| || |
i am malala
GLOBAL ISSUES | CHILD HEROES
On Saturday, January 3, 2009, a 12-year old girl wrote a heart-wrenching entry "I am afraid" in her diary
: "On my way from school to home I heard a man saying 'I will kill you.' I hastened my pace and after a while I looked back if the man was still coming behind me. But to my utter relief he was talking on his mobile and must have been threatening someone else over the phone." Three years later, on October 9, 2012, the girl, now 15, was shot in the head by a Taliban militant for being "
the symbol of the infidels and obscenity" and for "generating a negative propaganda about Muslims."
| || |
trick-or-treat for UNICEF
FAMILY FUN | GLOBAL ISSUES | CREATIVE MINDS
I love almost everything about autumn: the colors, the scents, the festivals, the food. This year, however, I had somewhat difficult time saying good bye to the summer, especially that my recent trip to Africa took me briefly back in time into the beautiful, pleasantly warm spring season. It was somewhat surreal to see blooming trees one day, and falling leaves 30 hours later. Now, I am fully in the fall mood, although, oddly enough, I began writing this post shortly after Hurricane Sandy slammed the Northeast region. It's nasty out there, but I feel very fortunate that my neighborhood has not been terribly affected.
| || |
penduka & a special kind of gift
TRAVEL JOURNAL | GLOBAL ISSUES
I absolutely love travelling and exploring new cultures, but for me, the best trip of all is always a trip back home. Tomorrow, I am flying back to the US and, as tradition demands, I am bringing souvenirs for my closest family & friends. But this time, each gift has a story and a meaning behind it.
| || |
a wonderful day in katutura
GLOBAL ISSUES | TRAVEL JOURNAL
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty
, which falls on October 17, I happened to have visited some of the poorest communities in Namibia, located on the dusty hills of Katutura Township in the north-western part of Namibia’s capital Windhoek. It was an eye-opening coincidence and I am extremely grateful to the members of Katutura community who invited me to their homes and shared their life stories.
| || |
munching masamba on wfd
GLOBAL ISSUES | TRAVEL JOURNAL | COOKBOOK
One of the simplest and yet most valuable ways in which a family can observe the World Food Day
falling on October 16th, is to sit all together at the dinner table
and engage in a conversation about choices we can all make to eat healthier and more nutritious food, and, at the same time, improve our global food system. It can be very overwhelming to learn that nearly one billion people (1 in 7) go to bed hungry every single day. The good news is that everyone can make a difference in feeding our planet, because the world hunger problem is not caused by the lack of food but by the
deep imbalances of opportunity and resources.
| || |
a meal of hope in bolivia
Poverty has many different dimensions but an inability to put at least one nutritious meal a day on a child's plate must be the most devastating hardship a parent can endure. In Bolivia
, where 32% of the population
lives in extreme poverty, and where 23% of households
are food insecure, that's a heartbreaking reality for thousands of families. Thankfully, organizations such as the World Food Program (WFP) offer a glimpse of hope to many impoverished Bolivian communities by providing children with nutritious meals at school. Last week, the boys and I connected with a group of children benefiting from the program through WFP's Send Your Message
initiative. You can be a part of it too!
| || |
reflections on the day of the girl
No matter where they live or come from, most little girls have big dreams and even bigger aspirations. Some may want to become lawyers, doctors, scientists, journalists, or businesswomen. Some fantasize about a big, beautiful house with a bedroom overlooking a lake. Some would like to travel and explore the world. Some have a calling to become pastors, nuns, or philanthropists. Some dream of raising a beautiful and healthy family. But some dream of things that should never be out of reach. They should be guaranteed to every single child as a matter of right. Maybe I will be the first girl in the family to go to school? Maybe they won't marry me off before I'm 18...
| || |
raise your voice for girls
On October 11, 2012
, the world will rejoice in celebrating the first ever International Day of the Girl Child
, proclaimed in December 2011 by the resolution
of the UN General Assembly. Although the status of girls around the world does not call for a jubilation, the Day of the Girl is a wonderful opportunity to raise our voice for girls
, to help them live their dreams and fulfill their aspirations, to educate ourselves about the struggles they face, and to galvanize global "enthusiasm for goals to better girls' lives
." Please join Smile Play Learn and several other participating blogs in celebrating the Day of the Girl through a blog hop (linky)
on October 11.
| || |
blogging for social good
When Mark and I became parents, we were very fortunate to discover a wide world of resources and opportunities for our bundles of joy. There are hundreds of books, toys, and websites; there are countless playgrounds and parks; there are museums, enrichment classes, and camps; and there are many parents, like us, who can be a bit lost in this magnitude of information. But, there are also many parents and children whose access to such basic resources as food, clean water, education, health care, and warm pajamas is a daily struggle.
| || |
science education & lunar phases
SCIENCE | LEARNING CORNER | CREATIVE MINDS
Children are naturally curious
about the world and the universe that surrounds them. My boys, especially Dominik, have a very strong interest in scientific exploration, which makes me both happy and inspired. So inspired that I have decided to start a series "Science for Kids" on Smile Play Learn blog. In our first post, we explore lunar science. The post was prompted by our recent reading of Kitten's First Full Moon
, and by my friend Brie's new, awesome blog Tranquility Base
, devoted to space exploration. And yes, by my husband who was watching "Star Trek" as I was writing this article :).