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Back in 2015, while Jasmine George was staying in Dehli, India, a friend asked for her advice on where she could go to get an abortion.

The woman had already tried a private health clinic, but was asked to leave when the practitioner found out she wasn't married. Not only was she denied the healthcare she needed, she was outright shamed for even asking for it.

The injustice of the whole situation lit a fire inside George.


"I realized that a crucial part of comprehensive sexual and reproductive healthcare is how women are treated and how they feel when they seek healthcare," explains George in an email.

But George's frustration went beyond wishing there were more welcoming healthcare facilities. She also wanted to find a way to address the systemic crisis of women's safety in public spaces across India.

[rebelmouse-image 19398147 dam="1" original_size="640x426" caption="Image via Pixabay." expand=1]Image via Pixabay.

In the wake of "the Nirbhaya Incident," where a young woman was brutally raped and murdered by a group of men, the country became focused on amping up security and placing more restrictions on women in public places, rather than helping them take control of their own safety.

As a lawyer and autonomous woman, this didn't sit well with George. She wanted to help women feel safer in their own cities without having to rely on security systems and laws created by men.

So she connected with a couple of fellow Indian feminists, and launched an organization called Hidden Pockets Collective, which utilizes technology, research and the knowledge of locals to help Indian women find the reproductive health services and safe spaces they may need.

"We are trying to find health services that are good quality, affordable and non-judgmental that people can access without fear," writes George.

The Hidden Pockets collective, Aisha (left), Jasmine (center) and Tushita (right). Photo via Jasmine George.

Once they established their mission, they started recruiting designers, researchers, techies, and local women who know the major cities in India to help them build an interactive digital map that designates where women can find reproductive health services, transportation, and safe public areas.

"We organize community walks through the well-known and uncommon pockets of the city to help people get to know their city better and to build a close relationship with the community," explains George.

Currently, their project operates on Open Street Map, which is public, and therefore available to everyone. However, in order to get it set up, they had to become acquainted with the complexities of the data-driven mapping world, and make sure they could utilize it effectively.  

What's more, a lot of the safe spaces they wanted to highlight aren't actually visible on map resources like Google Maps, so they often had to go out and find the coordinates themselves, which, needless to say, wasn't always a walk in the park.  

Thanks to their tireless efforts though, Hidden Pockets now has digital maps for seven major Indian cities up and running, including Delhi and Jaipur.

[rebelmouse-image 19398149 dam="1" original_size="1056x992" caption="Hidden Pockets' interactive map for Jaipur, India. Photo via Hidden Pockets. " expand=1]Hidden Pockets' interactive map for Jaipur, India. Photo via Hidden Pockets.

While the work isn't always easy, this intersection of community and technology is helping them create a solution to a major problem that affects women the world over.

And that solution extends far beyond mapping safe spaces. They're also conducting ongoing interviews with local women about the importance of reclaiming health facilities and "pleasure pockets," which are public places where women can relax and enjoy themselves while still feeling safe.

This interview process was born out of the initial work they were doing to help spread health access information to locals. They'd translate information on where to find local health services into various Indian languages, then broadcast it via community radio programs. Eventually, they started broadcasting the interviews they where doing with women as well, so the endeavor took on a podcast feel.

And as the project grew and evolved, so too did this idea of audibly sharing community stories about discovering safe spaces.

"We began asking women all around India to map their cities and tell their own stories of how different spaces felt," writes George. "We are pushing them to see their own city."

AIsha interviewing a young woman about contraception. Photo via Jasmine George.

This sharing of women's stories as they traverse their cities is empowering for the storytellers and listeners alike. Now, armed with this new mapping system, they'll hopefully feel more confident about reclaiming their public spaces.

"When we share the stories of women walking in their cities, when we share spaces where women have been before, when we share happy perspectives of women accessing services, we are giving hope to a lot of women out there, [reminding them that] they are not alone," notes George. "Technology can be one of the many ways to connect to each other."

Obviously we've got a long way to go before women's safety in public places is no longer a concern, but thanks to innovators like George and her collaborators, the path ahead has gotten much, much clearer.

