Right now I'm packing my bags to head to the other side of the world in Sri Lanka. Just like I've done before in Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Burkina Faso, I'm living side by side with just one of the many millions of women around the world that manage to survive on a $1 a day.
The main language that is spoken in Ethiopia is Amharic, and has its own characters -- which is to say that it was completely foreign to my eyes and ears. But one language that felt universal? Listening to the children giggle and laugh and play.
The health needs in Ethiopia are great, so the program is ambitious. With assistance from USAID, Ethiopia created an army of Health Extension Workers. These workers are assigned to every village and community in the country.
Six-point-eight million Ethiopian children under the age of five are physically and mentally stunted as a result of malnutrition. That's roughly equivalent to 82 percent of the population of New York City. It is almost twice the population of Los Angeles.
Yesterday I learned about fistula. At it's most basic, it means a hole. But, what it really means to the women who experiences it is a stillborn child, loss of a husband and marriage, loss of dignity, and total ostracization from her community.
Today, almost five years to the day since I flew to Nairobi to begin my first African adventure, I'm sitting in the international terminal of Dulles airport in Washington, D.C., waiting to board a 787 Dreamliner bound for Ethiopia.
As much as I love shopping and design and discovering some wonderful something-or-other that I know will help other moms, my real passion is supporting small business. Especially those run by women and mothers trying to support their families.
ONE is not a charity. It's a "nonpartisan advocacy organization dedicated to the fight against extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa." ONE never asks for your money, just your voice.