Empower Mothers and daughters this Mother’s Day

This piece if from the World Literacy Foundation’s blog.

Mother's Day

We ask this Mother’s Day to give a gift that will change a life – in addition to the flowers and chocolates you already bought her, give a gift of quality education to empower mothers and daughters for generations to come.

We all collectively recognize that when women and girls are empowered through education;

  • Fertility, population growth, and infant and child mortality fall and family health improves.
  • They are more politically active and better informed about their legal rights and how to exercise them.
  • Their earning capacity increases, in turn, has a positive effect on child nutrition.

Education helps women and their daughters take advantage of opportunities that could benefit them and their families for generations to come; equipping them for the workforce and grasping their legal rights.

Girls all around the world are excluded from education, or are in school but not learning the skills to equip them for the 21-st century job landscape.

This Mother’s Day, we want to change this, but we need your help. We want to support mothers and daughters by providing access to the quality education they need to unlock their full potential. Because, let’s face it, when a girl is educated, the whole world changes.  

Did you know that every extra year of education a girl receives, her income will increase by 10-20%

This Mother’s Day, support Ugandan Mothers who also want quality education for their daughters, but cannot access it.

We launched a crowdfunding initiative to empower these Mothers, have a look HERE

Make sure to spread the message and empower Ugandan Mothers by providing quality education to their children.

Support towards this initiative and share on your social channels to raise awareness.

Learn more about how you can support the World Literacy Foundation at  worldliteracyfoundation.org

Celebrating Mothers Worldwide

mothers day philpost

By Nancy Baah

On Sunday, May 14, children of all ages in the US will show gratitude to their mom with gifts, flowers, or a “vacation day” from motherly duties. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we at UniversalGiving would like to take the time to show appreciation for awesome mothers around the world by saying, “Thank you!” Moreover, while it is important to thank the mothers in our own lives for all they do, UniversalGiving would like to highlight the challenges many mother’s face globally.

CCT image

To get involved with helping a mother in need, UniversalGiving invites you to take advantage of the giving opportunities below:

Cultural Canvas Thailand (CCT) is a nonprofit organization that places volunteers at Wildflower Home Foundation, a haven for single mothers in crisis. The WildFlower Home Foundation is a home for single mothers who do not have the means to take care of their kids. For more information on volunteer opportunities, click here.

 

Pandas International is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and propagate the endangered Giant Panda. Currently, Panda International is soliciting donations in efforts to provide formula to raise panda cubs in captivity that are born to mothers who aren’t prepared enough to care for their offspring. Help this great cause.

panda

“Double Marginalized” The Story of Maanda Ngoitiko and the Pastoral Women’s Council

UniversalGiving wants to honor mothers this week. Maanda Ngoutiko was not a biological mother, but she was a mother figure to many Maasai women.

Global Partners for Development shared this news story by Amy Holter about a very strong Maassai woman.

*Disclaimer – this post contains some disturbing content.

Maanda Ngoitiko, the founder and executive director of the Pastoral Women’s Council (PWC) in Loliondo, Tanzania, is a Maasai woman. In her culture, she says that being born a girl means being treated like the property that you will never own. She says it means that you will become a bride to be used as a pawn to support your father’s local relationships. She says it means a life of being viewed as a child far into adulthood.

In the school that PWC built, Maanda’s colorful, plentiful Maasai beads clinked as she settled in. The weight of them would become more and more meaningful as she guided me through her story.

Maanda was born in Olorsiwa, a subvillage in the Loliondo District. There, she walked approximately eight kilometers to primary school every day with her best friend. When she was in Standard 6 (the equivalent of sixth grade in the U.S.), her best friend went through female genital mutilation and was told that her father had chosen a husband for her. When she refused to marry him, the men in her family took her to a public space, removed her clothes, and beat her. Maanda watched as her friend’s father held up her clothes as a warning that other girls should not resist marriage in the same shameful way.

“I was very lonely in my heart when she dropped out of school,” said Maanda. “I could not help her. I felt really desperate.”

Soon, it was Maanda’s turn to resist marriage. Her father found her a husband when she was still 12 years old. She refused to marry him as well as the second man her father found for her. After she finished primary school, she cared for cows with her father and uncles for three years.

Her actions were “discussed widely” in the district, and Maanda’s disobedience and disrespect to her family quickly became a subject of local news briefings held at political meetings. A Member of Parliament heard about Maanda and offered to send her to school. Though her father ignored the offer, her uncle told her that she should run away to the bush, and he would arrange for the Member of Parliament to find her.

“I waited for a long time in the bush. Then, I saw a light from a car coming towards me. A light to take me away.”

Maanda was admitted into the Training Center for Development in Arusha. On her first day, Maanda met Alais Morindat, another current partner of Global Partners and leader of Arkaria Village, who gave her tutorials in English and math for two years. One of her teachers linked her to the Irish Embassy, and she received a scholarship to study in Dublin where she earned her bachelor’s degree in development studies.