Hold on, Frankie! Mama's coming!

How do you explain motherhood in a nutshell? Thanks to Cait Oakley, who stopped a preying bald eagle from capturing her pet goose as she breastfed her daughter, we have it summed up in one gloriously hilarious TikTok.

The now viral video shows the family’s pet goose, Frankie, frantically squawking as it gets dragged off the porch by a bald eagle—likely another mom taking care of her own kiddos.

Wearing nothing but her husband’s boxers while holding on to her newborn, Willow, Oakley dashes out of the house and successfully comes to Frankie's rescue while yelling “hey, hey hey!”

The video’s caption revealed that the Oakleys had already lost three chickens due to hungry birds of prey, so nothing was going to stop “Mama bear” from protecting “sweet Frankie.” Not even a breastfeeding session.

Oakley told TODAY Parents, “It was just a split second reaction ...There was nowhere to put Willow down at that point.” Sometimes being a mom means feeding your child and saving your pet all at the same time.

As for how she feels about running around topless in her underwear on camera, Oakley declared, “I could have been naked and I’m like, ‘whatever, I’m feeding my baby.’”

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Joy

Tea time: how this boutique blends cultures from around the world

Ethically sourced, modern clothes for kids that embrace adventure, inspire connections and global thinking.

The Tea Collection combines philanthropic efforts with a deep rooted sense of multiculturalism into each of their designs so that kids can grow up with global sensibilities. They make clothes built to last with practicality and adventure in mind. But why "Tea"?

Let's spill it. Tea is a drink shared around the world with people from all different cultures. It is a common thread that weaves the world together. The Tea Collection was born from a love of travel and a love of sharing tea with different people in different places. Inspired by patterns from around the world, these clothes help children develop a familiarity with global communities.

Tea sources their materials ethically and ensures that each of their partners abide to strict codes of conduct. They have a zero-tolerance policy for anything "even slightly questionable" and make sure that they regularly visit their manufacturing partners to ensure that they're supporting positive working conditions.

Since 2003, The Tea Collection has partnered with the Global Fund for Children and has invested in different grassroots organizations that create community empowered programs to uplift kids in need. They donate 10% of their proceeds and have already contributed over $500,000 to different organizations such as: The Homeless Prenatal Program (San Francisco, CA, USA), Door of Faith Orphanage (Baja California, Mexico), Little Sisters Fund (Nepal) and others in Peru, Sri Lanka, India, Italy and Haiti.

But the best part about the Tea Collection? They're also an official member of the Kidizen Rewear Collective, which believes that clothes should stretch far beyond one child's use. They have their own external site for their preloved clothes that makes rewearing affordable. Families can trade in gently used Tea clothes and receive discounts for future products. Shopping the site helps keep clothes out of land fills and reduces the environmental impact of the fashion industry.

By creating heirloom style clothing made to last families can buy, sell, and trade clothes that can be reworn again and again. Because "new to you" doesn't always have to mean never been worn. And let's be honest, we all know how fast kids grow! Shopping preloved clothes is a great way to keep styles fresh without harming the environment or feeling guilty about not getting the most out of certain styles.

But don't just take our word for it! Head over to the Tea Collection and see for yourself!

Upworthy has earned revenue through a partnership and/or may earn a portion of sales revenue from purchases made through links on our site.

Education

Teacher of the year explains why he's leaving district in unforgettable 3-minute speech

"I'm leaving in hopes that I can regain the ability to do the job that I love."

Lee Allen

For all of our disagreements in modern American life, there are at least a few things most of us can agree on. One of those is the need for reform in public education. We don't all agree on the solutions but many of the challenges are undeniable: retaining great teachers, reducing classroom size and updating the focus of student curriculums to reflect the ever-changing needs of a globalized workforce.

And while parents, politicians and activists debate those remedies, one voice is all-too-often ignored: that of teachers themselves.

This is why a short video testimony from a teacher in the Atlanta suburb of Gwinnett County went viral recently. After all, it's hard to deny the points made by someone who was just named teacher of the year and used the occasion to announce why he will be leaving the very school district that just honored him with that distinction.

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