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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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

I have always loved the beautiful fabrics that come from the continent of Africa.  Kente Cloth, Mud Cloth, Kuba Cloth and so much more .  Each has its own beautiful qualities and history to how it is made.   It is my dream to become a true collector of these beautiful woven fabrics and maybe one day travel the African continent to see the artisans in each country that make these fabrics.

While surfing the web recently  I came across the most unique use of African fabric that I have ever seen.  The designer  Serge Mouangue has developed a beautiful clothing line Wafrica featuring designs that have a Japanese flair  but are made with fabrics from the African continent.  Using this unique cultural combination this Cameroon born designer   has developed an amazing line of designs.  

Wafrica -www.wafrica.jp

Amazing Afrocentric Kimonos from Wafrica

To see more of Serge Mouangue’s work 

Wafrica 

http://www.wafrica.jp

Just wanted to share this beautiful example of African Duafe I came across – Enjoy!!

Photo of the Day: African Woman

via Echwalu Photography

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

Did you know that there are Miss Africa Pageants in the United States, United Kingdom, China, Netherlands and Australia? These beauty pageants held around the world offer young women from the continent of Africa the empowering opportunity to unite and share. The pageants provide a wonderful platform for African women to express their sense of beauty and talent while representing their home country.  Here are some of the recently crowned Beauty Queens giving us their unique expression of Duafe.

Miss Africa in ChinaMiss Africa in China

Where beauty is defined!

Miss Africa China 2009

Archlyn Bruce

Country Flag of the Queen

Flag of Liberia

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Miss Africa USA 2010

FATOUMATA (FIFI) SOUMAH

Flag of Republic of Guinea

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Miss West Africa UKMiss West Africa UK

Miss West Africa UK 2010

Astrid Costa

Flag of Guinea-Bissau

Guinea-Bissau

 

Sankofa thoughts

July 14, 2011

Sankofa Adinkra symbol

Sankofa- return and obtain what was left behind

Beautiful words to remind us about

the importance of embracing the concept of

Sankofa

For Africa to me… is more than a glamorous fact. It is a historical truth

  No man can know where he is going unless he knows exactly where he has been

and exactly how he arrived at his present place”

………Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

Maya Angelou

 

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!!!

Miss Africa USA July 24 2010

Miss Africa USA - Duafe for Humanity

I am looking forward to  the upcoming Miss Africa USA Pageant that will take place in Silver Spring, Maryland on July 24, 2010 from 6p – 11p.  The contestants are young women from African nations that are living in the United States.  The goal and purpose of this beautiful event is to shine a spotlight on these African Queens and offer an inspiring occasion not only for the delegates but for the world!  Although the Miss Africa USA Pageant has been in existence since 2005,  this is the first year I am aware of its existence.   The Miss Africa USA website describes the pageant as ” the biggest and the most publicized pageant that features African Queens in USA today.”   The winner of the pageant will receive a scholarship, trip to Africa, a luxury vacation and more!


The Miss Africa USA Channel offers video interviews with the finalists.  Each contestant has specific humanitarian goals that she discusses within the video!  How awesome to see these strong, positive young women  so focused on helping others!  It gives me GREAT hope for the future!  We must all find ways to support this pageant and these women!

The pageant will be aired on the Afrotainment Channel on  Saturday July 31, 2010 at 9pm EST.  I am still searching for live streaming availability …..if I find it I will surely update this post!!  Be sure to stop by the Miss Africa USA website to vote for your favorite finalist and be sure to vote for the host city for 2011.   If  you are lucky enough to have tickets and are attending ….Please share the DUAFE with us….post your pictures (or links) here!