13 Moments That Mattered in 2013

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January 8, 2014

1. Malala Yousafzai addressed the United Nations on her 16th birthday.
On July 12, now also called Malala Day, Malala Yousafzai led a gathering of young adults from more than 80 countries for a special United Nations Youth Assembly. Her speech was a truly unforgettable moment. Watch it here. We’re still thinking about the chance we had to meet her when she returned to New York for UN Week and the Social Good Summit!

mandela2. Nelson Mandela’s passing and the end of his long walk to freedom. As the world marks the loss of one of its greatest advocates for equality, we are reminded of his call to action. “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Rest in peace Madiba.

3. Twice as many children are living to see their fifth birthdays. The latest data from the World Health Organization, UNICEF and the World Bank shows that child deaths have been cut in half in the past 22 years. 6.6 million children died before reaching their fifth birthday in 2012 compared to 12 million children who died in 1990. As Melinda Gates said, “Keep in mind that we’re talking about the most important statistic in the world—who is alive.”

Ogbe4. Ever closer to the end of polio. Despite outbreaks in the Horn of Africa, and violent attacks on polio workers, the world is making substantial progress in the fight to end polio. The outbreaks were swiftly controlled and the last three countries trying to eliminate polio (Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Nigeria) have strengthened their commitment to end the disease. Polio survivor Dennis Ogbe wrote this letter to his newborn son about his vow for a polio free world.

5. Games to change the world. The Half the Sky Facebook Game was launched to invite us to raise awareness and money for key issues like obstetric fistula, vaccines, and girls’ education. More than 1 million people have played the game, generating hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations and millions of actions to help women and children.

Lopez6. The Global Mom Relay unlocked more than $500,000. From International Women’s Day to Mother’s Day, celebrities, experts and every day mothers from around the globe answered this simple question: “What’s the best advice a mother ever gave you?” Your collective actions in sharing these stories unlocked more than $500,000 to be used for vaccines, girls’ education, clean cookstoves and mobile health messages to help pregnant and new mothers. What was your favorite post?

7. The International Girl Declaration and Girl Rising film. The stories of girls from around the world have moved us beyond words. Their strength and courage in fighting for basic rights like the chance to go to school show us what is possible. Add your voice to theirs. If you didn’t see Girl Rising yet, make sure you do. You’ll never be the same.

8. #GivingTuesday turned the #selfie upside down and showed yet again, our unselfiecollective generosity with a huge spike in donations over the previous year and a social media surge that helped put giving right at the start of the holiday season.

9. HERos for HG. We were honored to be noted by the HER Foundation for our support and coverage of the issues faced by Hyperemesis Gravidarum sufferers. Early in her pregnancy, the Duchess of Cambridge battled this debilitating disease.

10. Two incredible women were in the Top Ten CNN Heroes for their work to help women and girls. Dr. Laura Stachel, an obstetrician who created a ‘solar suitcase’ for delivery rooms lacking reliable electricity, is helping to save mothers’ lives. Dr Kakenya Ntaiya is educating girls and protecting them from child marriage. Her story, her school and her life’s work are empowering girls to become the agents of change in their own community and country.

11. 24 Hours of Climate Reality. The ups and downs of confusing weather patterns and ‘dirty weather’ were the focus of this year’s 24-hour broadcast from the Climate Reality Project. Weather experts, farmers and scientists spoke from every continent on the erratic shifts and overall increase in global temperatures. Despite a record cold spell in North America right now, the data still shows the earth is warming at an alarming rate. Climate change must be a key focus of 2014 for us all.

syria12. Children of Syria. What would you take if you only had one minute to flee your home? UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency has continued to share the stories of Syria’s children. Nearly 2.5 million Syrians have fled their country with another 6.5 million displaced within Syria.  More than 1 million of those who have left the country are children.

13. You+SocialGood. You share issues online, sign petitions and donate what you can. But many of you ask, “How can I do more?” Inspired by the Social Good Summit, this year saw the launch of +SocialGood, a global community aiming to join technology and social media to make the world a better place. One of our very own Million Moms Challenge moms created the first Moms+Tweens+SocialGood event!

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