Drink local Think global

Drink Local Think Global’s Co-Founder, Lauren Goodell is feeling right at home here in New Orleans and if there has ever been an organization that connects with the heart of New Orleans “Drink Local Think Global” belongs in the Big Easy.

Lauren

Drink Local Think Global was founded on a common passion for helping others…and craft beer. Lauren and three of her friends started the organization after deciding that they wanted to do something about the global water crisis that affects 663 million people worldwide. It all began with a single fundraiser in a local brewery where the goal was to raise enough to build one well. They quickly realized that getting people together for a drink, especially when it’s for a good cause, is easy and a great way to raise money. Now, they’ve just celebrated one year as an official nonprofit organization.

This journey has not been without its ups-and-downs. A challenge they continue to face is that they are now all based in different cities. Distance makes organization and planning more difficult, but Lauren also sees it as an opportunity to expand and draw attention to their mission from national supporters.

There are big things in store for Lauren and the other founders. Within in the next five years, they hope to have enough private funding for the founders to be able to work for Drink Local Think Global full-time. Right now, they are all volunteers with busy jobs and lives, but they would love to be able to dedicate everyday to solving the global water crisis and saving lives. Because they partner with partners with local contacts for the physical building of each of the water projects, they have yet to visit all the communities they’ve helped or meet all of the people that are healthier and happier because of all of their hard work. They’re planning their first trip as a team for 2018.

 

“Less than $5 can provide clean water for a person for 1 year and save their life. That’s about what we spend on a beer or a coffee.”

 

Lauren says that those are the numbers that really resonate with her and they’re what she uses to educate people on how affordable it is to provide clean water for people in developing countries. It’s easy to donate when you think about how much you spend on a night out or on your way to work every morning.

We can’t wait to see what Lauren and Drink Local Think Global are going to bring to New Orleans and Mama Maji is excited to help them take NOLA to the world.
If you would like to help Drink Local Think Global change lives come out to the NOLA iNights every second Thursday and join us for a drink as we all come together to make our world a better place.

Digital Voices

“I love that I’m learning something useful, and I’m getting to change a life.” – Student, A.B Freeman School of Business

B-Tides  Story Telling for Change 2015

The world is changing. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. The voice of the individual always has an audience now. And the voice of a movement always has a platform. The question is “Is anyone listening?”.

On Saturday, October 24th, students from the Tulane A.B Freeman School of Business partnered with Mama Maji to try something new, a Digital Day of Service. Instead of going out and painting a fence or clearing a lot, or picking up trash, 54 students came together to volunteer their time in one effort. The goal? To build a mini movement, lending Mama Maji their most valuable asset; their voice.

They spent the morning learning how to use technology, network mapping, relationship building, and storytelling to start and build a movement. The students spent the rest of the day in teams, mapping out their networks and rolling out a soft launch of their awareness campaigns. At at precisely 1:30 PM all 54 students launched their campaign leveraging the #Wateris to bring awareness to the impact of water in our lives.

And were people listening? YES!

The impact of the students’ campaigns was undeniable. Their campaigns reached people across the US gathering likes and shares as they went, spreading their message far and wide. By the end of the day the average post had been seen by 1,472 people and the winning student team, aptly named “Amjad’s Finest” after their instructor, had gotten 8 shares and even been posted to a fashion companies page reaching an audience of 14,000!

Their efforts even reached the ears of a foundation on the other side of the country drawing their attention to the plight of women half way round the world.

But the most incredible impact was on the students themselves as they walked away with the confidence and the tools they need to tap into the power of the crowd. Something that some of them are already thinking of using to start their own businesses down the line.

Tulane A.B.  Freeman School of Business

Tulane A.B. Freeman School of Business

What do you get when you combine 54 Tulane Business students, technology, and a cause they care about?

IMPACT!

Four lives saved, one outbreak halted, and the woman who did it.

As our feet crunched through the dried mud I couldn’t help but admire Sarah’s determination. As she pointed out a whole swath of plants that would need to be destroyed because they had caught the blight, there was only a … Continue reading

“Slow”? I don’t think so…

In the West when we think of Africa we think “Slow”. We imagine lions lazing under the acai trees, Herders standing on the hilltop watching their cattle, or maybe we think of people sitting in the shade hiding from the brutal African sun. But, standing right before me, was the proof that “Slow” was definitely not the right word for Africa.

