I had the privilege of attending ONE‘s Aya Summit in Washington DC centered around their newest program for Girls and Women in developing countries. The word AYA comes from a symbol that means “the fern” and it is a great West African symbol of resourcefulness and endurance. Interestingly enough, this symbol is from the Ashanti people of Ghana and it was actually the people of Ghana that led me to advocate for the women and children of Africa in the first place.
This one symbol was a great reminder of everything coming full circle on why I was at the AYA Summit and why I am choosing to use my voice and my blog to advocate.
If you didn’t know already, two of my children are from Ghana. They were adopted and came home on Christmas Eve of last year. Taking up this mission of advocating for the women and children in developing countries feels like my duty.
Getting to hear stories first-hand during my time in Ghana, I realized that the root issue of why children end up in orphanages is poverty. Whether that is parents dying early because of lack of healthcare, mothers feeling desperate with nowhere else to turn or the stigmas that children with mental and physical disabilities face in their communities because of the lack of education surrounding these issues. Because of my connection to adoption it gives me all the more reason to fight against the root issue: poverty.
The AYA Summit drained me emotionally, but also stirred something in me to stop just thinking about doing things, but to actually do them. That’s why going forward you will see a great emphasis on social good on this blog rather than just a few posts here and there. What does social good have to do with a site called “Busy Mommy,” you ask? I feel, as moms, there is even more reason to weave social good throughout all aspects of our lives because we are raising the next generation.
At the summit we discussed everything from child sex trafficking to Ebola and I left with an immense amount of information that I am still trying to process so that I can eloquently share on this blog and provide the most impact.
For you, as a blog reader and social media user, I condensed the summit into three things you can do right now to join in this fight against poverty and use your voice to make change and empower women and girls around the world.
1. Help replenish GAVI.
Since the year 2000 GAVI has saved more than 6 million lives by providing life-saving vaccines, but there are still 1.5 million kids who die around the world from vaccine-preventable deaths. Simply send out this tweet to the White House.
Hey friends, I need yr help. ReTweet: .@WhiteHouse: HELP save 6 M children’s lives by pledging $1 bill over 4 years to @GAVI #AYAaction
2. Support women and children by purchasing with a purpose.
Support companies like Heifer International, RED products, To The Market, FashionABLE, and the Kate Spade on purpose line. Especially with Christmas coming up you can lend your hand to causes like creating an AIDS-free generation or helping provide economic opportunities to empower women around the world.
3. End Ebola
Thousands of men, women and children are dying and more countries and individuals need to step up to put an end to Ebola. Don’t Let Ebola Dehumanize Africa. You can donate to these organizations that are working tirelessly against Ebola.
When you see a need, it is important to act on it. That need may be in your own community or it may be an issue that your fellow brothers and sisters around the world are facing. You have the ability to use your voice to make change. You can start with the three points above!