May 2008 Posts

Girls Rock! (And so does the Nike Foundation)

This weekend the Nike Foundation, in partnership with the Novo Foundation, launched a powerful campaign aimed at increasing awareness of the power of investing in girls in developing countries: The Girl Effect. We are pleased to be supporting the “take action” part of this effort. I could write a long post, but this video makes the point exceptionally clearly:


Love Baseball / Hate Cancer

At this point, it’s not really a secret that I love baseball and have a slight bias towards the Red Sox – let’s be honest.

Monday night, starting lefty pitcher, Jon Lester, threw a No Hitter for the Red Sox in Fenway Park against the Kansas City Royals.

By now you have probably heard (even if you’re not a Red Sox fan) that less than 2 years ago, Lester was disgnosed with a rare form of non-Hodgkins lymphoma, missing the end of the 2006 season.

In December 2007, it was announced that Lester appeared to be in remission, and he returned to the Red Sox in July 2007, and successfully pitched Game 4 of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies. And now a No Hitter.  And he’s only 24 years old.

Lester’s fairytale night reminds me why I love baseball. It’s a game of cameraderie; a true example of a team sport. Would there have been a No-No without Jacoby Ellsbury’s diving catch in the 4th? Would it have happened without Jason Varitek behind the plate? Curt Schilling certainly doesn’t think so.

No Hitters aren’t the result of one play. Rather, they are an epic build up of 9 innings, at least 27 batters and at least 9 other guys who have got your back. There’s no other equivalent.

Maybe except for Curling, according to my friend, Molly (“Have you ever seen them go with the broom?”).

Curling aside, that’s why I listen to 162 games – you never know when something like this will happen, or when it will happen again. Jon Lester has a great story – one which has been done greater justice by many more entrenched than me.

Still, the story reminds me of how fulfilling it can be to be a part of something bigger than yourself. Who is your team? Who is your support group? Who do you owe your successes to? But more importantly, who do you root for? Whose team are you a part of? Whose successes can you celebrate?

What do you champion?

Congratulations to Jon Lester and here’s to everyone who is fighting or has fought cancer.

Update from Myanmar

An update from friends on the ground in Myanmar tell us that the situation continues to be dire and that every bit of help that we can muster will save lives.

“The skies have turned anthracite grey this afternoon in Yangon – an ominous sign that heavy rains are on their way in a few minutes. Winds are pushing the temporary plastic windows up against the back of my chair as I write. On my desk are photographs taken earlier this week of families in the Irrawaddy Delta huddled under a fallen tree during a downpour. These are dark days in Myanmar.

The magnitude of the crisis here is almost unimaginable. The latest realistic estimates are that over 100,000 people have died and about 2 million people are affected. It’s hard to get one’s head around this. We’ve had our staff out in the affected areas for over thirteen days now. They come back and forth with so many tragic stories. Whole families drowned. Sole survivors of an entire village. People with broken hips and major injuries with no one to care for them. Houses obliterated by 120mph winds. Countless swollen dead bodies floating in the small creeks and rivers that crisscross the Delta. Skin sandblasted raw from the wind. Families stripped of all of their possessions by the cyclone. Suicidal survivors. Traumatized children.

Almost two weeks after the cyclone tore through the Delta, thousands of families are now lined up along the high ground of rural roads with nothing to eat and virtually no shelter. Hundreds and hundreds of devastated but accessible villages have still not received one ounce of assistance. A massive public health crisis is emerging as people who are weak, traumatized, malnourished and often injured have no shelter or food. Children and elderly people with diarrhea are wasting away. The amount of aid reaching victims in just a trickle compared to the millions of people in desperate need.

Margaret, we are grateful for all of the funds Global Giving is able to raise. Support is badly needed for this relief stage and also for the recovery stage over the next 125 days. We can assure contributers that their assistance is really getting to people in need, right now, every day.”

Emergency Help for Myanmar Cyclone Victims

Emergency Aid for Chinese Earthquake Victims

To follow up on Stephanie’s post, we have been working closely with our partner organizations to establish projects to help victims of the earthquake in China. Latest news reports suggest that the death toll could reach 15,000.

We have two projects on GlobalGiving that will provide immediate assistance to those affected. We’ve partnered with Half the Sky to provide emergency shelter, food, and medical care for children orphaned or separated from their families, also temporary or long-term foster care or, if needed, temporary institutional care.

We’ve also partnered with Mercy Corps to support their response through their local partner organizations in China to provide emergency support and assistance.

Only connect: Mother’s Farm

Sometimes a donor comment on a project will make me smile. More rarely, a donor comment makes me want to read it out loud to anyone who will listen. And perhaps even more infrequently, a donor comment will make me come back to my dormant blog and restart the blogging engine. This is one such comment, on, appropriately enough, a project called Mother’s Farm in Sudan–here’s an excerpt:

I am glad that the ladies started with sorghum this year as conditons are very condusive to sorghum harvest … I am really proud of the way Ms. Fathima has been able to do the work necessary. Please continue this work to enable women to do better and educate them as well in agricultural practices. I for one am willing to help.

For more

E.M. Forster was right. Only connect.

Happy Mother’s Day!