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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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

 

 

Visions of Freedom

June 13, 2012

Join the Freedom Link up

Visions of Freedom Blog Hop

Memorial Day, Juneteenth and Fourth of July are all American Holidays that commemorate historically significant days in our country centered around freedom. I have labeled this time of year Freedom Season because of all the celebrations and talk about freedom during this time of the year. Freedom is what our country was founded upon. This is sometimes incomprehensible because it is also the period in history that many Africans had their freedom taken.  There are so many historical dates around the globe that show what people have given to stand for freedom.  As we reflect on these amazing people and moments we can come together and share in the strength shown.  We can take the lessons learned and proceed into a future full of freedom for all persons around the world.

Over at KiaraBlu we have established a special place in celebration of “Freedom Season”. Kiarablu has partnered with Goddess Angelika to sponser a Blog Hop and ongoing conversation on twitter about Freedom. We would love to have you join the hop and conversation. What do you think Freedom looks like? What does it mean to you?

FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT
 
 
 
 
 
 
FREEDOM IS A ROAD T SHIRT by KAMAU66
 
 

 

Link up your blog post here: http://www.kiarablu.com/freedom

Or

Join us on twitter: http://www.twitter.com/freedomsvision

Ok so here we are at the end and I had a really hard time with Z!!!   So I leave you with a ZoomDo – a  craft to create your very own Adinkra t-shirt to sport this summer.   It is a pretty simple activity and over at PBS kids they have instructions for creating a  an Adinkra stamp and then use fabric paint to design your t-shirt.    The design process can be used for other creative projects like wall art.    Enjoy!!

 

 

Adinkra t-shirt craft

Zoom Do

I came across this cute Adinkra Magnet  craft over at the blog  Sacred Arts.  I love that it is simple but allows the crafter to create a colorful  Adinkra magnet as beautiful dimensional expressions.   Cori Lynn  offers a great tutorial with pictures on how to create these magnets using inexpensive coasters glue and a magnetic sheet.   The most time-consuming part of this project is allowing the glue to dry.  I have put this one on our list of crafts to include when we study West Africa!!  I think you could take this craft and use it to create many different unique magnets…Chineese letters, Yoruba numbers,  Swahili words and sooooo much more.  So head over to Sacred Arts and get started !  Please share the pics of all your beautiful creations and I promise to update here as we create our magnets too!!

Adinkra symbol Magnets

Adinkra Magnets from Sacred Arts

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!!  

Once upon a time…..

April 19, 2012

Once upon a time…..this is the sweet beginning to  many fairy and folk tales from around the globe.  These stories are usually a tale that teaches a lesson to young children about how we should  treat one another.  In most cases good will win over the bad.  

 ANANSI

Our vision for ANANSI

Anansi  Stories  are folk tales about a little spider  that originated in Ghana, West Africa. Parents have used the humorous stories to teach their children life lessons for many, many generations.    Today we can find Anansi, his wife Aso and their  children,  happily tucked  into the memories of folks all across the African Diaspora.  From Ghana, to the Caribbean, to the South  Eastern  US. You will always get a wide smile and pleasant reminiscing eyes upon the mention of the  humorous trickster  named Anansi.

My children have come to love Anansi stories and are always so happy to sit quietly and watch videos with the stories on the computer.  We even have a “bean dance’ that was inspired by the funny moves Anansi makes when he hides the hot beans.   (ck out the video below)

 

Adinkra Symbol Ananse NTONTAN

The Spiders Web Represents wisdom and creativity

The Adinkra symbol Ananse  NTONTAN represents wisdom and creativity…..now the question is which came first?  Stories of the creative little spider OR the symbol which inspired someone to create him?  

Here is  our favorite Anansi story:

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

Jam…..Peace Jam

April 11, 2012

knot of pacification and reconciliation

Mpatapo is the Adinkra symbol that represents peace making

J is for Jam…..the amazing work of Peace Jam.   Peace Jam  is an amazing organization working to bring together youth and Nobel Laureates thru the work of community affiliates and volunteers.  The goal of this organization is to educate, inspire and call to action youth to make a positive difference using this powerful combination.  

Peace Jam is educating youth with the powerful stories of Nobel Laureates like Desmond TuTu and the Dali Lama and inspiring them to then go out and initiate community actions that promote peace.   The organizers and leaders of this organization are using their Peace Jam conferences to bring these “Jammers” together for even more inspiration and plans for action.

Peace Jam was founded by Dawn Engle and Ivan Suvanjieff in Denver Colorado. This dynamic duo is  now  working to continue their momentum  to keep youth excited about tackling and solving  the toughest issues facing our planet.

As a youth leader within my Church I am really inspired by this organization.  We have had  several discussions with our group about how they can make a positive contribution to their local community.   Are you currently working with youth in your community?  What local issues has your group worked to positively contribute to?  How have you been inspired by their views?

Here is a wonderful video with an Introduction of PeaceJam Global Call to Action