April 29, 2009
Unite for Hunger and Hope Today!
I know I'm usually raising awareness about child abuse and advocating for sexual violence survivors. So, why do I think this is a good fit for me and my blog?
Well, I agree with this:
"Poverty is the worst form of violence."~ Gandhi
I also agree with this:
"We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, ... The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty." ~ Mother Teresa
Also, I consider malnutrition and poverty a global abuse of our planet's children. Poverty and hunger affect our planet's children in a profound way. Estimates vary, but an alarming estimate from Unicef says that 25,000 children die every day -- that's a child dying every 3.5 seconds! --from poverty, hunger and easily-preventable diseases.
Like Nelson Mandela, I believe that poverty is not natural. It is man-made. The good news is that we can also end poverty by man-made means. I know it seems like such an overwhelmingly vast problem. What can you and I do about it?
Well, one charity that I like a lot is Heifer International. For almost 60 years, Heifer has been helping people all over the world obtain sustainable sources of food and income. Heifer helps build sustainable communities and puts impoverished people on the road to self-reliance by teaching animal management and environmentally sound agriculture techniques.
So where do you and I come in? Well, for the past three years at Christmas/holiday time, my family has been giving the gift of Heifer animals in honor of our friends and family and our son's school teachers. These folks love "receiving" this kind of gift and many of them have started this tradition for their own friends and family.
For as little as $20 you can send a flock of chicks who will grow into hens who can each lay up to 200 protein-rich eggs a year. For $120, you can give the gift of a goat. A good dairy goat can provide up to a ton of milk in a year! Okay, so let's say you don't eat meat, eggs or milk and you don't want to encourage that. Well, for only $30, you can help a family learn how to keep bees. You can help a struggling family earn income from the sale of honey, beeswax and pollen. Since bees pollinate fruit and vegetable crops, a beehive can be a boost to an entire village.
"The one message that we are trying to promote all the time, that poverty in the world is an artificial creation. It doesn't belong to human civilization, and we can change that..." ~ Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate (2006)
One of the things that gift-givers like about Heifer International is that they provide a hand-up, rather than just a hand-out. I like that, too. I'm glad to be a supporter of Heifer and I'm glad that Bloggers Unite is highlighting their efforts as we unite for Hunger and Hope.
"True compassion is more than throwing a coin to a beggar. It demands of our humanity that if we live in a society that produces beggars, we are morally commanded to restructure that society." ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
April 24, 2009
Child Abuse Prevention Month: Some Good News
Through my therapy and healing journey, I've learned how to keep healthy grief from turning into despair. One of the ways we can do that is by answering the question: "What can I do?" Another way to avoid despair is to look at the good news and the victories in child protection.
Connect for Kids has a wonderful article reprinted on their website that highlights the Top Youth Activism Victories of 2008.
I found the highlights list inspiring. Here are some victory examples:
- A farm labor coalition that's working to end involuntary servitude (slavery) and improve wages and conditions for pickers
- An acknowledgment of disappearing, traditional blue-collar labor and creation of green collar jobs; equipping young workers with the skills to work in renewable energy industries
- Student-led solutions: Students keep their peers in school and combat high school dropout rates
It's a relief and an inspiration to learn what others are doing to improve the lives of children. But, what can we do to prevent child abuse? Here are some tips from a couple of my favorite "ways to prevent abuse" lists.
From Prevent Child Abuse America:
- Anything you do to support kids and parents can help reduce the stress that often leads to abuse and neglect.
- Be a friend to a parent you know. Ask how their children are doing. Draw on your own experiences to provide reassurance and support. If a parent seems to be struggling, offer to baby-sit or run errands, or just lend a friendly ear. Show you understand.
- Be a friend to a child you know. Remember their names. Smile when you talk with them. Ask them about their day at school. Send them a card in the mail. Show you care.
- Talk to your neighbors about looking out for one another's children. Encourage a supportive spirit among parents in your apartment building or on your block. Show that you are involved.
- Give your used clothing, furniture and toys for use by another family. This can help relieve the stress of financial burdens that parents sometimes take out on their kids.
- Volunteer your time and money for programs in your community that support children and families, like parent support groups or day care centers.