Just a couple of weeks ago I woke up to an amazing video shot by Erick Aluru, our team member on the ground here in Kenya. People were dancing and cheering and right in the middle was one of the local chiefs dressed up in full uniform putting two stones one on top of the other. It was the ground breaking ceremony!

The Kamrongo Kiosk was finally going from a grand plan to reality!

And Now as I stepped off the road in the cool afternoon air, I was coming up on that same spot. I was so excited to catch my first glimpse of the project that so many people had come together to make possible!

Mama Maria Coming to check on the workers

I’m not sure what I expected when Erick asked if I wanted to go see the Kiosk, but it certainly wasn’t a fully built building I was looking at. The community had to have been working non-stop!

No body messes with Mama Maria Blog edit

No Body messes with Mama Maria!

Sure enough as I started chatting with Mama Maria, who had donated the land for the kiosk, she told me how the workers had only stopped when they had to wait for the cement to set. And she had been out there everyday checking on the progress of the kiosk and making sure that everything was done right!

Even as we were inspecting the progress the work never stopped. Plaster was being added, and I was told that by this evening the doors and window shutters, made by a local artisan, would be installed.

Nobody messes with Mama Maria Just Kidding Take Two Blog edit

Just Kidding!

After checking one last time that the workers were going full tilt, Mama Maria took me back to her house to meet her grandson George Okello. As I walked into her living room I was greeted with two smells hot chai, and corn! (dry not cooked sadly).

16 years old, George was on a break from school and here he was with a basket of corn between his feet popping off the kernels from each cob by hand. Filling a second basket bigger than a gumbo pot at a pace I couldn’t believe. As I joined him on the floor and started to lend a hand I couldnt help but laugh. For every corn cob I stripped bare he was finishing three!

And boy was that corn rough on the hands!  By the time I had finished my chai and made sure my new set of blisters wouldn’t cause me too much trouble, George had cleared his first basket and was on to the next. Packing up my things I said my good byes to Mama Maria, and jogged back out to the road to catch the Matatu roaring down the road back to Kisumu.

Matatu Dirt Road Blog Edit

Africa may be many things…but “Slow” is not one of them.

I can’t wait to see the Kamrongo Water Kiosk take shape before my eyes, and I look forward to sharing every minute of it with you!

To find out more about the Kamrongo Kiosk go HERE and find out what happens #Wherewomenare!

Or visit our website at www.mamamaji.org

Profile: Mashair Shahadin – A Voice for the Internally Displaced

IMG_2045

Mashair is from Darfur, Sudan, and believes that all children and women deserve equal opportunity to a dignified life. Darfur has largest camps for displaced populations in the country, and she works to ensure that all internally displaced women and children are granted these basic human rights.

In 2002, Mashair came in contact with a child named Abdallah. He was only 2-years-old, and was internally displaced from western Sudan where a large civil war between the rebels and the government has been going on for over a decade. Abdallah and his grandmother were one of 200 families that were placed in camps in Khartoum, the capital of Sudan. He was in severe medical condition because his mother had been raped and killed by Janjaweed, and the Janjaweed soldier picked him up by his feet and hit him against a tree.

Mashair was working with an organization to provide humanitarian aid for these displaced populations when she met Abdallah and brought him to the hospital. Doctors said he did not have a good chance of survival, and when she returned to the camp the next day to check on him, the camp had been evacuated – but chances are he did not survive.

The sad story of Abdallah is not uncommon for displaced populations; he is only one of the thousands of children harmed due to this war. Mashair is calling for help in the community to stop the violence. She is reaching out to the Sudanese government and rebels to negotiate to stop the violence and promote policies for human rights and child protection. It is the duty of everyone to help these women and children have equal opportunity for a dignified life and bring peace to Sudan.

Mashair is the mother of three, and she envisions a brighter future for her children with an end to the civil war and a progressive new society focused on protecting its women and children, the future of our society, so that they may live a dignified and productive life.

For my daughter

As the evening sun hits the windows on the side of the room the temperature quickly reaches something a bit closer to an oven then a classroom, and I can’t help but be a bit grateful that it’s Staula up … Continue reading