After returning to Loliondo and reuniting with her family, Maanda started meeting with other women in Loliondo Division by creating “a forum for women to discuss their own issues,” which eventually became PWC. The women met without any funding for four years with the goal of improving women’s solidarity and increasing interest in girls’ education. Many in the community opposed them from the beginning, claiming that women should not meet alone without men.

“[Maasai women] are double marginalized,” said Maanda. “We are marginalized by the larger society for being Maasai, and we are marginalized by the Maasai for being women.”

When asked why she came back to a culture that often treats women with disregard and sometimes violence, Maanda wasn’t sure where to start. “There are some Maasai girls, even those saved by PWC, that as soon as they get their way, they run away forever. They see this culture as a serious threat to their freedom.” But, she went on:

“I wanted to come back because I wanted to see a generational change. I wanted to see more Maasai girls enjoy their freedom. I wanted a new generation of Maasai women who are being treated with dignity and respect. I wanted to change the perception of men.”

She also said that the Maasai have many wonderful aspects of their culture. “If you are very poor in a Maasai community, you will never die of hunger when your neighbor has food – there is a culture of sharing what you have. The Maasai have also been the guardians of the environment for centuries, but they are not recognized by the government and are subjected to land alienation. I wanted to teach this community to be a bridge between the Maasai and the government. Without land, there is no Maasai.”

PWC has now established 260 active women’s groups across three districts and engages thousands of women. Though it’s work is still opposed by some, PWC is growing and is embraced by more and more members of the community, both male and female. Through PWC and other organizations, a locally driven women’s rights movement is underway in Maasai communities across Tanzania.

One of the goals of PWC is to rescue girls who are escaping forced marriage and other forms of violence. Last year, PWC rescued 17 girls, many through police intervention, and all of them lived at Maanda’s home.

I met one of the girls who was rescued by PWC in 2014. She was in school and went home to visit her parents. When she arrived home, they locked her in a room and told her that her future husband would soon come to get her. A woman who did not realize she was there unlocked the room to retrieve something. When she saw the girl, she called Maanda, and the police came to take the girl away.

“She cried the whole night,” recalls Maanda. “This is just one case, but we have a lot of cases like that.”

This girl is now continuing her studies through a scholarship from Global Partners. With funding from Global Partners and mentorship from women in PWC, she will finish her studies and hopefully reunite with her family to help them understand her unconventional path.

In March 2016, Global Partners supported PWC in purchasing a large house near the PWC office that will serve as a rescue center for Maasai girls. Maanda anticipates that at least 100 girls will be supported through this center each year while they transition into dormitories at secondary schools. The gated home has a 24-hour security guard and matron. With bunk beds, blankets, pillows, computers, and solar electricity, the girls will be welcomed into a space where they can work through their emotional trauma with girls who had similar experiences and alongside women who embody the strength and perseverance they will need to pursue their individual and collective ambitions.

Through local initiatives and international partnerships like this, Maanda and women like her are helping to shape the future of human rights among the Maasai. As I stood in what I will call the “rescue home,” I could feel the possibility. I could almost hear the tears and laughter of the girls that would fill it in the coming months. I ached to tell them that help was on the way.

“Oh, we really have to keep moving,” said Maanda as she looked at the time – we were late to a Maasai fundraiser for women’s businesses and girls’ scholarships.

Yes, Maanda, yes we do.

This article is from Global Partners for Development. Read the full news article here!

Celebrating Mothers Worldwide

mothers day philpost

By Nancy Baah

On Sunday, May 8, children of all ages in the US will show gratitude to their mom with gifts, flowers, or a “vacation day” from motherly duties. With Mother’s Day quickly approaching, we at UniversalGiving would like to take the time to show appreciation for awesome mothers around the world by saying, “Thank you!” Moreover, while it is important to thank the mothers in our own lives for all they do, UniversalGiving would like to highlight the challenges many mother’s face globally.

CCT image

To get involved with helping a mother in need, UniversalGiving invites you to take advantage of the giving opportunities below:

Cultural Canvas Thailand (CCT) is a nonprofit organization that places volunteers at Wildflower Home Foundation, a haven for single mothers in crisis. The WildFlower Home Foundation is a home for single mothers who do not have the means to take care of their kids. For more information on volunteer opportunities, visit:

http://www.universalgiving.org/volunteer/empower_single_mothers_at_wild/id5299.do

International Medical Corps is a global, humanitarian, nonprofit organization dedicated to saving lives and relieving suffering through health care training and relief and development programs.  To help accomplish their mission, the International Medical Corps is seeking donations that will be used to provide midwives with essential renewable medical supplies to safely deliver babies. For more information on how you can help, visit:

http://www.universalgiving.org/donate/provide_medical_supplies_for_m/id4937.do

Pandas International is a non-profit organization that strives to preserve and propagate the endangered Giant Panda. Currently, Panda International is soliciting donations in efforts to provide formula to raise panda cubs in captivity that are born to mothers who aren’t prepared enough to care for their offspring. To help this great cause, visit:

http://www.universalgiving.org/donate/purchase_formula_for_cubs_and_/id9918.do

panda