True
CARE & Windows 10

There's nothing like the simple joy of a cellphone upgrade.

That exciting moment when you trade in your old model and realize what a brick it is compared to the latest mobile technology.


How did we survive before these? Photo by Rico Shen/Wikimedia Commons.

In some parts of the world, cellphone upgrades are about so much more than coolness or mere convenience.

Take places like Bihar — one of India's poorest states, with almost 70% of its residents living in poverty — where they're solving matters of life and death.

Bihar has some of India's highest mortality rates for mothers and babies, and outmoded practices have made that hard to overcome.

Health care workers making home visits in Bihar carry unruly stacks of ledgers to record and track medical information for hundreds of thousands of households.

Image via CARE/YouTube.

Having to lug all that extra weight from home to home wasn't the only problem; the system was also incredibly time-consuming and fraught with inaccuracies.

Cellphones are proving to be an effective tool for improving health outcomes for women and children.

Despite Bihar's poverty and extreme inequality, cellphones have become common among even the poorest workers. Many low-income Biharis, who are more likely to migrate in search of jobs, rely on them to stay connected to their families.

"Technology, tools, and training lead to transformation."

Now, humanitarians have found another vital use for cellphones in Bihar. International aid group CARE has made it possible for hundreds of Bihari health workers to trade armfuls of paper for cellphones. Through a partnership with Windows as part of its Upgrade Your World initiative, CARE will continue to support these health workers and women like them all over the world.


GIF from "The Big Bang Theory."

The phones have apps that allow health care workers to quickly set up appointments and gather information.


Image via CARE/YouTube.

The results have been astounding. In just three years, the mobile-equipped workers made over 600,000 home visits. 20% more pregnant women are getting home visits, and 13% more mothers and newborns are getting a follow-up visit within the first week after birth. This means more women and their babies are getting professional care when it’s most critical.

Improved health care access is just the start of what cellphones are making possible.

All of that data is being stashed in the cloud, where it can be analyzed for trends so the government can design and deploy bigger picture health strategies.

That means happier and healthier mothers and children...

Image via CARE/YouTube.

...and health care workers who are confident in their ability to make a difference.

Image via CARE/YouTube.

This initiative offers a hopeful lesson for humanitarians everywhere: The challenges may be great, but we may already have what we need to address them.

It's just a matter of connecting those resources with the right people because, says CARE's Ram Krishna, "technology, tools, and training lead to transformation."

via Jody Danielle Fisher / Facebook

Breast milk is an incredibly magical food. The wonderful thing is that it's produced by a collaboration between mother and baby.

British mother Jody Danielle Fisher shared the miracle of this collaboration on Facebook recently after having her 13-month-old child vaccinated.

In the post, she compared the color of her breast milk before and after the vaccination, to show how a baby's reaction to the vaccine has a direct effect on her mother's milk production.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Picsea on Unsplash
True

It is said that once you've seen something, you can't unsee it. This is exactly what is happening in America right now. We have collectively watched the pot of racial tension boil over after years of looking the other way, insisting that hot water doesn't exist, pretending not to notice the smoke billowing out from every direction.

Ignoring a problem doesn't make it go away—it prolongs resolution. There's a whole lot of harm to be remedied and damage to be repaired as a result of racial injustice, and it's up to all of us to figure out how to do that. Parents, in particular, are recognizing the importance of raising anti-racist children; if we are unable to completely eradicate racism, maybe the next generation will.

How can parents ensure that the next generation will actively refuse to perpetuate systems and behaviors embedded in racism? The most obvious answer is to model it. Take for example, professional tennis player Serena Williams and her husband, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.

Keep Reading Show less
Photo by Mahir Uysal on Unsplash

Two years ago, I got off the phone after an interview and cried my eyes out. I'd just spent an hour talking to Tim Ballard, the founder of Operation Underground Railroad, an organization that helps fight child sex trafficking, and I just couldn't take it.

Ballard told me about how the training to go undercover as a child predator nearly broke him. He told me an eerie story of a trafficker who could totally compartmentalize, showing Ballard photos of kids he had for sale, then switching gears to proudly show him a photo of his own daughter on her bicycle, just as any parent would. He told me about how lucrative child trafficking is—how a child can bring in three or four times as much as a female prostitute—and how Americans are the industry's biggest consumers.

Keep Reading Show less

Believe it or not, there has been a lot of controversy lately about how people cook rice. According to CNN, the "outrage" was a reaction to a clip Malaysian comedian Nigel Ng posted as one of his personas known as Uncle Roger.

It was a hilarious (and harmless) satire about the method chef Hersha Patel used to cook rice on the show BBC Food.


Keep Reading Show less