Archive for September, 2012

Update to 9/27 post.Microsoft’s Margo Day selected as Geek Wire’s Geek of the Week

http://www.geekwire.com/2012/geek-week-microsoft-education-exec-margo-day-impact-kenya/

If you could take a year off of work how would you change the world?

Margo Day

Margo Day just spent the last year of her life answering that question. The Microsoft VP used a year-long sabbatical that just ended to empower 17,000 girls in rural Kenya to stay in school and avoid the all-too-common cultural practice of early marriage.

Early and or forced marriage and female genital mutilation are still widely practiced in rural Kenya. However, Day is helping to turn the tide. The World Vision Kenya Child Protection and Education Program is focused on accelerating that change.

Access to education is fundamental.

Day took a whole year off work as a high-powered tech VP in order to slow down and help girls living in extreme poverty in a remote region of rural Kenya. She’s just returned from another trip to Africa, her fourth.

Margo Day’s Tips: How to Make a Difference

1. Work with an experienced organization with sustainability at its core.

2. Concentrate your efforts on just one thing.

3. Show others what you’re doing. They want to have that same kind of impact that you have.

4. Listen to God because he’ll tell you when what you have is enough.

The total project budget for the Kenya Child Protection Program is $4.8 million. To date, Day has contributed $150,000 towards the first project, St. Elizabeth Girls Secondary School, which had a total budget of half a million dollars. In addition, she’s now made a commitment to give another $500,000 over the next 3 years towards the Kenya Child Protection and Education Program, for a total of $650,000.

http://en.gravatar.com/margoday

Margo is partnering with World Vision to address issues related to girls’ education and child protection, recently completing construction of the St. Elizabeth’s Secondary School for Girls in West Pokot, Kenya.

Sook Integrated Program Area:  Education improvements from 2009 to today:  Margo Day says a lot has been accomplished to form a good foundation for the work now of the Kenya Child Protection and Education Program.  Here are some education statistics from 2009 to today:

  •       17.6% increase in child enrollment in school.
  •       Number of Early Childhood Development centers:  from 39 to 53
  •       Number of Primary Schools:  from 34 to 49
  •       Academic performance increase in primary schools:   9% increase

She’s been honored for her work on behalf of women at Microsoft, earning its 2006 Most Inspirational Woman award. She lives in the Seattle, area and loves being outdoors. She enjoys backpacking, boating, cycling, scuba diving, skiing, golf, adventure travel and, when it’s rainy outside, attending concerts and theater in addition to enjoying a great glass of wine.

Important Dates:  October 11th – International Day of the Girl

The New Face of American Poverty

A new documentary to be released next month highlights our nation’s poverty. Hear from a Chicago woman about how World Vision helped her family overcome a culture of violence and hopelessness.

(Sheila Howard – photo Midgett Productions)

When Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney portrayed Democratic President Barack Obama’s supporters – as 47 percent of the electorate – who live off government handouts and do not “care for their lives, ” Chicago’s Sheila Howard took it personally.

“Poor people I know don’t feel entitled”, says 54-year old Sheila Howard from Chicago’s West Side. Howard says, “People forget that there but for the grace of God go I.”

Howard is one of those featured in the new Linda Midgett documentary, “The Line” about the “new face” of American poverty. http://thelinemovie.com/ The film premiers in Washington, D.C. October 2nd.

Sojourners CEO Jim Wallis says, “more and more of our friends are in poverty — in the pews, in our workplaces — through no fault of their own, and they are slipping below the poverty level.”

The film features a single father from suburban Chicago laid off from his bank and now a regular at the local food pantry, trying to make ends meet with three kids. Sheila Howard is in the documentary because she lives on Chicago’s tough West Side where deep poverty creates a culture of violence and hopelessness. Howard works with international Christian charity World Vision as a community Development Specialist.

Howard ‘s son, JaVe’e was also in the documentary because of his involvement as a delegate in World Vision’s Youth Empowerment Program (YEP). In 2011, JaVe’e, his sister, Veesha and Sheila joined more than 130 others across the nation as they traveled to Washington, D.C. , advocating for federal youth violence prevention funding.

Sheila talked about her experience with Linda Midgett and the documentary filming. “It was my journey living below the poverty line.  I took them back to my old neighborhood to the house I grew up, and showed them where my sister was killed in 1974. ” Howard believes it was a robbery attempt though she says police have never confirmed that.

“The point of the movie is that many people are living below the poverty line through no fault of their own.  We are not all lazy, feeling entitled … wanting to live off the government, Things just happened beyond our control that caused us to fall below the line.,” says Howard.

Howard says the film gave her an opportunity to talk about her nonprofit, “Born To Be Light” www.born2blight.com. and how she was inspired by (YEP).  Howard says, “It’s working. People are understanding the significance of being a light in their home and community. Words not only carry empowering energy, they carry hope for a better tomorrow.”

Howard is going back to school to get her undergraduate degree in communications from Chicago State University.

