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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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

Celebrate Duafe Dallas TX  on Sept !

naturally Isis Presents 2nd annual Natural Hair Parade

Duafe is the Adinkra Symbol for beauty and this morning I  was sooooo honored to be able to speak with a true pioneer and ambassador for African Beauty across the Diaspora–

 

the amazing Naturally Isis.  

For the second year Isis Brantley of  Naturally Isis brings us the Natural Hair Parade and Festival  in Dallas/Fort Worth Texas.    

 This parade and festival is the first of it kind celebrating African Beauty. Naturally Isis is always teaching and  sharing concepts of empowerment thru self love being a huge focus of  this parade and festival.  

If you are  anywhere close to Dallas Metro area I encourage you to head over and join the fun

 ….. on Saturday, September 1st  to be a part of this amazing event.

Listen in below to my chat with this amazing lady and learn more about Naturally Isis, her  inspiration  to host this special event – truly a beautiful  labor of love and about all the special activities planned for September 1st.

Here is a link to the chat we enjoyed

 I encourage you to consider offering donations to this amazing event to assist with the education and empowerment of women through DUAFE

Please contact the Outreach Coordinator at (404) 944-6439

or visit Naturally Isis Natural Hair Online 

 

Passing down the Traditions - So Important

Naturally Isis teaching about the tradition of Duafe

I love scarves!!  Wrapping one around my head or neck is such a great feeling for me!  It just adds that little touch of duafe for me!   I am always on the hunt for new ways to drape or wear a scarf.   Some of this probably is rooted in being a native of the state of New York where we have soooo many cold days.  As a young girl I always admired how the beautiful women in my life would make winter scarfs look GOOD!!  I think it has become a quiet obsession for me.

So with all that said when I came across the video below  I was soooo happy!!  It is like scarf heaven for me.   So much duafe to imitate and try!!  I just love the presentation … how did she synchronize these blocks?????

 I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!  Are you a scarf lover?  What is your favorite way to display your scarf Duafe??

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

In many parts of the world education is not looked upon as something a girl needs to survive.  This is true in many countries on the African continent.   We know that without a proper education these children will be unable to participate in the modern world successfully.   Many people are familiar with the school built by Oprah Winfrey in South Africa to help address this issue but most are not working to find a way to offer support themselves to this issue.   I have come across several organizations working to positively change the statistics for girls education on the African continent.

World Education has  helped  girls in 12 African countries go to school through the Ambassador Girls’ Scholarship Program.  Last year they were able to assist 12,000 female students to attend classes.  The organization has also developed training for  local professional women who serve as mentors for students in the program. These local professionals guide and educate the girls s on the importance of education, HIV and AIDS awareness, reproductive health and community involvement.  The teachers happily are reporting improvement in the girl students  attendance and achievement level.   Success through this type of program  certainly offers the girls a much brighter future.  Visit the World Education website to find out more about how you can support their efforts:  www.worlded.org

Another organization that I found while surfing the net is Camfed.  Since 1993, this UK  Organization has fought poverty and AIDS by educating girls and empowering young women. Their programs have  assisted and educated  more than 1,451,600 children in  of Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana and Malawi.   Camfed uses a community-based, holistic approach to bring about change in these African nations.

What a better education can do

Better Education for Girls Makes a difference

For more information about how to help girls become educated through Camfed please visit their site: www.camfed.org

I also came across the IADT’s School in a Box program that is bringing innovative fresh ways to bring education to rural areas of Africa and India

Here is a video of their presentation to many of the African Ministers of Education

Have you been involved in any programs that help raise the education of girls around the world?  I would love to hear about them.  Please be sure to share a link here!

symbol of steadfastness, prudence and diligence

With continued hard work and diligence we can raise the education level of girls in Africa

OWO FORO ADOBE is the Adinkra symbol for steadfastness, prudence and diligence –  this is the attitude we must take to make a difference in the education of girls around the world!

ADDITIONS!!

I have recieved some great suggestions that I would like to add to this post.  

 The United Nations Girls  Education Initiativeworks to assist national governments  fulfill their responsibilities towards ensuring the right to education and gender equality for all children, girls and boys alike. This amazing organization promotes strategies that put the needs of the most disadvantaged, including girls and women, first in education policies, plans and budgets of the goverments they work with internationally.

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

Adinkra symbol that reprents beauty

Adinkra symbol Duafe means beauty

Duafe is the Adinkra symbol that  represents beauty and feminine qualities.  It is one of my favorite symbols  because I believe it represents the special qualities of being a woman.   As women we express this God given beauty in many ways such as how we dress, wear our hair and makeup…..but also in our cooking, decorating and sooo much more.

When I first came across Food Heaven Made Easy video I was immediately impressed with how the hosts create a beautiful feel in their kitchen. Nutrition educators  Wendy and Jess offer the viewers  graceful instuctions  on how to prepare a beautifully healthy meal.  Their stylish dress also adds to the Duafe of the show!   I really enjoy how they creatively present the food preparation while giving viewers nutritional information and possible alternatives.

Cooking beautiful meals is definitely an activity I enjoy as a wife and mom.  Can’t say that I am always so stylish in my kitchen as Wendy and Jess but  I definitely love this celebration of Duafe!  Maybe I need to invest in some cute aprons to improve my kitchen look!!  Any suggestions??

Here is the Vegan Brunch  episode of Food Heaven Made Easy – Hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

What is your favorite Brunch menu item??

This blog post is part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge for

April 2012.

Read more blogs posting in this challenge visit :

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