100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women

book-cover-100-Under-100- copyAs part of Mom Blogger’s for Social Good (a global coalition of over 3,000 mom bloggers), I have received an advance copy of the inspiring new book by Betsy Teutsch called “100 Under $100: One Hundred Tools for Empowering Global Women”, for review. All opinions below are my own take on the book. 

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” – Desmond Tutu

In the field of international development, it is a well-known fact that women are powerful agents of change and development, and it is only by empowering women and girls that the world will be lifted out of extreme poverty. Yet despite this easy assertion women and girls continue to be the most impoverished, most vulnerable and most neglected human beings in the world.

There are many reasons why women and girls continue to suffer the most. Cultural beliefs and norms, war and violence, poverty, lack of infrastructure and education continue to play a significant role in women’s empowerment and rights. However, despite some of these challenging, long-held beliefs, traditions and obstacles, there are proven, cost-effective ways to change the lives of billions of women and girls living in extreme poverty.

Two young girls pose for me during a visit to one of Delhi's many unauthorized slums.

Two young girls pose for me during a visit to one of Delhi’s many unauthorized slums. Despite their poverty, they were enrolled in a program sponsored by Save the Children to improve their lives.

Child Labor, Marriage, Education and Survival Food Security Global Health Global Issues Poverty SOCIAL GOOD Women and Girls

Protsahan: Giving hope to India’s children

There are moments in life when you are so deeply moved by what one person can do to make a difference in the world that it takes your breath away. This is how I felt when I met Sonal Kapoor, founder of Protsahan, a school for underprivileged girls in the heart of India. Not even thirty years old, Kapoor is already considered one of the most inspiring young social entrepreneurs in the world and after a visit to her beautiful school in the slums of Delhi, it is no doubt that she and her pupils will go far.

Sonal K-004

Many are aware of the huge inequities and poverty strangling India. Although India has seen rapid economic growth over the last decade, the gap between rich and poor has become even wider and more profound. As migrant families leave their villages in rural India and come to the big cities in search for a better life, the growth of urban slums, many in deplorable conditions, continues to grow at unmanageable rates. In just Delhi alone, there are thousands of them. (The slum population in India is estimated at 62 million people and around 1.7 million residing in Delhi alone. Source: The Hindu). As almost 75,000 migrants come to Delhi alone each year, many of them end up populating the already over-crowded urban slums that can be found all throughout the city, even alongside some of Delhi’s poshest neighborhoods. (Source: The Hindu). 


An all to frequent site within the Delhi slums: Garbage and the sacred cow.

Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises India Poverty SOCIAL GOOD TRAVEL BY REGION

Pratham India: Every child, learning well

Education is without doubt one of the key ways to lifting people out of poverty. In India, a country of over one billion people and an estimated 400 million living below the poverty line (World Bank 2010), education has become a matter of survival for the millions of children living in poverty in both rural and urban Indian.

Per the 2012 the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER): Learning levels have dipped to an all-time low. So, almost half the 6-7 year-olds (Class I) in India cannot read even one letter in any language, over 57% cannot read any English while almost 40% cannot recognize numbers between 1 and 9, the report said. Access to education is becoming a key problem and obstacle for many of India’s poor children.

Pratham is the largest NGO working in India to provide quality education to the country’s millions of underprivileged children. Pratham’s multi-pronged approach ensures the following four initiatives:

  1. Enrollment in schools increases.
  2. Learning in schools and communities increases.
  3. The education net reaches children who are unable to attend school.
  4. Models are replicated and scaled up to serve large numbers of children to achieve a large scale impact.

Source: Pratham

What is so great about Pratham is that they work with the government and view their programs as a supplement not a replacement for education to underprivileged kids. As resources become more and more stretched and more migrants are moving from their rural villages to the slums of urban India, there is a dire need for educational services and Pratham has worked hard at filling the gap. It is no surprise that Pratham’s model is “Every child in school and learning well”.

While we were in India, Jennifer James (Founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good) and I had a chance to visit one of Pratham’s many urban learning centers located in an East Delhi slum, where we witnessed firsthand the dire need of education and the techniques of learning that Pratham is applying to some of India’s poorest children.


Inside the classroom children are learning basic English schools.

Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises India SOCIAL GOOD TRAVEL BY REGION
Taj Mahal India

India Bound

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world”. -Mahatma Gandhi 


Building global connections both online and offline is the cornerstone of Mom Bloggers for Social Goodsays founder Jennifer James who heads up one of the world’s largest social good sites for moms who blog.

On Sunday, I am honored to be traveling to India along with Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good, to meet face to face with some of our partners as well as meet fellow Social Good Moms who live in India. Our time in India will be spent learning about the issues we cover: Maternal and newborn health, food and water poverty, sanitation issues, and education for women and girls.

It’s going to be an amazing time, full of lots of insight into the advocacy work we do as well as the culture, people and situation in India. I have visited India briefly in 2010 when I was en route to Nepal and found India to be one of the most dynamic places I’ve ever been. It will be truly fascinating to see India once again through a different set of eyes and mindset.  I will have my “third-eye” waiting and ready to capture and soak in as much knowledge as I can.

During our stay, I’ll be sharing my journey via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and of course on my blog.  I hope you follow along on this journey! It is bound to be eye-opening!

I would like to thank Sevenly for being a trip sponsor. They are an amazing organization. Check our their website here to learn more about the fabulous things they do.


It is a huge honor for me to be invited to go on this social good trip as I’m certain I will learn so much more about the work I’m so passionately advocating for.  I am so excited to share what I learn with you. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I don’t think we can see the world without learning about the issues each place we visit face. It is up to us to not only be a good tourist, but to be a good citizen and help change the world we live in to make it a better place for all. Thanks for your support!

To Follow Our Journey From May 20 – 24, 2013.  Hashtag: #SocialGoodMomsIndia

To learn more about Mom Blogger’s for Social Good, check out this interview recently published in Forbes about Jennifer’s work. “Mom Bloggers Build a Network for Activism and Change.” 

Stay tuned…


Moms advocate for safe water: Recap of World Water Day 2013

Last Friday, March 22 was World Water Day 2013, a powerful day of advocacy and awareness worldwide about the importance of safe water and sanitation. As part of the Global Team of 200, a group of social good mom bloggers from across the country who concentrate on women and girls, child hunger, and maternal health, I wrote my piece titled “Coming together for World Water Day“.


Photo credit: WaterAid

Jennifer James, founder of Mom Bloggers for Social Good and The Global Team of 200 wrote this piece today on the popular blog site Babble called “Mom Bloggers in the Importance of Water” which documents the work our volunteer team of social good mom bloggers did for World Water Day 2013. I was honored to read it and wanted to share it with you all.

Global Health Global Issues Global Non-Profit Organizations and Social Good Enterprises SOCIAL GOOD