This month, as many of my colleagues around the world celebrate motherhood, I work towards a future where all the mothers in my community have access to safe and healthy pregnancies -- a future free of the cries that once filled the homes of my neighbors.
When mothers die, girls are often pulled out of school to keep the home going. They lose their childhood and may become mothers while they are still children themselves; those who give birth before their 15th birthday are five times more likely to die in childbirth.
There are currently over 600,000 refugees in Kenya's refugee camps, many of whom are unaccompanied, orphaned and separated refugee girls and single young women without family members.
Vaccines have saved the lives of over 20 million children globally, but continued support from the U.S. and other global players is critical to sustaining this progress.
Sunday is Mother's Day, one of the year's high points of gratitude. So as we honor the mothers among us (and those no longer among us), there's no better time to tap into that gratitude and draw on the qualities that make mothers such a force for good -- their generosity, their nurturing, their unconditional love. We're doing that with two initiatives, the Global Mom Relay and Mom+Social, both harnessing the power of motherhood and social media to improve the lives of mothers and children around the world. In the course of the Relay, we've heard a range of voices, and each time you share a post, a $5 donation is made by Johnson & Johnson and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. And there's still time to join.
Some of you might think it's annoying to classify mothers as Turkish and American. We can also describe them as Eastern and Western mothers and yes, I am talking about stereotypes and there are always some exceptions on both sides.
A woman has nine months to prepare for the day that her baby will arrive -- healthy and full of promise, imagining the love she and her child will have for each other. Sadly, every year, more than one million babies die on the first day of life -- many from preventable causes.
Let me tell you the stories of two mothers who are worlds apart, but share the worst thing that ever happened to them. Both Angela and Kismati still feel the loss of their baby every day, but I'm inspired by the hope found amidst their stories, and within these brave women themselves.
Allowing family narrative to evolve, however painful the initial reopening of the wound, allows you to cherry-pick the best of your parents' gifts with clarity and pass them along to the next generation.
As long as your child is in a safe and stable environment, is confident of your love, and has many other people who love them, whatever your personal choice is, they'll be fine.
I thought to myself that if Bobby, a senior in high school, a young man with his whole life in front of him, wasn't asking "why," then I had no right to do so. Instead, I told myself I would find a purpose, a purpose for this brain tumor.
As mothers, we are bound not only to help protect our own children, but all children. Vaccines provide a safety net; the more we vaccinate, the more society is protected from sometimes-fatal diseases.
An analysis of available data on a country-by-country basis suggests that a majority of the women with unmet need for family planning are in the world's middle income countries.
Our experiences as Miss Universe and Miss USA instill within us a global outlook. That's what the Global Mom Relay speaks to -- women and men and children coming together in support of solutions for moms and kids that will benefit us all.
Nearly 20 years after 179 nations committed to protect the reproductive health and rights of women and girls at the UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo, we have the chance to ask, "Has life really changed for women and girls?" The answer is decidedly mixed.
The weeSpring community is all about parents helping parents -- and supporting Kangu is an extraordinary way to help a mother in need, and possibly even save her life.
My mother was talking about more than energy level and circadian rhythm. It's also an expression of the belief that the future will be an improvement upon the past. It is about faith, determination and progress.
In just six years, DKT Ethiopia has transformed its system for tracking contraceptive sales from pins and pencils to computers and satellites and, in the process, helped create a family planning and HIV prevention success story in the Horn of Africa.