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Category: ONE

  1. Friday, May 8, 2015

    Why I Am Going to Malawi

    why I am going to malawi

    When I started college, I chose International Relations as a major, with a focus on developing countries and women’s studies. I stuck with that major right up until graduation and wrote my undergrad thesis about the challenges of creating and enforcing international women’s rights laws. I was very passionate about the issues that I studied and had visions of, well, I’m not entirely sure what my visions were, but I know they involved helping people. From the time I was a child, I was acutely aware of how fortunate I was to be born in the time and place that I was. And I was also always very concerned about those who were less fortunate.

    Surprising myself more than anyone I got married in college (what?!) and we ended up moving to San Diego, where (as a liberal arts major who could write) I started working in the communications department for a wireless company. My work pretty much had nothing to do with what I studied, but I was still interested in those issues and have remained so all these years. And, honestly, my life evolved in a beautiful and wonderful way, through graphic design and blogging and motherhood, bringing me to where I am today

    Three years ago I met Jeannine Harvey from ONE at the Mom 2.0 Summit. We instantly connected on about 500 different levels and have stayed in touch and worked together ever since. Talking with Jeannine about ONE’s goals reinvigorated my interest and concern for the developing world. It has been rewarding to work with ONE over the years, using my platform to inform others about the issues facing our world and specifically developing regions like Africa.

    I can’t even tell you how excited and fortunate I feel to be able to join ONE and Heifer International on this journey to Malawi. For the first time I will visit the continent that I have spent countless hours studying and writing about. I will get the chance to meet and connect with the people of Malawi, a country known as the “Warm Heart of Africa,” and see how foreign aid has and will continue to benefit their communities and families. And then I get to write about it, share what I learn with you, help spread the word to further garner support for programs that are helping people in meaningful ways.

    My dad asked me this week why I’m going to Malawi. “So, you’re going to change the world, huh?” he said. I laughed and said, “Of course!” Seriously, though, I am under no illusions that my visit is going to change the world. I am just one person, but I am one person who can tell other people what I see and learn, and together we can change the world. I really, truly believe we can.

    On my flight from San Diego to Washington, D.C. today I spent about 4 hours reading briefing materials for the trip. At one point while I was reading the information about Heifer International I was overwhelmed with emotion. I literally started crying, which I promptly tried to cover up so that the StitchFix stylist and her husband didn’t see the tears streaming down my face. Just when I thought I had it under control, the tears returned. While I was feeling overwhelmed by the sheer vastness and complexity of the problems at hand, that wasn’t what brought the tears to my eyes. I was crying because I felt overwhelmed at the goodness of humans. Organizations like Heifer as well as governments like that of the U.S. are doing truly transformative work to help others who are less fortunate, others who could not improve their world without help. People devote their lives to these causes and do make a difference. It’s inspiring and beautiful.

    I think it’s easy to sometimes feel like the problems are too big, so, why bother? But the fact is we are all connected in this world, more so than we ever have been before, and it is our duty as humans to help one another. I cried on the plane because, despite so much that is wrong with our world, the desire to help one another burns in enough hearts to be a powerful force. People are living up to their duty of helping others and it is changing the world. I feel honored to be just one small part of that change.

    In preparation for my trip I stopped at RoadRunner Sports to get some socks. (They have great socks.) The man helping me asked where I was going to be traveling and when I told him Africa, his hand flew to his chest and he was physically overcome with happiness. He said, “Oh! Africa! It is my heart!” I learned that he was from Liberia and he was, quite simply, joyful about my trip. It was amazing to me how one small interaction communicated so much.

    I look forward to more small interactions with all kinds of wonderful people over the next week. I look forward to connecting with individuals, hearing their stories, and then sharing them with you. And I look forward to bringing home Africa in my heart.

    I’m traveling to Malawi as an expense-paid guest of The ONE Campaign (www.one.org) and Heifer International (www.heifer.org). We are visiting to see the economic progress””and the lives changed””made possible by US funded programs and Heifer International’s donor-supported programs.

    ONE is a campaigning and advocacy organization of more than 6 million people taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa. Not politically partisan, ONE raises public awareness and presses political leaders to combat AIDS and preventable diseases, increase investments in agriculture and nutrition, and demand greater transparency in poverty-fighting programs. ONE is not a grant-making organization and does not solicit funding from the public or receive government funding.

    Heifer International’s mission is to end hunger and poverty while caring for the Earth. For more than 70 years, Heifer International has provided livestock and environmentally sound agricultural training to improve the lives of those who struggle daily for reliable sources of food and income. Heifer is currently working in more than 30 countries, including the United States, to help families and communities become more self-reliant.


