We are so excited to announce the winners of the “Women Bloggers Deliver” competition! Over the past few weeks, we received over 250 applications from bloggers around the world – from California to Kenya, and from Mexico to Iraq. The competition, a partnership between Women Deliver and Vestergaard Frandsen, was held to draw focus and attention to the just launched Carbon for Water project, a public health intervention that will contribute significantly to health and development efforts that are transforming the lives of families and communities hard hit by the lack of clean water. The three winning bloggers will accompany community workers as they distribute LifeStraw® Family water filters to almost a million households in Kakamega, Kenya.
Please join us in congratulating:
'Toyin Ajao - Lagos, Nigeria. Toyin has been blogging for 3 years from Nigeria, with a focus on gender equality and women's rights. In 2009, her blog was selected for an International Activist award in Chicago by BlogHer. She is also a co-contributor to a 'women in politics and leadership blog' sponsored by UNIFEM called free2run (http://free2runonline.com.ng). Visit her blog.
Rachel Cernansky - Colorado, United States. Rachel is a freelance journalist and blogger focused almost exclusively on environmental and social justice issues. She blogs for the Discovery Channel's TreeHugger and Planet Green, and has previously blogged for The New York Times, Dowser.org, and other sites. Visit her blog.
Hannah Ryder - Glasgow, United Kingdom. Hannah is a Senior Economist in the UK’s Department for International Development where she focuses on delivering green growth in developing countries. Within the UK Government she has worked as a Climate Change Negotiator and worked on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Visit her blog.
In April and May of 2011, LifeStraw® Family water filters will be distributed to approximately 90% of all households in the Western Province of Kenya in a groundbreaking program that links access to safe drinking water with low carbon development. The program, called “Carbon for Water,” will provide more than four million residents with quick access to safe drinking water at home. The program is led and solely funded by Vestergaard Frandsen (VF), a global company that specializes in complex emergency response and disease control textiles, including LifeStraw® Family. It is self-funded by VF and will be reimbursed by carbon financing.
For one week in May, from May 14 to May 22, the bloggers will travel through Kenya’s Western Province, all expenses paid, to research and write about the campaign and the women whose lives are being affected. In sub-Saharan Africa, many girls and women spend hours a day collecting water, often walking miles in extreme conditions and on dangerous roads to fetch water and wood for fuel. This is time that could be better spent in school, as one in three girls in sub-Saharan Africa does not attend primary school and misses out on the opportunity to build a better future for herself and her family.
To honor the bloggers’ work and the work of Women Deliver in raising the profile of women from this community, the Emusanda Health Center in Kakamega will receive a long sought-after maternity ward donated by Vestergaard Frandsen with contributions from the blogosphere.
Are you a blogger? Here are 5 things you can do right now to get involved to support girls and women:
1. Download the Women Deliver factsheet, Focus on 5, and Youth Guide to Action on Maternal Health to learn more about issues that affect girls and women.
2. Download the Carbon for Water press kit to learn about clean water, carbon credits, and the project in Kakamega, Kenya.
3. Armed with this information, write a blog about the importance of maternal health and/or clean water. What do these issues mean to you?
4. Advocate to your friends, family, and governments for increased political commitment, investment and accountability for maternal health and access to clean water.
5. Be creative – make a video, record a song, write a poem, take photos, or start a tweet-up. Use your skills to tell the stories of women in your own community to keep the conversation going.