The whole idea of MotherKind began quite some time ago. When, exactly, I am not sure. I am sure I can trace some of the roots back to when I was a child. Now, I feel as though it is a child, an idea, a life-changing way not yet born. Maybe it is because I have worked with numerous families with infants, because I have been trained as a childbirth educator or the simple fact that I am twice a mother but the creation of MotherKind is a strength, a movement not yet visible and brought into the world in a way that I am expecting. I hesitate to speak at times, for fear that not having it all together may discredit what it is we are trying to achieve. I have a fierce passion to inspire other women, to educate them about the truth that is happening to so many sisters in the world and to empower women on both sides of the issues- those living it and those learning of it. Like a newborn baby, MotherKind has been full of ideas of how things will happen, how things will be, and yet like that same babe it is taking on its own life, and all we can do is nurture its growth and direct it gently. The idea is to create a network. A network that will reach out to groups of women and create an awareness about issues facing women such as poverty, war, marginalizaiton, hate and so much more. But then we go beyond that. We make a commitment for change, and not just for ourselves, but for our own children. Our children need to know what is happening to other children and that something can be done. One of the unexpected things that has happened is that along the way, we have started carrying products made by women that then empower them to change their lives. When my partner in this adventure went to Uganda last year, she met a young woman named Patricia. She purchased a necklace from Patricia made of seed beads and hand-rolled beads. The two kept in touch. Val discovered Patricia was no longer in school as she had been due to mismanaged funds on behalf of the organization. One thing led to another and the pastor of a church group north of Toronto agreed to meet with Patricia in Kampala before their mission group returned to Canada and bring with him as many necklaces as she could make in the time they were there. We still have several of the 80 necklaces left, but needless to say, Patricia begins school within the week. Then there is Melanie, a mother of four from the Congo living in a Canadian city with one of her children, shy but finding her voice as she is receiving a small loan to purchase supplies to continue making the beautiful necklaces that she can create that we will then sell as well. Girls in Ethiopia will continue to make money for themselves through the Children of Ethiopia Education Fund Canada as we sell their cards and tell their story....and we pray for a woman from Pakistan that we know only as "N" living in another city who creates beautiful jewelry as well, but is being abused regularly. but she knows she can create....we continue to seek out our resources to import products made by women in Kenya that are finding hope through Mama Africa and the Project for Africa.... We are organizing an event on World Refugee Day in a small port town in Ontario to showcase artwork done by the women in a group that are refugees and immigrants, and provide an opportunity for their truth to be known. We hope to show a film, raise consciousness and sell product as we see the flicker of hope and light burn brighter for the women who deserve to have a voice and be believed in. Somedays I have no idea which way is up or what to do next, and I just keep faith in the passion that burns within to see change come, and to walk in solidarity and community with women here and across the world. We humbly accept any suggestions, any insights from anyone in this community that I have so often been inspired by. I am learning that not only do I ache to see all women find their voice, but to embrace the power that can come when I can find my own.