  2. Thursday, April 16, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday, Everyone! I have three fun food links for you today but, before we get to those, I have some super cool news!

    one and heifer international trip to malawi

    Back in the day I was an International Relations and Women’s Studies major at Boston University. My focus was women and developing countries and my undergrad thesis looked at the complications of creating and enforcing international women’s rights laws. After graduation we moved to San Diego and I started working in PR and life took a different direction from what I studied in college, a wonderful direction that has brought me to where I am today. But all of those issues I studied and cared about so many years ago have remained close to my heart. A few years ago I connected with ONE at Mom 2.0. Every since I have absolutely loved working with ONE and using my blog as a platform to support their efforts.

    malawai | photo credit mom it forwardPhoto credit: Matthew Feldman, Research Associate for IVAC via Mom It Forward

    To complete the circle, or, more accurately, enlarge the circle, in just a few weeks I will be traveling to Malawi with ONE, Heifer International and 7 other amazing women writers (Ana, Ellen, Heather, Karen, Meredith, Rachel and Wendi). As I’ve been reading about this small and beautiful African country and learning about the specific issues that the Malawian people face, I’ve felt overwhelmed with excitement, gratitude and just overall “feelings.” I cannot WAIT to get on a plane May 8 and head south of the equator!

    For food links, here’s what I’ve got this week!

    Your turn for show and tell! Share whatever you like, from accomplishments in your daily life to blog posts to great links on the Internet. Anything goes!


  3. Thursday, March 12, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell: So Much to Show, So Much to Tell!

    I have THREE things to share today, all of them packed to the gill with great stuff.

    First, ONE just launched their “Poverty is Sexist” campaign and I am so happy to help spread the word! ONE shared a blog post to kick things off and there is also a petition you can sign that calls on world leaders to put girls and women at the heart of the development agenda. They are over halfway to their goal for signatures, let’s help get the 100,000!

    Sign ONE's "Poverty is Sexist" petition to world leaders #povertyissexist

    ONE created a full report for this campaign, with great information and policy recommendations.  Coming out around the same time, the Clinton Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation released their report on the status of women and girls in the world. Both reports are fascinating, somewhat depressing and simultaneously inspiring. We still have a long way to go, but we’ve come so far there is oodles of hope to tap into.

    Second thing to share today: I got to talk to Tituss Burgess on the phone yesterday! Okay, so it was a conference call and there were other reporters on the call, but I still had the opportunity to gush and profess my love to Tituss, so it’s all good. If you don’t know who Tituss Burgess is, that means you aren’t watching Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. And, if that is the case, you need to remedy the situation immediately! Nate and I are loving the show and are almost done with the first season. Kimmy is a lot like 30 Rock (similar sense of humor, same quirky music, etc), only the characters are completely lovable, which in my opinion makes this show even better than 30 Rock.

    interview with tituss burgess from unbreakable kimmy schmidt by @janemaynardPhoto credit: Netflix

     Tituss the actor who plays Titus the character was darling on the call and I want to adopt him. He talked about what it’s like being on a show that people can binge watch (i.e. it’s strange working for months and months on something that someone can watch in 1 day), that he loves the social commentary woven into the show and that that is where really great comedy is born, and that he is nothing like Titus the character (Tituss the actor is an introvert who HATES attention). Tituss also said that House of Cards is his obsession and that whenever a new season comes out he just orders take out for a few days to power through the episodes. The only reason Nate and I haven’t gotten to House of Cards ourselves is because we’ve been too busy watching Kimmy!

    The third thing I want to share today is my weekly list of food links! 

    On Babble I did my monthly 3 Kids, a Mom & a Kitchen post. The kids and I made Cranberry-Orange Irish Soda Bread Buns and they were AWESOME. Cate said she wants me to serve them at her next birthday party. Definitely check the recipe out! It was also a great cooking project to do with the kids.

    recipe for cranberry orange irish soda bread buns from @janemaynard

    For Parade’s Community Table I had 2 posts this week!

    That’s it! PHEW! Some weeks I have nothing to share, other weeks I’m bubbling over! As usual, everyone gets a turn at Show and Tell! Share your own blog posts/finds/random-whatevers-you-want-to-share, tell us if you’re loving Kimmy Schmidt as much as I am, or let us know if you signed ONE’s petition to support women and girls!


