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

 

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Giving Tuesday November 27

Each year we all enjoy many holiday traditions with family and friends that bring big bright smiles to those we love.   Here in US  the Friday after Thanksgiving  has become a HUGE shopping date known as Black Friday.  The development of  the  cyber world has brought the addition of Cyber Monday ….. a big Internet shopping date.  We all now have the opportunity to add  a great  tradition to this string – Giving Tuesday!!
This coming Tuesday  November 27, 2012  many charities, families, businesses and individuals are coming together to transform the way people think about, talk about and participate in the giving season.  What a wonderful new tradition to add to the holiday giving season!!!

There are many ways to join this great giving campaign.  Visit the Giving Tuesday website and find resources, ideas and most importantly great ways to get involved.

Together we can make a difference and create a tradition of generosity!

Donate to Stop Hunger

WFP

Around the globe there are so many children that  go to bed hungry  each day.  The World Food Programme  is the world’s largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger. Through voluntary donations  this non-profit organization is bringing  nutritious meals to hungry children in many countries of the world.  School meal programs provided by this organization act as a nutritional safety net for poor families.  This helps keep children in school thereby giving the family a brighter future.   

The Huarimarca School located in Bolivia is just one of the many sites where The World Food Program offers school meals daily. The WFP has created a wonderful opportunity for us to join them in getting to know the children attending this school.  They are currently collecting notes, messages Huarimarca School .  What a wonderful chance to send a positive note across the miles showing support and encouragement to these little students.  

 

To send a note to the students at  Huarimarca School 

(click image below)

Send a message to children in Bolivia

Send a note or question

 

 

WOFORO DUA PA A represents support and encouragement

WOFORO DUA PA A -Adinkra symbol that represents support and encouragement

This post is a part of the Global Team of 200 Project developed by Mom Bloggers for Social Good. To learn more about how you can support this platform for positive change in our world visit MomBloggersforSocialGood.com

 

 

Sending beautiful Sankofa wishes to those celebrating Black History Month in the United Kingdom this month!! Peace and blessings always.

Celebrating Black History in the United Kingdom

Sankofa is the Adinkra symbol that reminds us to Return and Get what has been left behind.

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!!  

Nice Hair

April 18, 2012

This blog post is dedicated to all the little girls with curly hair. As mom to a young girl of African descent I have had many discussions about hair.  When she first went to school, my daughter soon began asking questions about blonde and straight hair.  We talked at length about the differences between her best friends hair (blonde, straight , unbraided) and her hair ( curly, black and braided).  I have always taught her that hair comes in many, many varieties.  This fact means that there are many different ways people will style their hair.   My daughter can now admire many different styles without any envy that her hair is not exactly the same.  This makes me happy.

Fashion Doll - Pre Afro treatment

Fashion Doll selected to recieve an Afro

 Last year I came across a great article about creating an Afro  for Barbie.  I was pleasantly surprised because I have never seen a fashion doll with really curly hair.  Even way back when in the ’60s when Afros where high fashion in the African-American community.   (Yes I was the little girl way back then LOL)

The “hair prep”  steps needed for this Afro creation were pretty simple….twirl the hair, curl it up on pipe cleaners and dip in really hot water.

 

Pipe cleaner sor curlers!

The make over begins

When I posed this project to my fashion doll  lovin’ daughter she jumped  for joy -” Yes” she squealed to my delight.     So together we worked to twist up the doll’s  hair and curled it on pipe cleaners.  It was a very bonding experience to teach my daughter to get the twists  nice and smooth.  “Girl stuff” my husband noted — To which my dear daughter smiled and said Yes it is!! ( Gotta love the Girl Power there)

We were able to complete the style but we did not get a true Afro – maybe because her hair was so long.  My daughter loves the increased texture so all is well in the land of “lil Duafe”  which makes me smile and oh soooo happy to be in the mommy “hood”.

How have you explained hair differences to the little girls in your life?  Have you received questions or statements of  envy for another childs hair or styles?

Here is a link to the tutorial for how  give fashion dolls  an Afro 

http://playbarbies.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/custom-rotini-or-halo-hair/

Barbie with an Afro

what you should get

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

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

Sankofa Games

July 27, 2011

Sankofa is the Adinkra symbol that reminds us to return and get what was left behind.  I believe this is a powerful concept for those of us who are descendants of enslaved Africans. Our ancestors worked hard to pass on history and cultural traditions but unfortunately much was lost.   We all must work together to “find” and reclaim the  history  and traditions that were left behind.  

The Africa Memory Game is  a wonderful way to learn about the  beautiful continent of Africa.  It offers players an opportunity  to test and increase their knowledge of the African continent while “traveling” through different

African Memory Game

African Memory Game

regions answering questions.   The first player to reach the heart of Africa wins!   What a great way for families to spend time together enhancing their knowledge of Africa.  

 

 

Another game that I would recommend is Mancala or the African Rock game.  This is a traditional game from the African continent.  Two players challenge each other to empty their side of the board of stones.   This is a game that I have

Mancala - African stone game

Great Family Fun

played since childhood and recently pulled out for my children.  Many hot summer days were happily spent challenging my cousins again and again. What a nice feeling to pass on this traditional game to the next generation.  

 

 

Do you have a African centered or Traditional African game you love to play? Or maybe some great childhood memories  – Please share in the comment section below!

Adinkra symbol for Change

Mmere Dane is the Adinkra symbol for Change

Just learned about a great organization  that is working to support positive change around the globe!!  Sevenly is a fantastic organization focused on supporting Charities that make a difference.  Each week Sevenly partners with one charity to raise funds thru the sale of a unique t-shirt design.   This week  (July 3) they have partnered with Hope International to offer families in Congo a chance to change their lives and escape poverty.   

Please consider supporting this organization with the purchase of a t-shirt!   For every shirt sold $7  is donated to the charity of the week. 

Also be sure to link up with them on twitter and facebook to see the new charity t-shirt each week!

Charity of the week - Hope International

Sevenly -t-shirts that make change happen