children and spouses.  This  can be done at family gatherings ( even if it is not an “official” family reunion) …..bring the tree with you and connect with others and their families.

Click on the image below for your own family tree to fill out!!  

Mama’s Words !!

April 16, 2012

Today I lift my blog in a toast to all the great mothers of the world!!  It is a hard job but someone has to work on our collective future!!  There are many great women across the globe who have taught, sacrificed and generously given to the children in their lives.  Many are the  parent of the child they nurture but we cannot forget those who mother in the schools, neighborhoods and churches. ….giving selflessly of themselves  when called upon.   

Represents nurturing & discipline

Nurturing and discipline

This life in the mommy “hood” is not an easy existence.  It is filled with many amazing moments of course more good than bad ( thank  heavens)  And because I now hear my own mother’s words flowing  thru my lips each day I decided to create the wordle below!  It is a short sweet snippet of what I think many mothers voice on many days as they work to build a better future for us all!!

Mama Used to Say

 Let no one ever come to you without

leaving better………

……..and happier.

– quote Mother Teresa

 

 

Ok so what did I miss??  What did your Mama used to say?? 

Here are some great sites I love to visit and see all the good Moms are doing around the world:

Take the Million Mom Challenge

World Moms Blog

Mom Bloggers For Social Good

As I continue on the journey of A to Z Blogging we come to E.  This was a difficult one for me to determine what to write about – I have finally settled on Energy – the much-needed – over used resource  of the modern world.

Currently many people on the African continent are working to find reliable sources of energy for  residents of many countries.  Because the infrastructure  in many countries is not as well-developed or reliable as we enjoy here in US   there have been many projects to create energy sources locally.  Solar energy has become a great way to offer rural residents an ongoing energy source.  Solar energy can be harnessed through panels  that can be by placed  local residents.  This addition to homes in the rural areas reduces the need for expensive kerosene oil and provides more hours of light thereby increasing productivity after dark sunset.

Here is a great video describing a program that trains Grandmothers in Kenya to install Solar Panels to their village. They received the nick name  “Solar Sisters”.  They can then teach others and extend the knowledge to neighboring villages.  What a powerful chain of events this can be to a region with no electric grid.

I also would like to share  another view of energy that I came across  - Sankofa Energy fabric  from KKweli over at Spoonflower.  I love the vibrance of this design and  truly appreciate  the concept of having tons of ENERGY to go back and claim what we left behind!!   

Sankofa_Energy_Green

Celebrate Natural Hair Duafe

Natural Hair Parade & Fesitaval Sept 3rd

Did you hear- Sept 3rd is the date  - Dallas is the place – Our Nations 1st Natural Hair Parade and Festival  WHOO HOO!  This is a beautiful event that is just making me smile from ear to ear!   ERYKAH BADU & INSTITUTE OF ANCESTRAL BRAIDING  have joined forces and are sponsoring a Parade to celebrate natural hair beauty on Sept 3rd – Labor Day.  They picked this day because it is a Labor of Love (so sweet)  I am just so excited to hear about this amazing expression of Duafe.  I wish I could be there to join in the warm and beautiful vibes  that are sure to be in the air  during the parade and festival!  If you live in the Dallas, Texas metro area I encourage you to join this Duafe Celebration.   One of the  goals of this event is to offer the community  an opportunity to come together in a positive and uplifting environment.  Local groups, churches and businesses are encouraged to participate.   Be sure to check out the video below from Ms Isis.  It is due to her dedication to continuing to broaden the horizons in natural hair care that this celebration is available to us!   I salute Isis and the amazing Ms Badu for bringing this opportunity to the people!

Are you planning to attend?  Please share your pictures and stories with me – right here!  If you tweet about the parade or festival pleass connect with me via twitter @kiarablu  or link up with me via Facebook  (Kiarablu)

Isis and Erykah  I wish you a beautiful day that exceeds ALL your Duafe dreams!  peace and love -Jaelma

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe means beauty

 

 

<—–UPDATE——>

Pictures from the parade!

via @naturallyisis Twitter page

At the Natural Hair Parade Sept 3

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe

The Adinkra symbol Duafe represents beauty and desirable feminine qualities.   Black Girls  Run is a national organization that is helping African-American women to develop  these positive qualities through running.  The founders of this fantastic organization are encouraging Black women to focus on making fitness and healthy living a priority.  Black women in the US have an extremely high rate of obesity, hypertension and diabetes.  Exercise and healthy diet changes are two  important areas that this organization is helping women to improve thus leading to lower obesity and poor health.  The Black Girls Run Website offers running resources, local contacts for BGR, great healthy recipes, “runspiration”  and so much more! It is truly a wonderful place for women just starting out in their running adventures and those who have an established “track” record! I applaud the ladies participating in these healthy endeavors for expressing their Duafe power!   Strong work girls – keep up the great work!

Running Shoes

Running Shoes photo by Josiah Mackenzie via Creative Commons Licence

Photo Fun
Dumpr – Photo Fun

Dedicating this post to the celebration of Women during the Month of March!   Ladies we all must remember that Duafe is a special thing !  We know that being a woman is so much more than wearing a skirt or curing our hair!   As women  God has given us very special gifts!  We nurture  the world and make it beautiful in sooo many ways…..THIS is OUR POWER!  Remember that anything that interferes with your ability to nurture self and those you cherish ……it is wrong!   Stay positive, peaceful and beautiful!

Are you planning anything special this month to celebrate women?  I would love to hear about it ….pls share here!

Also – Get your own copy of this Sisters design here –>

http://www.zazzle.com/sisters_mug-168950139092428477?gl=KAMAU66&lon=0

 

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe

Recently I have enjoyed surfing the web looking for unique and culturally expressive Christmas gifts!  Wanted to take some time  to share some Adinkra Love  with these offerings  of  afrocentric beauty I have discovered.  I think you will find them to be wonderful expressions of  Duafe as I did!  Hope you enjoy!  If you have some examples of Christmas Duafe PLEASE share them with me below!

One of my first Duafe finds was over at Spoonflower where kkitwana has a wonderful collection of  African inspired fabrics!

Duafe for your Christmas Stocking

Adinkra Bandanas by KKitwana

I was so excited to find her Sankofa bandana fabric. I  plan to create several of these for my daughter as Kwanzaa gifts….what a perfect gift for my lil princess!  I am even more excited because Kkitwana has an amazing array of fabrics she has designed.  Drop over to her fabric shop on Spoonflower and see for yourself.  If you love fabric, love to sew, craft or create this IS the place to visit!!

If you are looking for a ‘lil duafe for your crowning beauty then you must visit TomokasTwists!
This site is full of beautifully designed hair adornments. Tomokas collection includes hair twist, hair sticks, hair clips, hair bands

Duafe for your Christmas Stocking

Hair Twist and earring set from Tomokas Twists

and more. I fell in love with several hair twists that had matching earrings…..perfect for this busy mama! Right now is a great time to shop because she has free shipping on orders over $25. Fill up your sisters and best friends Christmas Stockings with this duafe….be sure to pick up a couple for yourself too!

Speaking of Christmas Stockings……I came across the cutest Christmas Stockings over at Tea Cake Kids! This site features  clothing and accessories for children of color. The owner, Jonquil Akhir,  has designed her products to promote positive images for African-American children.   Her Christmas stocking will add to the duafe of the season for sure!

Duafe Christmas Stocking

CUTE!!!

We have added a really cute T-shirt perfect for World Cup Fans
Here is your link: http://bit.ly/WCDuafe

Let me know what you think!!

World Cup 2010 South Africa

World Cup T-shirt for 2010