  4. Thursday, February 26, 2015

    Friday Show and Tell + ONE AYA Summit

    Happy Friday! I have a TON of great food links for you today, but before we get to that I wanted to talk about something dear to my heart. Last October I had the chance to attend ONE’s AYA Summit in Washington, D.C. I have yet to write a post about the conference because there is just too much I want to share. I’m planning to do a series of recipes posts to tell the stories, but until then…

    ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured: Ginny Wolfe (ONE), Patricia Amira (The Oprah of Africa…she was AWESOME.)

    Video from the AYA Summit has been posted on Flipbook. Click here to see the videos (you’ll need to set up a Flipbook account – it’s worth it!). I don’t even know where to tell you to start, but all of it is fascinating/informative/inspiring – that I can promise!

    One of the women we heard from, Marquesha Babers, wrote a post for the ONE website. Please read it. Marquesha is an amazing young woman I was blessed to meet at the summit.

    Girl Rising Panel at the ONE AYA Summit from @janemaynardPictured, left to right: Holly Gordon (Girl Rising), Patricia Amira, Danai Gurira (Playwright and, yes, Michonne on The Walking Dead), Marquesha Babers (Poet)

    If you want to DO something right now to support ONE, click here! One of the reasons I love ONE so much is that they aren’t asking for our money, they are asking for our voice. Right now you can send a letter to your congresspeople urging them to reintroduce the Electrify Africa bill. It’s super easy and will make a difference.

    Okay, on to some delicious food!

    deconstructed chicken club from @janemaynard

    This week on Babble I shared a recipe for a Deconstructed Chicken Club. I’m finding that deconstructing foods is one of the best ways to get my kids to eat it!

    On Parade’s Community Table I have 2 posts this week!

    fast and healthy snacks for nursing moms from @janemaynard

    And, lastly, if you’re pregnant or have just had a baby, be sure to visit the Solly Baby Blog to get ideas for Healthy, EASY Snacks for Nursing Moms.

    Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff!


  5. Friday, November 1, 2013

    Friday Show and Tell

    Happy Friday! Hope you are all recovering from any sugar-induced Halloween comas!

    I think it’s safe to say we have officially entered the holiday season. Before things get too crazy and the giving season is in full swing, I wanted to share two meaningful ways you could give back and help out some folks in need.

    anna with mandy | thisweekfordinner.com

    First, a story close to home. This past spring Anna’s wonderful preschool teacher Mandy gave birth to her first baby. She and her young husband were so blessed to be given this miracle baby – at just 23, Mandy was a cancer survivor and they thought they may never have children. Everyone was ecstatic for this beautiful young family with their baby’s safe arrival! Then, just weeks after the baby was born, they discovered that Mandy’s husband Ryan had a rare and aggressive form of cancer. They are both in their 20s and it breaks my heart whenever I think about what they are going through. Their faith and positivity have been truly inspiring as I’ve read their Facebook updates, but they are definitely going through some difficult times right now. I wanted to share a link to a fundraising page for their family, in case you have even $5 to share with them. I rarely write about or share these types of links because, well, I could share them all day every day, there are so many wonderful people out there who need support. But this story, well, it’s been on my mind a lot.

    one and heifer international partnership | thisweekfordinner.com

    Moving on, I love partnering up with ONE, Bono’s non-profit campaigning and advocacy organization that aims to end extreme poverty and preventable disease. ONE is not a fundraising organization but instead achieves change through advocacy. I think they’re awesome and love the people I’ve worked with on their team. They just announced a new partnership with Heifer International which is really exciting. To find out more about the partnership and what Heifer does, click here! Plus, you can buy a goat. I know you’ve always wanted to buy a goat and that day has arrived, my friends.

    Looking forward to seeing what you all have to share this week! Have a great weekend!


  6. Thursday, February 21, 2013

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos {Sweet Potato Day with ONE}

    Before we get into the heart of today’s post, I need to whet your appetite. You do not want to miss today’s recipe. It comes from my sister-in-law Cora and is amazing. Appetite whetted? Good.

    Way back in the day, I was an International Relations major at Boston University, with a focus on developing countries. When I met the folks at ONE about a year ago, I was super excited to get involved and help support their work, especially since one of their main focuses is world hunger. My food blogging and international relations lives were coming together in a very cool way. The folks at ONE have been amazing to work with, too. Win, win, win!

    Today is Sweet Potato Day, a special day coordinated with ONE where a big group of loving, talented bloggers are all writing about sweet potatoes to raise awareness on the issue of hunger. Why the sweet potato, you ask? We are trying to make the sweet potato famous! It is nutritional and hearty and is saving lives in Africa, making it a worthy mascot for the cause! (Click here to read the Sweet Potato Day kick-off post I wrote for the ONE website.)

