Special guest post: Jennifer Burden, Founder of World Moms Blog
This past June we were honored to have Holly Pavlika of MOMentum speak at a World Moms Blog social good event in New York City. Holly told her first-hand story from her UN Foundation Shot@Life trip to Tanzania she took this past May at our NYC “GAVI Global Tea Party.” And I was thrilled when she asked me to write about our international GAVI parties to advocate for life-saving vaccines for children in the developing world.
World Moms Blog is a collaborative website where international mothers from over 20 countries are sharing their stories on motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. Part of our mission statement is “To strive to create opportunities for social good to make the lives of mothers and children better around the planet.” We write. We tweet. We use Facebook. We advocate. But, this year we began to put our baby-holding and finger-pointing-to-clean-your-room muscles behind these social good efforts offline, too.
I first met Helena Chan of the GAVI Alliance at the Social Good Summit last year in NYC. Since then, we have had several brainstorming phone calls to talk about how our network of international mothers can get involved with their mission to provide life-saving vaccines for children in the developing world.
Our World Moms Blog editors, Kyla P’an and Nicole Melancon and I, had already chosen to help advocate for the same cause with the UN Foundation’s Shot@Life US campaign, and our relationship with GAVI was different because we had mothers outside the US who wanted to get involved and GAVI was looking to expand their global advocacy. Thus, the “GAVI Global Tea Party” was born.
We currently have a team of our contributors who have hosted or who are planning grass-roots parties around the world, where they watch online videos from the field and discuss them with their friends. The first parties are being filmed for a documentary being produced by the GAVI Alliance.
So far, we have filmed parties in the USA – New Jersey and another one in New York City — and also in Chennai, India. The next party to be filmed will be on the island of Bali in Indonesia. And our online friends in Australia at The Brave Discussion have joined the social good party and will be hosting one soon, too, and there are more being planned around the world!
To be featured in a film about a way in which people can begin conversations on making a difference in the world for others, for children, is a really worthwhile use of our time. To be a part of a project away from our keyboards with some of the very women around the globe that we have been writing and conversing online with for almost 2 years is incredible. We all may never meet. But, we are unified in turning the power of our online relationships into an effort to change the world. And that is a powerful use of social media.
Jennifer Burden is a stay-at-home mother of 2 young daughters, wife of almost 11 years to a newly naturalized US citizen from England and the founder and managing editor of World Moms Blog, which writes from over 20 countries on motherhood, culture, human rights and social good. World Moms Blog was recently listed by Forbes Woman in their “Top 100 Websites for Women 2012.”