- Learn the facts
- Minimize opportunity
- Talk about it
- Stay alert
- Make a plan
- Act on suspicions
- Get involved
I'll leave you with a video from the Child Welfare Information Gateway, which has a lot of information on Child Abuse Prevention Month.
Be informed. Get involved.
April 21, 2009
They Kept Me From the Pain
When I put up all those advocacy posts, it makes me feel somewhat better. But, it doesn't mean it's "business as usual" and I'm feeling fine.
Hardly slept at all last night. It's been several days in a row not sleeping well. Today, after an "extra" T session yesterday, I'm exhausted and can't seem to stop crying. I'd better pull myself together because I've promised to babysit my little toddler neighbor and take her to the park this afternoon. Hope that helps me feel better--just pray I have the energy. Safe hugs to all other survivors out there who are hurting.
April 19, 2009
Stop the Silence of Child Sexual Abuse
Here's a video about the event:
Now, I'm no runner. And--as much as I'd love to see those cherry blossoms this time of year-- I just couldn't get out to D.C. to go to this rally in person (I hope to some day). But, I'm raising awareness here, at the Child Abuse Survivor ning network and on Twitter. And there's still more that you can do TODAY for this event as well.
First off, check out StopCSA's website to learn more about the cause: As Stop CSA says, It's everyone's problem. For instance, did you know?
- 73 percent of prostitutes were sexually abused before the age of 16;
- 83 percent of convicted killers (men and women) were physically and emotionally abused as children, and 32.2 percent were sexually abused;
- 60 percent of teenage mothers were sexually abused as children;
- 43 percent of runaways are sexually abused
Here are some more links, stats, and photos and ways to get involved at the StopCSA site:
- For stats and info on mental health-related problems, substance abuse issues and prevalence in the general population click the "The Cause: Child Sexual Abuse" page.
- If you are a survivor of CSA and you want to tell some of your story and share your photo on their web site, please check out StopCSA's "A Call to Action to Survivors" page.
- If you'd like to read an example of what one survivor had to share, go to the "A Survivor Speaks Out" page.
- If you'd like to view a beautiful slide show of survivors click here.
- Click here: to make a secure donation through Paypal.
- If you'd rather make a purchase with proceeds going to StopCSA, visit the online mall here.
Please Note: Rainbow from Haunted House and Child Person from the South have already put up blog posts to Stop the Silence. If you post about it, let me know and I'll link to your blog post, too!
Update: Here are a couple more brave bloggers who submitted posts to Stop the Silence: Mom Writes for a Cause and The Filipina Mom in Denmark. Thanks for your contributions!
If child sexual abuse is everyone's problem, then everyone can also be part of the solution!
April 17, 2009
33 for 23: Yeah!
Yeeehaaa! We have 33 entry posts in this carnival edition! I think that sets a record for largest carnival edition yet. So, we have 33 for 23--or 33 posts for our 23rd edition--hence the name of this post's headline (ain't I clever?) Thanks to everyone who submitted articles to participate in this record-setting edition.
The theme that Mike set for this edition is Spring, rebirth and renewal. Five of the posts listed are specifically under this theme, I'm happy to see. I'm also excited to be reading 12 posts that came in under the Advocacy and Awareness category. That's timely, as April is officially Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month. What a great bunch of advocates and activists we are! I'm proud of our community!
Please go over to Mike's blog and take a look at these fine carnival posts. Use the links, read the articles and leave supportive comments, won't you? I'm heading back over there, now.
April 16, 2009
It's Blog Reader Appreciation Day!
The day was started one year ago by Robin Reagler who writes the blog The OTHER Mother. I've just started enjoying to get to know Robin through Bloggers Unite and Twitter.
On this day, I want to play a meme I got tagged with by Enola, who was so sweet to point attention to my post about Free The Slaves Day (also a Bloggers Unite event).
This meme is one of those that is actually an award--The I Love Ya Award. I love ya, too, Enola. And I hope you are healing quickly from your recent kidney stone operation. Ouch! Feel better!
“These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award."
