Web 2.0 Working for ONE MOTHER
The ability to create meaningful connections between women is what excites me most about Web 2.0. The tools of new media empower women to create the content they care about most. A citizen journalist uses new media tools because a force inside them compels them to; they live to do it. When we write about issues we are passionate about and our sisters read our stories, we become ONE. Whether we are thousands of miles away or just down the street, our words can encourage the despondent, praise the worthy and teach the unaware.
Web 2.0 offers the global women’s empowerment movement ways to share best practices, bring solutions to scale, and reach women who have been isolated. Success stories women share using these tool are valuable resources. An activist researching solutions for her community can extract bits and pieces that are applicable and inspirational from these narratives. In this world of 7 billion, there is undoubtedly someone who has made the mistake I am about to, gleaned an invaluable truth, or accomplished an end so brilliantly it must be shared. The ability to multiply investments of time and resources is an innate strength of Web 2.0. The time saved, resources preserved, ideas made new, and solutions brought to scale are beyond measure. New media enables the global women’s empowerment movement to touch women who were previously out of reach due to their physical location or their lack of knowledge.
In 2008, with the help of family, friends, and an incredible partner NGO in Chennai, India, I founded, ONE MOTHER, a nonprofit organization that empowers women with HIV/AIDS to generate sustainable income while creating compassionate communities in which to thrive. Tools like Blogs, Facebook and Twitter will empower me to do what I should have done 3 years ago – share the women’s stories of stigma and discrimination to inspire others to action. There are people who want to hear their stories, and Web 2.0 tools will enable me to reach this audience. As our supporters get to know these women through their narratives, a connection will take hold.
Web 2.0 will enable me to interact with readers like I would a friend. I will ask for help when needed and listen carefully to ideas when offered. If someone asks for my opinion or help, I will propose ideas based on personal experience, suggest resources that may be helpful, or put them in touch with an expert. I can do all these activities via 2.0.
My ultimate job as a citizen journalist will be to give women a means of action. One way to empower women is to connect them with advocacy groups who strive to influence global decision makers.
Proper nutrition, fair trade wages and CD4 counts are important, and I am confident new media tools will help us accomplish our goals in these areas. However, sharing the women’s circumstances and dreams to create meaningful connections with the power to inspire others to action is my greatest hope.