Editor’s Note: Today we will be focusing on two inspirational women – Christy Turlington Burns & CNN Hero of the Year, Robin Lim.
Christy Turlington Burns has been an inspiration to me for some time. When I first began brainstorming The Conscious Perspective, it was my hope to feature her advocacy and mobilization organization Every Mother Counts. Perhaps one day, I thought to myself, I would even have the opportunity to interview her about the work she was doing.
This past September I tuned in to the Mashable Social Good Summit where I learned even more about what EMC truly represents. In the interview Christy revealed the inspiration behind her advocacy for global maternal health - a potentially life-threatening complication upon delivering her daughter eight years ago. She began working with CARE and (RED) which led her to her directorial debut, No Woman, No Cry – a film that shares the stories of four women in different areas of the globe, bringing forth a deeper sense of compassion for the cause.
I am sure you can see why it was a clear choice for me to ask Christy to participate in this series, and I am thrilled she accepted – you will love reading her responses below!
Though my interview with Christy would have been amazing on it’s own – I couldn’t help but take the opportunity to talk about Christy’s hero – Ibu Robin Lim. Fans of the CNN Heroes program may recognize the name – she recently took the top honor of CNN Hero of the Year for 2011 for her work in Bali, Indonesia.
Robin is a hero in the true sense of the word. After a series of tragic events including the death of her sister during childbirth, she and her family packed up from their home in the US where she practiced as a midwife, and headed to Bali. In 1995 she founded Bumi Sehat, a non-profit organization which runs clinics that provide free prenatal care, birth services and more to the local communities. She has also traveled to other countries to help after earthquakes, including Haiti after the major earthquake nearly two years ago. You can learn more about Robin’s work here, and watch her CNN Hero special here.
We recently shared that Mozilla has partnered up with Crowdrise in a challenge for celebrities. Christy’s organization EMC is taking part in this challenge in order to raise funds for a new clinic in Bali, so that Robin can continue her work helping those who need it.
Below is our exclusive interview with Christy Turlington Burns where she shares her thoughts on being authentic and living your purpose.
TCP – You are undoubtedly living your passion. Would you share with us what ignited the “spark” within you that has led you to your work today?
CTB – “I consciously explored many interests through my life which has led me to many career endeavors and a very full life! Its the culmination of all these experiences that has put me on my current path and not any one moment over any other. There has been a continuity that stemmed from an intention that began as a little girl living in a California suburb. The intention to live a life of purpose. Intention is a powerful thing and should not be underestimated. If one seeks, one will find -in time…”
TCP – How do you remain authentic and true to yourself in your work when everyday obstacles arise?
CTB – “Authenticity has always been important to me. It’s something I continue to strive for but admittedly it’s pretty difficult to be truly authentic in every moment. I can be quite critical of myself in those moments when I am not. Self realization is a life goal for me. Until then, I’m just practicing…”
TCP- What advice do you have for those seeking to find their “purpose” or live their passion, but perhaps they are finding themselves at a roadblock or feel that they are on the wrong path?
CTB – “I think developing a spiritual practice like yoga is an excellent way to get closer to one’s purpose. It was through yoga and meditation that I began to realize my potential.”
TCP – Would you like to share any projects that you are currently working on with our readers?
CTB – “Last year I founded an organization after completing my first documentary film called No Woman, No Cry I founded an organization called Every Mother Counts. EMC is essentially an advocacy and mobilization designed to increase education of and support for maternal and child health. Our aim is to continue to engage new audiences to join a movement to fight for the right to health for girls and women who seek maternity care.”
TCP – Finally, you’re work is undoubtedly rewarding on many levels. What is the most rewarding aspect in sharing your truth with others?
CTB – “Being a part of a collective reaching to attain the highest possible standard of living. Motherhood is a sisterhood with arms so powerful and healing that it holds the future of the world we all share.”
Source: Every Mother Counts, CNN Heroe’s & Bumi Sehat
No Woman, No Cry Trailer
Last week we put the Organization Spotlight on Every Mother Counts – an organization founded by maternal health advocate Christy Turlington Burns, whose goal is to educate and bring to awareness to an epidemic of huge proportions. One where each minute a woman dies due to complications arising from childbirth. Sadly, the majority of these deaths are preventable.
