Friday, March 28, 2014

Feel Good Friday - Mama Hope

Pack your bags because today Feel Good Friday takes a trip to Africa, this time via an organization based in San Francisco - Mama Hope.

As explained on their website, "The Mama Hope story began in 2006 when founder Nyla Rodgers suffered the sudden loss of her mother, Stephanie Moore, to cancer. In an effort to heal from her terrible loss, Nyla traveled to Kenya to meet a young man whose education her mother had sponsored since 
2001. To her surprise, she was greeted by hundreds of others whom her mom had also helped. Nyla describes that day as the day that her work found her … and Mama Hope was born." To see Nyla share this story in more detail, you can be watch this 5 minute video

Today Mama Hope is working with partner organizations in Ghana, Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania. Their approach involves listening to the community members to find out what they need, such as a health center, goat farm or solar computer lab, then raising funds for the project. Locally supplied materials and labor are used in order to stimulate the economies and create a community that is invested in the project. 

There is also a movement called Stop the Pity. "Mama Hope feels it is time to re-humanize Africa and look to the positive change that is happening. Through a series of videos Mama Hope wants to show the light of the people we serve in Africa." That's what we're trying to do at Inspiration Safari as well! You can watch the videos here. 

But wait, there's more. Mama Hope has a Global Advocates program, "a competitive, professional training corps that achieves the mission of Mama Hope through first-hand project development." Your advocate term lasts 9 months, including 3 months in country. It's like a mini Peace Corps for those of you who, like me, don't want to make a 2 year commitment.

Whether you apply to be an advocate, donate some money or like their Facebook page, learning more about Mama Hope will make you feel good. Happy Friday!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Feel Good Friday - LuminAID

Let's start our Feel Good Friday post with something that doesn't feel very good. 

Imagine the electricity in your town has been knocked out by a natural disaster or perhaps you don't have reliable electricity in your town to begin with. According to the Bible, "God said, "Let there be light," and there was light." Easy for him to say but what are the rest of us supposed to do? 

Enter LuminAid, a solar-powered, waterproof, inflatable light created by college students Anna Stork and Andrea Sreshta as a disaster relief solution in response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.  After graduating, they launched a wildly successful Indiegogo campaign, which raised 5 times their original goal of $10,000! 

The lights pack flat so you can ship 50 LuminAID lights in the same space it would take for 8 conventional flashlights, making it a great addition to disaster relief packages.

So what if you live in a city where electricity is plentiful? Well, how about supplementing your earthquake preparedness kit (or whatever kind of kit you have if you don't live in California)? You can also take it on your next camping trip!

Here's the best part. LuminAID has a "Give Light, Get Light" program. You can buy a light for yourself, donate a light or get a discount when you do both. As they explain on their website, "we partner with NGOs and non-profits all over the world to distribute LuminAID Lights to individuals who will greatly benefit from a safe, rechargeable light source." 

They've been profiled by many different news sources and you can watch those videos here or you can read the origin story in Anna's own words on the Huffington Post. There's also a Facebook page.

I just ordered a light for myself and one for the Pencils of Promise program in Ghana. When it arrives, I'll be ready for a power outage or perhaps a trip to Yosemite!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Feel Good Friday - National Women's Council of Ireland

With March being women's history month and St. Patrick's Day around the corner I wanted to check out what's going on with my Irish sisters this Feel Good Friday. Turns out, these are some very busy ladies!

The National Women's Council of Ireland has been around since 1973. Their mission, as stated on their website, is "to lead and to be a catalyst for change in the achievement of equality between women and men.

They work with women in the areas of leadership, health care, economic independence, care and care work, reaching out to young people and building the women's movement. This can include increasing women's participation in politics, the media and the boardroom, fighting for reproductive rights and equal pay and empowering young people. Whew!

On International Women's Day (March 8th) they set up a pop up Soap Box in Dublin so women could have a public forum to speak their minds. From the photos on Twitter it looks like it was a well attended, successful event.

Anyone in Ireland who's reading this blog can get very actively involved with the group. The rest of us can follow the news on their Facebook page.

Now that you know what's going on...  Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Feel Good Friday - ChopChop Magazine

It's Feel Good Friday! Who's hungry besides me?

Before you go out and order a burger with pink slime or a sandwich with bread made from yoga mats,  let me introduce you to ChopChop Magazine.

The quarterly magazine (published in both English and Spanish) promotes the mission of ChopChop Kids, "an innovative non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and teach kids to cook real food with their families." As they continue to explain on their website, "we believe that cooking and eating together as a family is a vital step in resolving the obesity and hunger epidemics."

The magazine "is filled with nutritious, great-tasting, ethnically diverse, and inexpensive recipes. It also has fun food facts, games and puzzles, and interviews with healthy heroes ranging from kid chefs to professional athletes to the White House Chefs."

Great if you have kids or the attention span of a kid when trying to follow a recipe! I'm no French chef but am convinced even I can make these dishes.

While ChopChop is distributed at public schools, children's hospitals and health centers, you can also subscribe or read their content online.

To learn more about Sally Sampson and the creation of ChopChop three years ago, you can click this link to an article about people making a difference.

To stay aware of the latest awards, recipes and news, like their Facebook page. Yum!