giving back Is Making Every Day a Happy Mother’s Day for African Women

giving backmy worldLeaving a Legacybettering communities

Making a Difference—At the beginning of this year, asked me to sit on its ONE moms advisory council. Having been a long time supporter, I immediately said yes!

For those unfamiliar with the organization:

ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organization that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.

What I love about ONE is their emphasis on voice. Your voice, regardless of how small or in whatever way you choose to raise it, can make a meaningful difference in the lives of others. A simple act like signing a petition, writing a letter to your congressman/woman, and/or calling your local representative goes a long way in helping fight HIV in Africa, for example.

African woman with son

The more I become aware of global women's issues, two things happen: 1) My gratitude increases for things I may have taken for granted in the past: immediate access to medicine and healthcare, the safe delivery of both of my children, that I don't live in fear of contracting or delivering a child with HIV, and that I have enough food to put on the table to feed my family—all things the vast majority of African women have to worry about on a daily basis. And 2) My awareness grows for the needs of women all around the world—both here and abroad. And with that, a call to action surfaces to do more; to learn more; and to share my talents, my skills, and my resources to help those who cannot help themselves, even if it's as simple as sharing their stories to help raise greater awareness.

This July, I'll be joining along with a small group of bloggers on a trip to Kenya, Africa, where I will get up close and personal with global women's issues there. More importantly, I'll get to know the women who are facing and fighting those issues. ONE reminds us that:

African women are leading a movement. They are the driving force behind Africa's economy, and mothers in particular have an enormous impact on the future of Africa. Moms in the US are also leading a movement. They recognize the enormous power that they have as the key decision makers in their households - they can decide what foods their families eat, where their kids go to school, whether their child can be vaccinated against the deadliest diseases, and more. Get educated, engaged, and activated. Use your voice on behalf of the world's poorest.

I'm excited to virtually pack you in my suitcases and take you on my journey! Together, we can all make a difference.

In the meantime, Happy Mother's Day! What will you do today to make a difference in someone's life?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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