Mamamia Cares

Mamamia Cares is dedicated to charities and causes close to our hearts. 
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  • polished man

    We need to end violence against children. Here’s how you can help.

    By SEAN HANLEY Polished Man is a campaign that seeks to challenge men to end violence against children.  From 1-15 September, YGAP is challenging men to wear nail polish and fundraise towards prevention programs to address violence against children. Below are stories of why two men have decided to don the paint… Gyton Grantley (Actor): Why I’m a polished man Nail polish is pretty. It’s colourful, bright and shiny. Applied well it adds beauty to the hand, adding an element of sophistication or perhaps being wild and free. Most importantly it gets noticed. Whenever a lady brushes her fingers through [read more]

  • scabies

    The common bug that can cut your life expectancy by 20 years.

      “The common bug that can cut your life expectancy by 20 years” By SARAH VICK That grabbed your attention, didn’t it? Now what if I told you that if you’re not Indigenous, then you probably don’t have to be concerned. I expect, like me, you will find this outrageous in a modern, developed country like Australia. For a nation which calls itself the “Lucky Country”, it’s little secret that life is far from lucky for our Indigenous Australians, who can expect to live between 10-20 years less than other Australians. What very few of us know, is that one [read more]

  • elephants 1

    Is your overseas holiday contributing to animal cruelty?

              If you knew that your holiday was contributing to animal cruelty, would you still choose to do the same activities? The woman featured in this photo is Lek Chailert, the founder of the Save the Elephants foundation and the Elephant Nature Park. The elephants photographed with her are Jokia and Mae Perm. Mae Perm was the first elephant that Lek rescued from the logging industry – where she was required to drag heavy loads every day, despite her increasing age – and brought to the park. Jokia was rescued many years later, blind in both [read more]

  • School of St Yared

    What if it were possible for Ethiopia’s poorest children, to get the education they deserve?

                By SALLIANNE DECKERT Eden and her son Eyouses burst into laughter as they work through the alphabet chart stuck to the wall.  They have a loving, easy bond and brilliant smiles that light up the room and for a moment I forget we’re standing in their one-room mud shack in one of the poorest neighbourhoods in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa. Five year old Eyouses was given a small blackboard to help his learning. Having run out of chalk, the blackboard now covers a large hole in the wall, but it’s still bitterly cold inside.  Their [read more]

  • jane and her dad

    “We have all been touched one way or another by cancer.”

                By Jane Goodier-Hill We have all been touched one way or another by cancer, and like most people, we each have a story to tell, having lost loved ones to, or seen them beat cancer. For me I have ridden both the highs and lows of this terrible disease, at age 12 watching my mum Diane battle Cervical Cancer and wondering if my mum, my best friend would be around to watch me grow up, hit milestones in life, and most of all for her to see the kind of person I have grown into with her [read more]

  • Marianetta.jpg

    “No woman should die giving life to another human being. Simple as that.”

              By Hannah Ford I remember gazing at the hands of a traditional birth attendant in pastoralist Laikipia, Kenya, and wondering about the stories they might hold. How many newborns had these hands supported into the world? What challenges had been faced by the women they helped through childbirth, in their remote rural homes far from any health clinic? Beneath the rough and wrinkled surface, how much loss had they absorbed through these experiences? Sub-Saharan Africa has the highest maternal mortality rate, bearing the burden of more than 50 per cent of the world’s maternal deaths. [read more]

  • Mistreatment and abuse of children

    She was silenced for the first 24 years of her life. But now she is speaking louder than ever.

            By Jenna Rathbone, Bravhearts Inc.  Sickeningly, her father said he was standing up for the rights of children – that children deserved to feel the same sexual satisfaction as adults.  Unbelievably, her mother justified it by saying ‘better your father than some stranger taught this to you’. Such was the heinous manipulation and control that Helen Wells was groomed, sexually assaulted and raped until she was in her mid-20s, by a man that was supposed to offer protection – her father. This is the harrowing account of one woman’s struggle to break free from the groping [read more]

  • trekking for autism 1

    ‘If only people would look a little closer, they would find a very caring and honest person.’

              By PETER HOSKING My name is Peter Hosking. I am trekking 655 kilometres through the Australian Alps Walking Track this summer to raise awareness about autism. I personally have high functioning autism, and find living every day a struggle to stay positive. Many people do not understand the way I think, and the way my brain interprets things —  for example sarcasm is quite difficult for me to comprehend and understand. As my interpersonal skills are very lacking I have a lot of people who get the wrong impression. I get bullied and harassed and [read more]

  • include a charity

    Helping the good work live on.

                By INCLUDE A CHARITY Ron and Jeanette Schofield of NSW have been supporting children and communities in need for more than 30 years. As coordinators of a World Vision Community Group, they’ve fundraised for emergency appeals, development projects and a fistula hospital in Ethiopia. Since 1995 alone – when they moved to the Southern Highlands of NSW and started a new group with members of their family – they’ve raised more than $120,000. In fact, 10 years ago they had already clocked up over 2,000 voluntary hours! Whether standing at a market stall, rattling [read more]

  • JeanHailes Image 2

    When the internet helps new parents feel less isolated and alone.

            By JANET MICHELMORE There were so many aspects of my life where I was confident, but being a new parent definitely wasn’t one of them. As a teacher, I could command the attention of hundreds of teenage girls but then I gave birth, severing my confidence nerve in the process. In those first few months, I misplaced my self-esteem in the chaotic mess my life had become. I was both totally in love with my new son and paralysed with fear. I felt like I was completely out of my depth. When I read the posts [read more]

  • homeless kid

    He was 19 and looking after two small kids on his own. This dad’s story is incredible.

