From Mother to Mother

From Mother to Mother

From Nichelle Calhoun

Raising money for 150 single mothers/women who make up two collectives in Buenaventura, Colombia, South America. Donations will go to buying food, medicine and essentials impacting more than 750 people during COVID-19.

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Recent Updates

Update #9

4 days ago

Last Thursday, food was distributed to 60 families. Message after message and video after video showed sincere gratitude and need. Being an organizer, sometimes all I can see is what is to be done. But last Thursday, it was all about what you did. You fed families who really were not sure where food would be coming from. The women in the videos look like me and many of you. The men look like my uncles, cousins, and friends. I am just a link in the larger chain, but I see how far the chain can reach. You fed 60 families for roughly 20 days and since then we have been actively working on the next 20 days. We have raised an additional $400 since then. $1,500 gets us the golden 20 days worth of food and supplies. So, I keep my eye on being my sister's keeper. Just like you. Thank you for investing in someone else's survival because that is truly what you have done.

More Info

Our Story: Mother to Mother Campaign from Inclusion for Humanity 

3 months ago, I traveled from the Washington, DC area to Cali, Colombia alongside Jorge Yepes of Inclusion for Humanity to interview Monica Mosquera about an all women's fish-farming initiative.  Monica is the head of two all-women collectives that represent the interests of over 150 Afro-Colombian single mothers in the city of Buenaventura.   These 150 women are determined heads of household who support families that average 5-6 people. They catch and clean fish and market them to nearby restaurants and sell them to be shipped for international markets.  Others cook and sell the famous cuisine of Colombia's Pacific Coast to any tourists who come to the city's beaches.  Despite limited resources, the women of Buenaventura use their creativity and broad range of skills to make products such as the wine, Vino De Naidy, Don Bla, a sweet wine made from the acai fruit featured in the photo with the donation perk, the anthology, Songs of Yemaya.  

Shut out of the larger economy and with little access to capital,  these women make meager earnings due to the impact of global warming on fish supply and ongoing violence from drug trafficking.  As a result, poverty is a mainstay in the daily lives despite the creativity and ingenuity.   

And then COVID-19 hit, making an already dire situation almost impossible. Beaches are now closed and so are the opportunities for women to support their families. 

Local grass roots leaders Monica Mosquera and John Montano have many depending on them to help get resources.  Your donations will go directly to both collectives, The Association of Women Entrepreneurs of Bazan-Bocana and the Environmental Corporation for Territorial  Development . It will help the 150 women provide food and essentials for their families in this time of crisis, impacting roughly 750 people. 

Your Contribution:

  • By contributing, you help essential needs be met. 
  • By sharing, you help illuminate a group that is often invisible in Colombian society.

All DONATIONS ARE WELCOME, but for all donations of the $30 dollar and above giving level, you will receive a signed copy or copies of the anthology, Songs of Yemaya, a collection of Black women's stories from around the world,  a perfect Mother's Day gift that supports mothers in the Pacific region of Colombia. 

To receive copies of anthology, please provide email address when donating. 

***Special Note: The giving levels have been set according to package levels offered by many of the supermarkets  in Colombia for people to buy food during the crisis.

A Little Peek into Buenaventura

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
4 days ago

Update #12

Last Thursday, food was distributed to 60 families. Message after message and video after video showed sincere gratitude and need. Being an organizer, sometimes all I can see is what is to be done. But last Thursday, it was all about what you did. You fed families who really were not sure where food would be coming from. The women in the videos look like me and many of you. The men look like my uncles, cousins, and friends. I am just a link in the larger chain, but I see how far the chain can reach. You fed 60 families for roughly 20 days and since then we have been actively working on the next 20 days. We have raised an additional $400 since then. $1,500 gets us the golden 20 days worth of food and supplies. So, I keep my eye on being my sister's keeper. Just like you. Thank you for investing in someone else's survival because that is truly what you have done.