Today marks an important day for Every Mother Counts and we wanted to share the news. It is the official DVD release date for No Woman, No Cry, the directorial debut for Turlington Burns, which provides a look into at-risk pregnancies in different parts of the world – including the US. (You can read Christy’s thoughts about the tragic loss of Michal Lura Friedman here).
In an exclusive interview with The Conscious Perspective, Turlington Burns took a few minutes to provide us with a glimpse into the future for Every Mother Counts, and shared her thoughts on the release of No Woman, No Cry to a large audience as it hits the shelves.
TCP: What is next for Every Mother Counts? Any major goals/films, etc. in the works?
CTB: “Every Mother Counts is an advocacy and mobilization campaign (launched in 2010) designed to increase education for and support of maternal, newborn and child health. Every Mother Counts seeks to engage new audiences to understand the challenges and solutions while encouraging them to take action.
Our plans for 2012 and beyond are to continue with this mission, using the film and other educational tools, including short films, on our website Everymothercounts.org to highlight individuals and initiatives making an impact around the world. We also plan to share more ways for people to participate in the global effort to improve maternal health and reduce maternal mortality.”
TCP: Could you please share a few words on what having the DVD released and available to so many individuals means to Every Mother Counts?
CTB: “I’m thrilled that the DVD of No Woman, No Cry will be available tomorrow (12/6). The film has been seen by over a million people since its premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2010 with various screenings and television broadcasts around the world but our population is now 7 billion so that’s a mere fraction of us. I hope that the DVD release will enable an even wider audience to watch and learn about global maternal health and that the film continues to inspire audiences to engage.”
In honor of the release of the DVD, we are giving away a copy of No Woman, No Cry. We hope that the winner will host a mini-screening in their home, and hopefully this will continue to grow. Be sure to follow Every Mother Counts on Twitter @EveryMomCounts and join their Facebook page here.
1. Simply leave a comment below! Say hello, share your thoughts on the subject, anything at all.
2. Spread the word about the cause (this will not be monitored, but we trust that you will
Contest is now closed & congrats to Maria!
*Contest open to residents of the US & Canada*
Thank you, and be sure to spread the word about No Woman, No Cry which can be purchased here as of today.
It is estimated that every 90 seconds a woman dies giving birth taking away her chance to be there for every milestone and treasured moment in her child’s life. (source)
Both Heidi and I experienced “Major” complications during our deliveries, and we agree that although we were terrified the very moment things went wrong, we felt equally at ease being surrounded by nurses and doctors who were providing quality medial care that we were lucky enough to have access to. As a result of these experiences, we were compelled to put the Organization Spotlight on Every Mother Counts, founded by former Supermodel and advocate Christy Turlington Burns.
Christy’s birth complications from her first pregnancy inspired her, when pregnant for a second time, to visit a remote village where mothers had to walk miles to obtain clean water – their only opportunity to receive prenatal and postnatal care. These two experiences were instrumental in her decision to learn about maternal health.
Through her documentary No Woman No Cry, Christy was able to bring to the forefront an epidemic impacting hundreds of thousands of women each year by sharing the stories of at risk pregnant women in several regions, including the United States. In the film she shes light on the fact that this epidemic is not limited to third world countries. Her work continues through advocacy and education by herself and the countless individuals and organizations inspired by her cause.
Various issues including extreme poverty, lack of quality healthcare, complications following childbirth, challenges within the healthcare system, and policies related to healthcare and a lack in family planning and reproductive health services all contribute to this astounding rate of maternal deaths. More astounding is the fact that 90% of these deaths are preventable.
As a mother it’s difficult to fathom not being there to help my child navigate a world so different than the world she knew when she was growing in my womb. To think of all of the mothers who do not have this opportunity is heart-breaking.
Christy shares the one commonality between all mothers; that experience is “birth”. By using it as a catalyst to bring people together she seeks to facilitate a “health moment” to ensure that mothers throughout the world survive the childbirth experience.
There are several ways we can help ensure that more mothers have the opportunity to not only give birth to their children but also raise them. To find out more visit Every Mother Counts – Take Action.