Can Mummy Bloggers change the world?Posted by Haute Mama Heidi
Technically, according to our oh-so-carefully crafted schedule for Haute Blog, this is meant to be a Fashion Friday, which means we should be regaling you with the hottest style tips and trends for Haute Mamas. But we’ve found a cause worth interrupting our plans for, and infinitely more important than anything we might have to say about fashion.
Did you know that every year almost 9 million children under the age of five die around the world from preventable, poverty-related diseases like diarrhoea?
To my shame, I didn’t know that, which explains why Save the Children thinks it’s time to start an awareness-raising campaign aimed at changing that statistic. So at the start of September three of the UK’s best known Mummy Bloggers will be heading out to Bangladesh to witness first hand the work of Save the Children.
At the end of September Nick Clegg will be at the UN Summit in New York. Ten years ago world leaders set targets, called Millennium Development Goals, to reduce poverty, hunger and disease. At the moment these child health targets are way off track, and Save the Children hope that the mummy bloggers’ trip can help put pressure on leaders to make child mortality and maternal health a priority at the UN Summit.
Ready to flex their multimedia skills to campaign for change, the bloggers will be tweeting, creating video and photo galleries and writing about their experiences live and direct from Bangladesh.
How can you help?
Save the Children says: “We need your voice to make as much noise about this as possible. Follow our bloggers on their journey, read their reports, watch their videos and help us to re-tweet their story. And sign our petition. We’re aiming to collect 100,000 signatures. Ambitious? Yes – but with your help we know we can do it. We want future generations to be stunned to learn that children would die from diarrhoea, malaria or pneumonia. We want to be able to tell that that together, we stopped it.”
Josie, one of the three Mummy Bloggers, has posted this helpful piece for more info on the ways you can support the campaign.
Meet the Mummy Bloggers
Josie George’s blog sleepisfortheweak.org.uk is currently ranked No.1 in the Tots 100 Index of UK Parent Blogs. Josie, 28, began blogging when her son Kai, now 2, was approaching his first birthday after a difficult first year. Her blog now chronicles her many ups and downs as she tries to juggle life as a mother, creative writer and artist, using words and pictures to share her story. Josie also runs a popular weekly writing workshop for other bloggers and is the founder of ‘Judith’s Room’, a supportive online community for women writers, which has seen over 600 new members in its first six months of life.
Sian To, 38, is mum to four children, Ethan, 19, Sonny, 9, Biba, 8, and Betty 6 and has been writing her blog www.mummy-tips.com for 18 months. For the last ten years Sian has been running a specialist parenting PR company and in July this year organised the CyberMummy conference, the first event of its kind for bloggers in the UK.
Two years ago Eva Keogan started her blog when she found herself ‘credit crunched’. She is now a social media consultant and a lifestyle blogger writing about parenting and more, mainly focusing on her life and adventures as a single mum to Miniminx, 10, in London.
The Mummy Bloggers created the hashtag #bloggersforpakistan on Twitter and within hours it had reached 40,000 people. Josie says: “Suddenly there was a buzz which generated awareness. Imagine this ‘buzz’ as a Morse Code, or a cyber smoke signal, if you will – a spark of inspiration quickly ignites a flame of interest. We want to keep this flame burning bright.”
Confession time. I started this blog post with a smidgen of cynicism. These days the power of social media seems like a bandwagon that the blogosphere and all its mummies are jumping on, and I questioned what could really be accomplished by a trip like this. Would the plight of children in poor nations get lost in the hysteria surrounding how sexy we find Twitter? Can Mummy Bloggers really change the world? It’s too early to say — but as I sit here with a cold beer in hand, listening to the comforting chaos of my husband putting our two rosy-cheeked, blooming boys to bed, I can’t shake that statistic from my head. NINE MILLION children under the age of five die every year because of a preventable tummy upset. It’s all too easy to turn away from the horrors of the new these days, and to muffle our ears from the discomfiting facts of global poverty. But if the Mummy Bloggers’ trip succeeds in making us face uncomfortable facts, and encourages us to do something about them, then it’s surely a worthy cause. Can we change the world, one Tweet or blog post at a time?
Let’s hope like crazy that we can.