So on this day--Blog Reader Appreciation Day--I not only want to thank ALL my readers, but I especially want to thank the following friends and supporters for leaving comments and hugs and just being the types of bloggy friends who always seem to be there for me:
- I don't think Marcella at Abyss2Hope has a #1 aim of finding friends. But she is definitely not interested in self-aggrandizement--she's too busy making advocacy for rape and sexual assault survivors her big priority. But I just met Marcella IRL and so enjoyed it! I now consider her a bloggy friend AND and IRL friend!
- I met Buffalopine through Twitter. She is such an inspiration! She is also very free with her kind words of support, especially through her thoughtful e-mails and Tweets. I'm glad I'm getting to know this new friend!
- Check out Catatonic Kid's blog. She is a writer extraordinaire! I can hardly believe the lyrical quality of her writing sometimes. She's also an excellent human being. I can't remember who's blog I found her on, but she's another one I'm really enjoying getting to know better through blogging AND Twitter.
- Not only is Mike, from Child Abuse Survivor, not self-aggrandizing, he is a true friend to survivors. He is hosting the Blog Carnival Against Child Abuse for the second time, tomorrow. He's also started the Child Abuse Survivor ning Network (see link below). He's a true friend that can always be counted upon.
- Mile 191 at Come Into My Closet is on a little bloggy break right now. I can see why she needs the rest. She runs a "blog carnival" on her blog just about every week. I've never seen any blogger who is so tireless at their willingness to support and promote other blogs. If you like "linky love," check out her blog!
- I'm glad I've gotten to know Grace, of Grace Uncensored, through The Child Abuse Survivor ning Network. She is also taking a bit of a bloggy break, but I get lots of supportive and friendly advice from her over at Polyvore, where we are part of an Adult Survivors group doing healing collage as art therapy.
- Rainbow, over at Haunted House, is another new bloggy friend of mine. I really enjoyed getting to know her through her event: Child Abuse Awareness Day over at Bloggers Unite. She's supporting the event I'm plugging over there, too: The Run and Rally to Stop the Silence of Child Sexual Abuse.
- Just Be Real started visiting my blog recently, then I started to see her over at the Child Abuse Survivor ning site. She often leaves comments on my blog that include the words "bless you" or "blessings." You know, she's the type of person who, when she offers these kinds words, really does make me feel blessed! Thanks, Just Be Real!
- I'm only supposed to pick eight, and this blogger has already been tagged by this meme, but I just have to include Tamara at Desire to Heal. She was quite supportive and kind to me over at the CAS ning recently when I was really struggling with the Easter holiday. I love ya, Tamara!
April 13, 2009
Don't Miss the April Blog Carnival!
As he says, "I’d like to focus this carnival on the theme of rebirth/renewal. Whether you choose to view that as the renewal of nature that comes from Springtime, through the religious point of view of Easter, or as simply as a chance for Spring cleaning, if you are thinking of renewal as a Survivor this Spring, please take the time to submit a blog post to this edition of the carnival." Sounds great, Mike!
So, get those submissions in now. You can use this submission form link here. Just be sure to scroll down on the page--it looks blank on the top. The deadline is midnight Wednesday, April 15. Let's do what we did last month: If you've already submitted an article to the carnival, just let me know with a comment here. That way, I won't be coming around and bugging you for your submission. Thanks! Our carnival will post on Friday, April 17. Hope to see you all there!
April 06, 2009
Oh, The Discomfort of Child Abuse!
But, I got tagged by Enola with a meme that I really want to play. And I just realized today that, not only is April Child Abuse Prevention Month (already knew that), but it is also National Poetry Month.
I've been doing some research and Internet searches, and I've decided that I'm going to commit several posts this month to Child Abuse Prevention Awareness. I hope to include a lot of educational and informative links here. I also committed over at Bloggers Unite to be involved this month through blogging.
So, I'm going to start off with a poem I just wrote, to commemorate both April events.
with the abuse
maybe it will go away.
In how much discomfort
do you suppose
the little, unplanned premie
who fought her way
to five pounds
only to have
of her bones
in her tiny body?
In our discomfort
and fear of taking stands,
no one spoke for her.
How long will you remain
with your discomfort?
Copyright 2009, Marj McCabe ~ All Rights Reserved