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
10 days ago

Update #11

Food distributed to 60 families today. Masks and gloves are also included in the "mercados." Congratulations, on a job well done. Spread the word, so that we can make sure to keep hunger away during this critical time. If you can donate again, please know you are making an immediate difference. Thank you exponentially for what you have done as a donor.

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
11 days ago

Update #10

John Montano, an Afro-Colombian social leader and engineer packs up "mercados" (packages of food) for families.

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
11 days ago

Update #9

Today is a special day in Colombia. May 21 is the day that commemorates the abolition of slavery in Colombia that took place May 21,1851. 171 years later like in other parts of the African Diaspora, Black families are still marginalized economically, politically and socially. But today because you donated, we supported Black communities on a very special day. Today, Monica Mosquera and her team John Montano and colleagues Charles and Rafael, organized all of the food they were able to purchase with your donations into "mercados." These "mercados" (packages) include rice, lentils, beans, sugar, flour, fish, coffee, masks, gloves and more and are placed in the plastic bags shown. Today, 60 families received these "mercados" which are estimated to last about 20 days. You should feel so proud. You took a chance and made a difference. Someone in a place that seems a world away is able to feed their family and children tonight and for the next 20 days because of your rapid response and action. We will continue raising money to make sure the next 20 days after that are taken care of too. We will support the most vulnerable communities during COVID-19. We honor our collective journey and ancestors in the process. Thank you from Buenaventura and from the depths of our hearts. Nichelle, Jorge and Yolima

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
22 days ago

Update #6

Last Sunday it was an idea. This Sunday, money is going to some mothers who are truly in need of assistance. I appreciate your donations. We may have more to raise, but we are sending $1,500 down today on Mother's Day. I thank you for your contributions so far and would welcome your support and shares, so next Sunday can look like this one.

Happy Mother's Day!

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
24 days ago

Update #5

I am 11 minutes into the Michelle Obama documentary, "Becoming." She says three words that automatically resonate with me this week, "the power of gathering." I want to thank you all for the "power of gathering." For taking your dollars and putting them with someone else's dollars to make a difference far away, but very intimately. We are exercising our power to gather, by making sure our brothers and sisters eat. I thank you for your power, we are approaching 25% of our goal. Continue to gather. I am deeply thankful for your support.

Photo: A Picture from El Mulato Cabaret in Cali, Colombia, February 2020.

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
26 days ago

Update #4

The day is not up but I want to keep you in the loop. I have been touched by those who have reached out to me to donate who don't even know me personally, but want to support women in need. I am learning many new skills in this process. So far, I have been the one telling the story, but thankfully just today, I learned how to create subtitles, so that you could hear directly from the fishermen and women in Bazan-Bocana. This video will give you an idea of the humanitarian challenge that people are facing. Your donations are a lifeline where other safety nets have not come to fruition. I thank you again.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jqOWclu6gF4

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
26 days ago

Update #3

Today, we were able to make that call to Buenaventura, Colombia and say "help is on the way." Because of you, in the first 24 hours we were able to raise over $1,000. Just two days ago, we were overwhelmed by the need and now there is hope that by working together we can put a dent in that need. My heart still wants to bulldoze it, though. To a group of dynamic women who have faced so much violence and conflict due to Colombia's decades long brutal war - losing husbands, children, family members and friends, we want to take hunger off the table, and show these proud, determined head of households - they are not alone. We truly have sisters in different area codes. From the bottom of my heart, Inclusion for Humanity's heart and purpose, we thank you. We will send the first installment of money donated to the women's collective by Mother's Day. We want to make sure they are able to get what they need on this day for their families. In our push to get to our goal, we ask that you share and send us any ideas to help us bulldoze the hunger the collectives face.

+57

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Nichelle Calhoun posted a new update:
28 days ago

Update #2

Campaign made public to friends and family just a few hours ago, and I am so thankful for the almost $200 already received. Packing up Songs of Yemaya to send to donors! From Baltimore to Buenaventura. From Atlanta to Buenaventura and from DC to Buenaventura! Thank you!

Nichelle Calhoun commented on a blog post:
28 days ago
Appreciate this strong start.

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