All posts filed under: Uncategorized

Trafficking Puleng

In early March 2016, 18-year-old Puleng became a victim of human trafficking. Like many girls in poverty-stricken Lesotho, Puleng was struggling. She was 16 when she gave birth to her son, working hard to eke out a living for herself and her older brother. Puleng was earning less than USD $5 washing clothes – it simply was not enough. So when her neighbor, a woman whom she trusted, told her of the opportunity to earn more money as a domestic worker in South Africa, Puleng jumped at the chance. But when Puleng and her neighbor arrived in South Africa the following week, things did not go as she planned. They were met by another woman who delivered an already terrified Puleng to some man’s house. Her sense of unease grew: the man was easily three times her age. To her astonishment, the woman told her she was now this man’s wife, and to do as he pleased. She protested, crying that she had come here to work, not to be married! Her cries fell on …

Measuring Water in Meters

As with anything in the United Nations (UN), there is much discussion and debate around every decision. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), noble as they are, is no exception. As the UN refines them, one of the thorniest issues is the matter of how to measure the progress and success towards the attainment of each goal. As gender equality is one of the mainstays of the next fifteen years, it is a topic that concerns women’s rights, and will be undoubtedly be up for discussion at Women Deliver 2016 in Copenhagen. The current debate around quantifiable targets isn’t glamorous – we’d much rather hear, “ensure a safe childbirth for all mothers worldwide” than “reduce the global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100,000 live births”. Numbers impose painful limitations on what we can do about excruciating realities. But our own New Year’s Resolutions are proof enough that, for our own good, pomp should be second to practicality. Ambitious but abstract goals are much more likely to end in failure: lose weight; read more; be …

WhatsApp as a Medium to Inform Audiences of Love Matters in India

Rise Up is pleased to launch our Impact Blog Series for the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. This series highlights the work of two Champions for Change (C4C) leaders in Nigeria and one Youth Champions Initiative (YCI) leader from India. C4C’s Champions in Nigeria are working together to save the lives of mothers, children and young women through innovative advocacy and leadership development. YCI’s Champion in India is working to lead the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) movement for the next generation. This series brings a diversity of perspectives to the table to discuss their critical work in driving the progress in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights, as well as sharing the impact they have made through partnerships, awareness raising, and innovation. We are featuring an interactive discussion with Francesca Adeola Abiola of Action Health Inc., an NGO in Nigeria dedicated to promoting young people’s health and development to ensure their successful transition to a healthy and productive adulthood; Wale Adeleye of Civil Society for Family Planning, an NGO in Nigeria …

The Maverick Collective: Bringing Cancer Screening to Uttar Pradesh

At Women Deliver 2016, Girls’ Globe attended the launch of The Maverick Collective, an initiative by Population Services International (PSI) and the brainchild of HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, Melinda Gates and Kate Roberts. Borne of frustration about a lack of follow-through on ideas for change, the collective aims to bring philanthropy to a new generation of donors, those who are actively engaged with their projects on the ground. Girls’ Globe was able to talk to some of the inaugural members of the Maverick Collective, which has projects spanning across the globe. The following is an interview with Kathryn Vizas, who tackled the issue of cervical cancer in one of the poorest and most populous regions of India.  GG: How did you hear about The Maverick Collective? KV: It was 3 and a half years ago, I was at  a women’s conference in New York which I sort of decided to attend on a whim because some of the topics seemed interesting. My husband and I had recently relocated at that point, so I hadn’t …

An Interview with Francesca Adeola Abiola, a Youth Champion for Women and Girls

Rise Up is pleased to launch our Impact Blog Series for the Women Deliver conference in Copenhagen, Denmark. This series highlights the work of two Champions for Change (C4C) leaders in Nigeria and one Youth Champions Initiative (YCI) leader from India. C4C’s Champions in Nigeria are working together to save the lives of mothers, children and young women through innovative advocacy and leadership development. YCI’s Champion in India is working to lead the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) movement for the next generation. This series brings a diversity of perspectives to the table to discuss their critical work in driving the progress in maternal, sexual, and reproductive health and rights, as well as sharing the impact they have made through partnerships, awareness raising and innovation. We are featuring an interactive discussion with Francesca Adeola Abiola, a C4C Champion and Program Officer for Rise Up, and an assistant for Action Health Inc. (AHI), an NGO in Nigeria dedicated to promoting young people’s health and development to ensure their successful transition to healthy and productive …

Say the Word

This post was written for Girls’ Globe by Sofia Broffman. It has only been two years since I realized how important vaginas are and how the lack of an intact one can ruin a life. I guess you could say I was a late bloomer, so late that it wasn’t until I turned 16 that I decided to talk to my whole school about this particular part of the anatomy. In the early morning when I stood in the Atlanta Girls’ School hallway to give out cranberry cake and talk about vaginas, was the day I faced my greatest fear. As the cool winter air blew through the hallways, I hardly felt a chill, as my face was as hot as a cinnamon Altoid, and just as red. What felt like an eternity, had only been forty-five minutes and I sighed with relief because the start of the school day was only minutes away. Just as I was about to book it to class, my art teacher Mr. Grainger walked through the door. “Oh no,” …

Happy Mother’s Day!

Born 9 years after my parents migrated from India to the United States, I was welcomed into the world of stability, an established and settled home, and a pleasant life. T his year I moved to Kitwe, Zambia on a fellowship with Global Health Corps. One evening in September I FaceTimed my mom in between power outage schedules, complaining about still not having hot water after a month. She jokingly chastised me and shared a recipe she used as a child, 3 hot water kettles mixed with 2 kettles of cold water to make the perfectly heated bucket bath. In this moment I realized, that for just a short year, I was living the routine my mother had endured all her life growing up in India – mosquito nets, unscheduled power outages, cold water. My brother and I used to joke that when our mom visits India she becomes a completely different person – vibrant, loud (especially with her sisters), and adventurous. But it is true. She was a completely different person before us due …

12 Ways to Give Back for Women and Girls

I love holiday traditions. Not only that, but the holidays are one of my favorite times of year. My family gathers and we spend time together. During this season, friends, faith leaders and mentors have challenged me to stop and be present. In the United States, Christmas is a time to spend with family, friends and, eat good food and give gifts. As someone committed to the Christian faith, it is also a time to reflect and celebrate Christ’s birth. Whether you celebrate Christmas, a different Holiday tradition or simply the joy of being with family we have to admit it is so easy to get caught in the busyness. Several years ago, my entire family decided to do something non-traditional for Christmas. We decided to stop giving gifts at Christmastime. Instead of giving gifts we decided to focus on spending more time serving each other. Last year, we each picked a cause or non-profit organization to support. Going around in a circle, we drew names one by one. Each person agreed to learn about their selected family member’s cause …

Little Actions, Big Difference: Natalia Vodianova unveils Elbi.com

On Saturday I had the opportunity to get a sneak introduction of Elbi – Natalia Vodianova’s new platform and app for micro-philanthropy. Elbi enables you to “volunteer small moments of your time and give without breaking the bank”. The new app was launched at the Clinton Global Initiative today – with the aim of making it easy and accessible to do good in your everyday life, and to increase global connectivity with organizations that make a difference. In this interview with Natalia Vodianova, she explains what Elbi is and her hopes for change by 2030. The Elbi app is available on iOS and can be downloaded from the App Store in the U.S. and the UK.