  • A 2011 YouTube video features Howard  and her son JaVe’e, discussing how World Vision’s YEP changed their lives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7y_3dN0nVR

  • Linda Midgett 2005 Daytime Emmy award-winner (Nominated 2006, 2007)

http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1195584/

 

Worldwide Webcast: Approaching the StoryWebcast event to be held Thursday, September 20 from 1-2 p.m. PDT.Link to: http://n50.onetotheworld.net/health12Prepare yourself for a unique journey into the art of storytelling. World Vision presents a one hour worldwide webcast taking you behind-the-scenes of a magazine assignment in drought-stricken northern Kenya.

Join journalist Kari Costanza and photographer Jon Warren, who between them, have worked in over 70 countries. They’ll discuss how to put yourself in the right place at the right time to capture the narrative and images of a compelling story that honors the people who are its subjects. What makes a good photograph? How do you get someone to open up about themselves? The program will be live and interactive. Questions welcome 

Lazaro

What’s the health of a six-year-old child worth? How much would I be willing to pay?

Recently, I got a chance to meet 6 year-old Lazaro, who lives with his five brothers and sisters on a hilltop on the edge of Kenya’s Great Rift Valley in Central Kenya. I don’t know much about him other than that he herds goats for his family, that he likes games with a ball and that he is very, very, very shy.

But behind his shyness is a wisdom and a sadness I saw in his eyes that belies his age. What has he seen in those six years? How many nights did he go to bed without enough to eat? According to the latest UN statistics, more than 850 million people go to bed hungry each night. Has Lazaro been one of them? I’m eager to know more about him but what am I willing to give up to make sure he has access to the most basic of life’s needs: food security, basic nutrition, education and access to clean water?

It Doesn’t Take Much to Make a Difference

Is Lazaro’s life worth a tall latte?

As a “Re-Purposed Journalist” I came to rely on that mid-morning, double-tall, non-fat latte every day of the week. It gave me the kick I needed. My local Starbucks charges $3.24 (tax included) for 8 ounces of ground espresso and steamed milk. A tall latte is something most of us in Seattle take for granted. You buy one a day it’ll run you $842.40 a year. However, if you cut your habit down to just two a week, you’ll save more than enough to sponsor a child like Lazaro for one year.

So that’s what I’ve decided to do.

I want my creature comforts as much as the next guy but when I think about how a little sacrifice makes a big difference. Well, that’s something I can swallow.

Lazaro lives on a hilltop. The view is breathtaking. 

The Great Rift Valley
Kenya

I live in Seattle where a view like this would cost you millions. But Lazaro and his family look at the Great Rift Valley from a thatched hut with mud floors. So maybe here is a good place to help, and maybe find out just how much one child’s life is worth.

Two tall lattes a week? Sure.

http://www.worldvision.org/

Kari Costanza
On Assignment – Kenya

Kari Costanza’s Tips for the Re-purposed Journalist

1. It’s not about you.

2. Don’t do it if you don’t truly like people

3. Be prepared for a joy and a pain that you could never imagine when you were studying to become a journalist in school.

After graduating from the University of Washington, Kari held a job as news producer at KIRO 7 TV and at several stations on the East Coast. As a producer, Costanza says, “I shaped and wrote much of the newscast. I worked with anchors, reporters, photographers and production staff to condense the news of the day into a 30 minute broadcast.”

Costanza met that daily deadline for ten years. Then one day she remembers a KIRO 7 TV colleague, Tony Ventrella walking by her newsroom desk and whispering, “You’re not happy. You need to make a change.”  The words haunted her because they rang true.

It was spring, 1995.

Then her mother cut out a news article in her hometown paper, the  Tacoma News Tribune about how a Christian non-profit called World Vision was moving from Southern California to Federal Way. In June she was hired.

She has never looked back.

In the first five years after joining the World Vision video department, Kari produced 300 videos. She became Managing Editor of World Vision Magazine in 2000. In 2010, World Vision International asked her to be Global Editor. Today, Kari Costanza is Editor of Special Projects and Content Curation. In 17 years with World Vision, Kari Costanza has been to 40 countries.

Kari Costanza 
in Turkana, Kenya

“The hardest part is when you care about people and they die, ” says Costanza. “We did this story in Rwanda in August. We’d heard that 10 people had died in a refugee camp.”  As always, Costanza wanted to personalize the story. At a hospital near the camp, she met a woman named Solange who had lost a daughter since moving to the camp from the Congo. She and NPPA Photographer of the Year Lisa Berglund produced a video of Solange and her baby, Esther when they came back from Africa. “But then, after we left Rwanda, we found out that Esther died. We mourned. I just went into my cubicle and cried,” says Costanza.

“That doesn’t happen in TV news.”

On Thursday, September 20th, at 1pm (Pacific) Kari will join World Vision award-winning photographer Jon Warren for a presentation at Seattle Center as part of the Center’s “The Next Fifty” Celebration called “Approaching The Story.”

Links:

For the Solange story:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iciR3jGCiaA

For the One to the World Digital Classroom: http://n50.onetotheworld.net/health12#