We All Have Dreams: What Are Yours?

by Chrysula on March 15, 2012 in dreaming,empowering women and girls,mothering

For International Women’s Day, a group of bloggers gathered in a G+ hangout to talk with Niger’s Country Director for the WFP, Denise Brown. Our amazing partners at ONE.org made it all happen. We listened intently, asked some questions and mostly tried to learn. The conversation was both sobering and inspiring.

Denise created a virtual picture for us of her life in Niger. She talked about the double blows of malnutrition and malaria, the one making the other infinitely worse. She talked about the struggles and the heat and the dust. And about her son’s two bouts of malaria. She talked about her work in the villages and what she sees every day. Mostly she talked about the incredible women of Africa.

When we think about our sisters in the developing world, it’s easy to think of them as dependent victims, who we need to swoop in and save. Well guess what? We can’t. But here’s what we can do — we can help get them the tools they need to save themselves.

In an article titled, “Women in the Developing World Also Have Dreams”, Ms Brown writes,

“Women in developing countries like Niger are all too often portrayed as fragile, dependent victims. On the one day of the year when we can celebrate their lives, let’s think of them differently, as resilient, dignified and knowledgeable women building a better life for themselves and their children.” Denise Brown

I love that. Dignified, resilient, knowledgeable. In my limited experience that is exactly right. Sounds like a lot of women I know and love. How about you? What are you dreams?

Learn more about the ONE.org campaign and their take action kit here. Learn more about Denise and her work in Niger in this VIDEO.

Vanessa

author of BlogFrog Blog —

Vanessa

What a fantastic quote by Denise! I love how she asks us to reframe the way we think of women around the world and in developing countries.

Marinka

author of Motherhood in NYC —

Marinka

Sometimes I think that it’s so hard to help, to reach across, to share that we do too little. Or we are afraid of saying/doing/thinking the “wrong” thing.  I also think that as long as we are respectful and focus on the strengths of those that we want to reach, we’ll be okay.  Especially if we remember our own shortcomings.

For me, my dreams are that women will one consider healthcare to be a birth right.  Abroad, yes, but also in the United States.

+ Show Full Response

Chrysula

author of When You Wake Up A Mother

Chrysula

Denise sent me to the article in response to a question from me about this exact thing – cultural sensitivity whilst wanting to help. Her point to be focused on what I can learn from others changes the whole dynamic – who is helping who? So then the reframe for me becomes not about “helping” but about “supporting”. It’s very different to me and takes victimhood out of it.

Marinka's profile picture
Marinka said …
as long as we are respectful and focus on the strengths of those that we want to reach, we’ll be okay.

I am so with you on that dream. A right, not a privilege.

+ Show Full Response

Tiany

author of Social Savvy Mom

Tiany

This is exactly what I experienced on my trip to Guatemala, the women were strong, they worked with their hands to do the best they could for their families. They were most definitely resilient, they were also beautiful inside and out. These women were joyful in spite of their circumstances. Love this!

Chrysula's profile picture
Chrysula said …
I love that. Dignified, resilient, knowledgeable. In my limited experience that is exactly right. Sounds like a lot of women I know and love. How about you? What are you dreams?

+ Show Full Response

Welcome to to When You Wake Up A Mother. We’d love to see you again. Please subscribe via email or RSS. Or follow on Twitter or Facebook. What will you do today to wake up the world? We invite you to share your thoughts, your action and your heart right here.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: