The Giving USA 2015 Annual Report on Philanthropy, released in July, announced that charitable giving, while growing steadily over the past five years, has reached its highest level since the Great Recession—an increase of 7.1% over 2013 totals. Donors of all kinds—individuals, foundations, and corporations—are back, baby! They have recovered from the economic setback of 2008 and are feeling more confident than ever to invest in charitable causes across the country.The future has never looked better for the nonprofit sector, right? After all, the study shows that more donors than ever are making gifts. You may be wondering how to start building your donor base to welcome these new donors to your mission. “If only more donors knew about us, just think how much more money we would be raising” may very well be crossing your mind right now. As tempting a thought as this may be, the truth is that the grass is not greener with a whole new set of donors. It’s greener exactly wherever you are watering it. Let’s drill this down a little bit further: 43%. That’s the median donor retention rate that the Fundraising Effectiveness Project (FEP) calculated from the 2012–13 fundraising results of its survey respondents. This means that, on average, many organizations are losing almost 60% of their donors each year. Why? Many reasons. Some, like changes in personal circumstances, are out of the control of any organization. On the other hand, according to the 2014 Burk Donor Survey, nearly 50% of respondents cited reasons like over solicitation, overhead costs, and the lack of demonstrated impact as influencing their decision to stop giving. These lie squarely in the hands of how organizations communicate with and to their donors. The solution to this attrition issue isn’t getting new donors. Quite the contrary. Getting new donors is:Expensive: Raising $1 costs anywhere from $.25 to $1.50.Inefficient: It has a very low ROI ($1).*A short-term solution: Only 23% of first-time donors ever give a second gift.That seems like an awful lot of work to nearly break even or incur a slight loss each year. On the other hand, it is worth looking at how to grow and retain the 64% of loyal donors who have been supporting you over multiple years. After all, fundraising costs to raise $1 from renewals are very low ($.20 to $.25), and these donors offer the highest ROI ($4).*First, identify your donors’ behaviors.What are the past giving levels of your donors’ gifts? By comparing gifts over the past few years within levels such as $1 to $499, $500 to $999, $1,000 to $2,499, and so forth, you’ll be able to see where you’ve had the greatest growth and losses. What is your own donor retention rate, both generally and for first-time donors? What is the average gift rate for each of the years you are comparing? Knowing these data points can ground how you solicit your donors in a way that will encourage growth. For example, you may want to focus on donors within a certain gift range to tailor higher asks. You might also segment a group of lapsed donors or higher-level donors and personalize outreach to them by phone, mail, and in-person communications.Second, understand who your donors are.Which donors have given for multiple years? Who previously supported you but has lapsed? Identify the top 50 to 100 of your longest donors, your largest donors over their lifetime, and newest donors (with a particular eye to those who made large first-time gifts) last year and this year. If you have the resources, it’s helpful to run capacity screening of these three groups to understand where there is greater gift potential. In starting or expanding your major gifts program, these are the donors who will comprise your major gift pipeline. They rarely bounce around from organization to organization. Your next major gift will likely come from one of these donors who has capacity and has supported you for a long time (and not giving at particularly high levels) and may also have been a volunteer. It’s important to get to know this group to understand what motivates their giving and interest in your organization.Third, consider how you communicate with your donors.These current and lapsed donors already know you and are more likely to give more generously if you ask and demonstrate your impact. If we think back to Penelope Burk’s survey results, two of the three top reasons donors stop giving are tied to an organization’s impact and effectiveness. More than ever, donors want to understand how their gift is making a difference in your work. They are giving through you to address a societal need that has meaning for them. Is their gift helping you make a difference? Bring them closer to your work by sharing a personal story of a beneficiary, a measurable accomplishment, or a plan to solve a seemingly intractable problem. As you qualify the major gift potential for those top 50 to100 donors you identified earlier, your ultimate goal is to build meaningful relationships so it naturally leads to sustained and increased support. Get to know their motivations, interests, and philanthropic goals. Use this information to lead your discussions about investments in your work. Remember, it’s not about you.Tied closely with programmatic impact is how effectively your organization operates through costs for program delivery and administration. You don’t necessarily want to skimp on administrative expenses to seem “lean and mean” when it compromises—and even hinders—your ability to scale, deepen, or improve the quality of your work. Without unrestricted operating support, which includes enough funding for your fundraising efforts and staff, you can’t deliver and grow the services of your organization. Build that message about capacity into your donor outreach. Do your donors come away with a strong understanding of what you do, your plans for the future, and why their continued support (unrestricted and restricted) is important?Finally, using the green grass analogy, after you’ve watered and fed your grass with your current donors, it’s still important to plant seeds for the next pipeline of donors. These aren’t the names you rent from mail houses. They can be, but as you saw from an earlier statistic, that’s not a cost-effective solution in the long run. The potential new donors I’m suggesting are people who self-identify in some way. Perhaps you find them through a sign-up on your website or a visitor book if prospective donors can visit your facilities. They can and should also be from the networks of your board and other volunteer leaders. Adding even 10 new names a month can yield up to 120 new donors—if you communicate with and engage them through a relationship model as described above.How can you make the grass you’re standing on greener? By grounding your fundraising approaches on a good understanding of your donors’ giving patterns and interests, creating strategic communications that invite donors into your work, and planting seeds for new supporters in the future. This will strengthen all of your fundraising—annual fund, major gifts, planned giving, and events—and create opportunities for donors to partner with you in bigger and better ways.*From the 2013 DMA’s Response Rate ReportMake this December your best year-end fundraising season ever with Network for Good’s smarter fundraising software, built just for nonprofits. Reach more donors, raise more money, and retain more supporters this year with easy-to-use tools and step-by-step coaching. We have everything you need for a bigger, better campaign, all under one roof. Find out more by speaking with one of our expert fundraising consultants.
The Secret to Getting People to Give: Giving isn’t a business transaction. It’s a human connection. To inspire donors to give, you need to make a meaningful connection by showing them why they matter and how they can make a difference. When you understand why your donors give, you’ll be able to make a more effective appeal.Don’t be afraid to reach out to your donors personally and find out why they give. Their stories matter, and sharing them create inspiration for others to follow their example. (If you don’t have an easy way to keep track of your relationships with your donors, check out Network for Good’s easy donor management system.)That being said, here are some of the top reasons why donors give:Someone I know asked me to give, and I wanted to help themFelt emotionally moved by someone’s storyWant to feel I’m not powerless in the face of need and can help (this is especially true during disasters)Want to feel I’m changing someone’s lifeFeel a sense of closeness to a community or groupWant to memorialize someone (who is struggling or died of a disease, for example)Was raised to give to charity—it’s tradition in my familyWant to be “hip,” and supporting this charity (i.e., wearing a yellow wristband) is in styleIt makes me feel connected to other people and builds my social networkWant to have a good image of myself/my companyWant to leave a legacy that perpetuates me, my ideas or my causeFeel fortunate and want to give something back to othersGive for religious reasons—my faith teaches me to help othersWant to be seen as a leader/role modelGet the right tool to help you raise more money for your cause. Learn more about Network for Good’s fundraising products.Remember: The act of giving is immediate:Give your donors the opportunity to act here and now. Your relationship with them will be long-term, but their willingness to give is now—let them act on it.There are many reasons why people give. When you’re crafting your next fundraising appeal, take this list out and ask yourself if you’ve tapped into these reasons. People act from the heart, not the head:Yes, your nonprofit has to show that it’s a good steward of donor money and you need to impart where all that generosity is going, but your appeal must contain more than numbers and pie charts. Giving is a personal act:Your appeals need to be donor-centric. Make sure to tell your donor why they should care, and why they matter to your organization. Learn more about crafting your call-to-action and writing personal emails.
There’s strong evidence that integrating communications and fundraising into a single team is a real success factor. For many organizations, that shift is far, far away or absolutely out of the question. Even so, you can take small steps to shake up your silos and build productive partnerships.Try any or all of these three approaches to bring your communications and fundraising teams closer together—and boost results. Donors first! Map out how and when your organization touches an individual in each of your target audiences or segments.It’s human nature to ignore a problem until it’s in your face. This technique will highlight what’s really going on.Partner up a fundraiser and a communicator to visually document touchpoints within a week or month for individuals representative of your priority audiences. Use your personas if you’ve already developed them. Map the campaign, message, format, channel, call to action, and timing details for each touchpoint.You’ll likely uncover some days when an individual receives multiple touches with conflicting messages—aka chaos!Nothing is a stronger motivator for coordinating messages and missiles.Bonus: Mapping supporter touchpoints showcases everyone who has played a role in spurring a donation or other desired action. Typically, credit is given only to the creator of the last interaction, overlooking many of the contributors who move supporters to act. Identify what’s working—from each “side”—and do more of that.Ask your communications team to identify the fundraising team’s three most effective approaches and to integrate those techniques into their own work—and vice versa.While you’re at it, ask each team to identify what the other is doing that isn’t working. Try this: Ask each team to give the other one a “free pass” to make a single change to their work, without protest or arguments, for a week. If your marketing director can make only one change to a fundraiser’s direct-mail letter, what will it be? And what single change will the development director make to the marketer’s Facebook post?This practice enables each team to focus on what is truly most important to them, gives each team some level of control, and encourages both to better understand each other without arguing over the merits of the requested change.P.S. I learned this method from my favorite transformative change experts, Switch authors Chip and Dan Heath. The Heaths advocate this underused technique as the most reliable pathway to positive change. Co-create messaging for a single campaign.Select a time-limited campaign that’s related to both teams’ goals. Possible focal points include a significant organizational anniversary, an exceptional opportunity to work with a celebrity, a new program launch, or a change in strategy.Next, task a few communications and development staff members to fully collaborate in creating the campaign messages. This is another useful way each team can learn what’s happening behind the scenes on the “other team” and understand their point of view.Ask collaborators to document the process, especially stumbling blocks, so collaboration will go smoother next time. Then, when the messages are complete, sit down with both teams to discuss the process and the product.Ask the folks who worked together on this campaign to share the high points and the pain of the process, as well as the unexpected benefits for the end product (the messages). Brainstorm recommendations for shifts in each team’s creative, review, and approval process. Then, keep your eyes open for the next co-creation opportunity.Tiny wins like these are the most realistic way I know to shift the status quo. I dare you to experiment with one of these techniques. Let me know how it goes!From Network for Good: Nancy is spot on with her recommendations for communication and fundraising teams. If you can’t implement Nancy’s ideas for tracking donor touchpoints, it’s time to invest in a smarter way to manage your donors. A donor management system can help you keep better track of all your donor information, communication, and more. Talk to a Network for Good rep today and we can help you get started.
Posted on April 11, 2013March 13, 2017Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Along with the respectful maternity care guest blog series, the MHTF has launched a new resource page on respectful care. The page provides an overview of the major concerns for efforts to humanize care during pregnancy and childbirth, as well as links to organizations working on issues related to ensuring that women are treated with dignity during pregnancy and labor; recent articles on issues related to respectful care; and posts from the MHTF blog.We hope you will have a look at the resources that are currently posted, and return often, since the page will be updated as new resources become available. Finally, we invite you to submit your suggestions for additional resources that may be included.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
On World Humanitarian Day, a Focus on Reproductive and Maternal Health Providers in Humanitarian Settings
Posted on August 20, 2013February 16, 2017By: Sarah Blake, MHTF consultantClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Yesterday, on World Humanitarian Day, K4Health launched a new Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings toolkit, a set of resources that offer guidance for health care providers, emergency workers, communications professionals and others. It covers a range of health issues, including a module on maternal and child health, and brings together a range of resources that K4Health began compiling following crises in Haiti and Pakistan, which inspired the creation of a general toolkit for use in a range of humanitarian settings.In addition, UNFPA marked World Humanitarian Day with a profile of Muneera Sha’aban, one of Jordan’s first midwives, who is now working in a UNFPA-supported clinic to ensure that Syrian women who have fled conflict in their home country to Jordan’s Za’atari refugee camp deliver safely.From the article:The 69-year-old midwife says she enjoys doing her job regardless of all the difficulties she encounters serving in one of the UNFPA-supported clinics in Za’atari Camp for Syrian Refugees in Jordan.Muneera’s days start very early, as she makes her way from Amman to the camp, some 80 kilometres away. She leaves her house at 6 in the morning and takes two buses to arrive at the camp by 9.“I have to work to make a living, but without the love I have for the work I am doing, life could have been more difficult,” she says, adding, “I return to my house at 6 in the evening, backed with satisfaction.”World Humanitarian Day also marked the launch of “The World Needs More #___” a campaign that invites the public to share their answers to the question: “What do you think the world needs more of?” Check out campaign submissions on Twitter.For more on the vital role that midwives play in ensuring that women deliver safely in the midst of conflict, catch up on coverage from NPR and the MHTF blog.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Reflecting on Developing Country Parallels at Launch of Program to Address U.S. Maternal Mortality Crisis
Posted on November 23, 2013November 17, 2016By: Priya Agrawal, Executive Director, Merck for MothersClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)As an OB/GYN who has worked in dozens of developing countries, I have seen firsthand what it’s like to give birth in places where resources are strapped and conditions are bleak. I’ve seen the way women struggle to gather the money needed to give birth at a facility. I’ve seen women walk miles – while in labor no less – to reach the closest health clinic or hospital. I’ve seen women get to a facility only to find that it’s overcrowded, understaffed or lacking in critical medicines and supplies. And for all these reasons, I’ve had the misfortune of seeing women die in pregnancy and childbirth, their deaths often hand tallied on the walls of health facilities, if counted by the system at all.These are circumstances under which no woman should have to give birth. Yet they persist, day in and day out. But what I’ve found most surprising since I’ve taken on a new role as Executive Director of Merck for Mothers is that these issues are actually not confined to the developing world. Sadly, there are communities in the United States that face challenges not all that different than those facing women in places like sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.I recently travelled to some of these communities for the launch of Merck for Mothers’ new programs to reduce maternal mortality here in the U.S. As part of