    As part of the big day, I am sharing a keeper of a recipe with you below. It is so so so so good. These Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos come from my culinarily-talented sister-in-law, Cora. The first night she made them, she called me simply to tell me how delicious her dinner was. I knew I would have to make it myself pronto! Each element of this “recipe” is great on its own: the black beans are deliciously sweet, the sweet potatoes are simple and flavorful with a hint of spice, and the slaw is fresh and has bite. When you put them all together, you get something really special.

    To support Sweet Potato Day, I hope that you will visit ONE’s website and see how you can get involved. There are two main issues I would love for you to check out. First, the budget. You can learn more on the budget issue and send a letter to your Congressperson on this page. Second, food. ONE has oodles of great info on food and hunger on this page, where you can also sign a petition to encourage world leaders to make hunger and food a top priority. We really can make a difference. I am blessed with abundance and want to do my part to help share the love. I hope you’ll join me!

    Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • Roasted Sweet Potatoes (see recipe below)
    • Aunt Kathy's Black Beans (see recipe below)
    • Jalapeño Slaw (see recipe below)
    • Shredded cheese
    • Sour Cream
    • Flour tortillas
    Instructions
    1. Stuff all the good food above into your flour tortillas, eat, and enjoy!

    Roasted Sweet Potatoes
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
    • Olive oil
    • Salt
    • Pepper
    • Chili powder
    • Oregano
    • Cumin
    Instructions
    1. Spread cubed sweet potatoes on a large baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil over sweet potatoes evenly, to coat. Sprinkle sweet potatoes with salt, pepper, chili powder, oregano and cumin. Mix and move sweet potatoes around on the sheet to coat with spices. Roast in a 350 degree F oven while you prepare the beans. Cook until soft then remove from oven, 10-20 minutes.

    Aunt Kathy's Black Beans
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • 2 (16oz) cans black beans, mostly drained
    • ½ cup water
    • ⅔ cup olive oil
    • ⅛ cup vinegar
    • ⅓ cup sugar
    • 1 tsp pepper
    • 1 bay leaves
    • 2 T fresh, minced garlic
    • 2 tsp salt
    • ½ tsp cumin
    • 1 tsp oregano
    • ⅓ onion, chopped
    Instructions
    1. Sauté onions. Combine all ingredients, including sautéed onions, in a large saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 20 minutes.

    Jalapeño Slaw
     
    Author:
    Ingredients
    • ¼ cup lime juice
    • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
    • 2 teaspoons sugar
    • ¾ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt
    • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
    • 3 tablespoons olive oil
    • ½ cup chopped cilantro
    • 1 16-ounce package cabbage and carrot coleslaw
    • 1 jalapeño, sliced thin and chopped (add more if you want it hotter)
    Instructions
    1. Mix all the ingredients except the coleslaw together in a large bowl. Add coleslaw and toss to coat.

    Be sure to visit the other blogs taking part in Sweet Potato Day! I have listed them all below. There is a lot of love and deliciousness in these posts. You will be well fed.

    Sweet Potato & Black Bean Burritos from This Week for Dinner
    Truffle Sweet Potato Frites from Savory Sweet Life
    Sweet Potato & Chicken Sausage Stew from Chefdruck
    Honey Sweet Potato Biscuits from Food for My Family
    Sweet Potato Burgers from Cutie Booty Cakes
    What’s Gaby Cooking and Sweet Potato Day
    The MIssion List and Sweet Potato Day
    World Moms Blog and Sweet Potato Day
    Go Graham Go and Sweet Potato Day
    Cranberry Sweet Potato Crumb Cake from Barbara Bakes
    Bourbon and Marshmallow Sweet Potatoes from Boston Mamas
    Documama and Sweet Potato Day
    Sweet Potato Bread Pudding from Eat the Love
    Lamb Shanks with Sweet Potatoes and Sausage from Kitchen Gadget Girl
    Sweet Potato Love To Help End World Hunger from Love That Max
    Celebrating Sweet Potato Day with Mom Trends
    Sweet Potato Chili from Righteous Bacon
    Cooking Sweet Potatoes for Picky Eaters from Rookie Moms
    Sweet Potatoes and Global Health from Third Eye Mom
    Indian Spiced Sweet Potato Kielbasa ONE Skillet Bake from Tickled Red
    Sweet, Dude, Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash from Helen Jane
    Oh My Sweet Potato Apple Bake from Bowl Licker
    Sweet Potato and Peanut Gratin from Non-Reactive Pan
    Sweet Potato Fries from When You Wake Up a Mother  (also found on Million Moms Challenge)