          By Rural Housing Network Limited Duke became a father at 16 and two years later he and his partner had another child. At 19 with 2 small children, Duke was left to look after his kids on his own, as his partner relinquished her responsibility and left the hospital after giving birth. To manage, Duke, gave up work and assumed full responsibility for his new baby and toddler.  Duke had a strained relationship with his parents who were unwilling to help, and an older brother who could help out, but essentially Duke was on his own. When Duke [read more]

  • shirley and malala

    Meet the women at the forefront of battling climate change in Vanuatu.

          By SHIRLEY LABAN AND MALA SILAS Vanuatu. An idyllic paradise in the South Pacific, where thousands of Australians go each year to bask under the sun in balmy breezes, snorkel through vibrant coral reefs and enjoy gourmet food. But for us Vanuatu is home, and behind the covers of the glossy holiday brochures lies an island nation that is paying a heavy price for the failure of rich nations to confront the reality of climate change. While Australia continues to take backwards steps, most recently repealing its functioning carbon price, communities in Vanuatu cannot afford to waste [read more]

  • Helen Turkiewicz

    “What happens when a parent has no template for how to be a parent?”

            by SOPHIA TURKIEWICZ ONCE MY MOTHER is the story of two films – the one I started in 1976 and never finished and the one I’ve made now. The story begins in 1976 when I was a film school student and shot 16mm black and white footage of my mother and family, intending to make a documentary. But the footage was never edited. Looking back, I lacked the skill, the maturity and the perspective to do her story justice. The rushes lay in film cans in my hot attic cupboard for over thirty years. Occasionally, I’d [read more]

  • koriciza kids

    In this small African country, kids would never leave weet-bix in their bowl.

          By SARAH MEGGINSON As with most families, breakfast time is chaotic in our household. It takes at least an hour to get the kids dressed, fed and presentable, and washing the remnants of soggy weetbix and mashed banana down the drain is a common casualty of a busy morning. But recently, this mundane task has taken on new meaning. It makes me feel sad. Because I’m not just cleaning up the breakfast dishes, I am literally pouring good food down the sink. In Burundi, the kids would devour this, I thought when rinsing the bowls out this [read more]

  • FYA is the only national independent non-profit organisation dedicated to all young people in Australia.

    How do you get kids contributing to their beyond-the-screen community?

              By JAN OWEN, AM In a world where children and teenagers are bombarded with thousands of stories and images every day – 621 million YouTube clips (and counting!), TV, gaming (on average 10,000 hours by age 21), and 24/7 communication via Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and more – it’s often overwhelming to know where and how to get your kids moving and contributing to their beyond-the-screen community. The benefits are well evidenced these days. As both a parent and someone who has worked with children and young people all across this country for the past 25 [read more]

  • oxfam equal pay

    The gender wage gap represents the biggest obstacle to eradicating poverty.

            By Dr Helen Szoke, Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive  In a village near Faizabad in India, 32-year-old mother of three, Manju Tiwari, works hard as a farmer, growing a wide variety of produce, including sugar cane, rice, wheat and potatoes. “Women do the majority of the work.  We do domestic work and we also work in the field.  We do everything but our work is not recognised,” she says. This is an issue right across the world, in rich and poor countries alike. For all the progress we’ve made in areas such as access to education, the under-valued [read more]

  • unhcr 2

    The lonely struggle facing Syria’s refugee women.

      By the UN Refugee Agency “Syrian refugee women are the glue holding together a broken society. Their strength is extraordinary, but they are struggling alone. Their voices are an appeal for help and protection which cannot be ignored.” – Angelina Jolie, UNHCR Special Envoy.  High on a hill outside of Tripoli, Lebanon, Fadia lives with her four children in an isolated tower. She had to flee Syria’s awful civil war after her husband was killed in May 2012. Today, she feels vulnerable and alone. In the tower, Fadia feels her every move is scrutinised by neighbours and local people. [read more]

  • nisha

    This is a problem we should be talking about.

            Silence is not something you come across often in India. But there we were, in the middle of a rural area in the country’s north, where it was dark, silent and still. The workers had come in from the fields, the cows had been brought in and milked, and there was a lull while families stopped and took a deep breath. I was at a small village in the state of Bihar, one of the poorest states of northern India, working with Opportunity International Australia. As the fog set in, we huddled into a van to [read more]

  • a drawing a day

    “365 days later, I found myself stronger, braver, better.”

            By Meg Minkley Over a year ago I was raped in Mexico by the owner of the hostel I was staying in. After my return, I was not able to find the support groups I envisioned, with conversations and cups of tea. So, as an artist, I got well into my art and started a Facebook page: A Drawing A Day. The process of producing one artwork a day, helped me process emotions in a way I would not have been able to do with words. Little did I know that other people would be interested [read more]

  • the big bounce 1

    This is the most fun you will ever have fundraising.

          By CAROLINE IVORY Imagine a household with a part-time working mum, two school-aged kids, a 4 year old kinder kid and a mischievous 2 year old. Throw in before and after school activities for the older children, day time activities for the younger children, housework and meal planning. Now just to top it off, add in two children with an incurable disease called Cystic Fibrosis (CF), which demands constant attention to diet, medications, exercise, physiotherapy and lots of hospital appointments. Welcome to my life! When my first child Aiden was born in 2002, despite being breastfed every [read more]