Coming Alive

Inspiring others to use their voice to change the World

Archive for the month “October, 2011”

ONE Amongst Many

ONE Amongst Many

Being a member of the ONE Moms Advisory Council has presented me with opportunities that I know many moms only dream of, but through it all my ONE hope is that mom’s everywhere see their unique opportunity to make a difference and risk stepping outside of their comfort zone to be a voice for the most vulnerable.  If you re-visit my very first post I clearly state that I am not comfortable writing, but I would do it if it meant ending poverty.  Over this last year I have learned how to use social media to do good.  Knowing that a child is dying every 6 minutes in the Horn of Africa we need to use every possible resource we have to be their advocates.  I may only be ONE mom, but I am ONE amongst many.  If we can all talk, write, facebook, tweet, and share the facts this story will get heard.  We need to do what and ALL that we can.

Dr. Jill Biden attends a roundtable with USAID Administrator Raj Shah and National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith and a group of mom bloggers to discuss their recent trips to Kenya and ongoing work on global development, in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, October 24, 2011.   (Official White House Photo by David Lienemann)

When I had the opportunity this week to meet with Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and Gayle Smith from the National Security Council I was there for ALL moms.  Hearing the depth of compassion and the sense of urgency as Dr. Biden shared her stories from her recent trip to the refugee camps in the Horn of Africa I wanted to soak it in so that I could carry her experience out with me.  When I was in Kenya I was able to see programs funded through USAID working.  Administrator Raj Shah is focused and determined to address this situation and see that our investments are saving lives, building communities, and creating stability.  As Gayle Smith from the National Security Council so clearly pointed out as she answered my question, when we provide individuals with food, shelter, and medicine we give them dignity which is important, especially in large ungoverned spaces.  People with dignity tend to “act right”.  As moms we all want our kids to live in a peaceful, stable world.

My hope is for the conversation not to be about ONE Moms going to the White House, but instead about the 13 million individuals who are starving, dying, or displaced in the Horn of Africa.  This number is 10 million more than the Haiti earthquakes and more than the population of Los Angeles and New York combined.  When we start to think that it is too big to tackle then we need to read the proof, our voice is making a difference and right now for those suffering from the worst drought in 60 years we need to make it loud!  Below I am standing with a dairy farmer who is now able to support herself, her family, and contribute to her community.  I am only ONE mom, but when I started talking people everywhere started listening and they will listen to you too, so start the conversation!!

Africa Revisited

Africa Revisited

             I am not sure how, but it has been a month since I posted on my blog.  I always go back to the post I wrote the first of June titled, The World is Busy  I am notorious for saying, “after this weekend everything slows down”.  I am coming to the realization that life will continue to move forward and while I have three school age kids at three different schools life will move forward at an Indy car pace!     
     This last week though, my ONE Mom trip book came in the mail and I was jolted with emotion.  My trip to Africa and all of the feelings that came with it came flooding back.  Looking at the book and seeing me on the pages I think it finally became clear that I really was standing on the continent of Africa with these incredible women both from Kenya and America.  This experience has not been a dream and the opportunity that I have been given to make a difference in the world is right here in front of me.

            Looking back on my blog, there is so much that I have not shared yet; places we visited, friends I made, and stories I heard. I know that I need to write these down.  I absorb experiences.  I think they travel right down to my soul.  I find it extremely difficult to put them into words.  However, I want what I learned from Africa to be available for everyone, especially my kids!  So I am designating a day every week on my calendar to Africa.  I am pulling out our ONE Mom itinerary and revisiting each moment.  This trip has been transformational and by sharing the stories I hope to encourage others to have their eyes opened as mine have been.

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