this work, we’ve partnered with organizations in Baltimore, Camden, New York City and Philadelphia, where I had a chance to witness some of the challenges women face in getting the care they need for a safe and healthy pregnancy and childbirth. What I saw and heard was astonishing, revealing three striking parallels.Our partner in Camden told me that many of the women their program serves interact with the health system for the first time when they become pregnant. Whether it’s because they don’t have the funds (or insurance) to afford preventative care, or don’t have a full understanding of the services available to them, a lot of these women go years or decades without seeing a health provider. Because of this, it is common for women in low-income communities to miss out on things like primary care visits and prenatal check-ups. In fact, only 50% of pregnant women in Camden receive first trimester care, making it much more difficult to identify conditions that could lead to a complicated – and, at times, life-threatening – childbirth.Transportation is also an issue. I remember one woman in Baltimore telling me that – even if her family could afford public transportation – health care services were located too far away for her to use regularly. And because taxis rarely venture into the poorer communities, she is cut off from the transport services she needs to reach care on a routine basis. Harking back to time I spent in rural parts of Zambia and Uganda, this story sounded all too familiar, and little did I know that it was such a prevalent one in the U.S.Finally, perhaps the most profound parallel between maternal mortality domestically and abroad is the lack of reliable data. I knew that many maternal deaths in the developing world go undocumented, but I had no idea that more than 1 in 3 of these deaths are unidentified on death certificates in America. This type of information is critical in our effort to save women’s lives during pregnancy and childbirth, as it allows us to spot trends, better understand the problem and create targeted policies and clinical practices to address it.Considering this range of unexpected realities – and factoring in the escalating rates of chronic health conditions like obesity, high blood pressure and diabetes – it is no wonder that maternal mortality is on the rise in this country. In fact, as an OB/GYN, I fear that these chronic conditions will soon become the fourth major parallel, as these same challenges are beginning to spill into developing countries. The rise of chronic conditions in poor countries has the potential to jeopardize the progress made in bringing down maternal death rates throughout the world, much like they did in the U.S.In view of these common and emerging similarities in maternal health, Merck for Mothers has launched new partnerships in the U.S. that build on our global portfolio of programs in more than 20 other countries. While the contexts are certainly different, many of the obstacles are the same, and I look forward to the opportunity to help overcome them and ensure safer and healthier pregnancies and childbirths for all women – at home and abroad.To learn more, visit Merck for Mothers’ U.S. programs, watch this video on the personal toll of maternal mortality, or watch story by CBS 13 in Baltimore on the program’s work in that city.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions. Share this: Posted on October 8, 2014November 2, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions firstname.lastname@example.org ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:,Two fellowship opportunities are now available. Please review the information below.Takemi FellowshipThe Harvard School of Public Health is pleased to announce that two Takemi Fellows will be supported annually by a grant from the Ford Foundation to contribute to leadership development and build capacity for sexual and reproductive health policy in Africa. The focal countries include Ghana, Nigeria, Sierra Leone, and the Gambia. Strong candidates from French-speaking West African countries can apply if they have strong English language skills.Applicants should propose a project that relates to youth development, sexuality, reproductive health and rights, and includes a broad approach that places these issues within the overall developmental aspirations of youth. The proposal should include an analysis of a critical policy problem related to youth sexuality, with the goal of developing a policy brief to identify specific actions that could be implemented upon return home.Applications and proposals for the 2015-16 Academic Year (August 2015 – June 2016) must be received by March 1, 2015.Required Application MaterialsApplication information sheet (pdf) (word)Curriculum vitaePublications listShort sample of something you have published in EnglishProposal of research and writing to be undertaken during the FellowshipThree letters of referencePlease contact Amy Levin with any questions email@example.com New Voices FellowshipThe New Voices Fellowship—hosted by the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy organization — is now seeking nominations for its next round of fellows. The fellowship provides an opportunity for current health and development professionals to harness their media, communications, and leadership skills in order to share their work and messages with a large international audience. The fellowship is not full-time, but does require a significant amount of dedication in order to write articles, participate in interviews for local and international media, and speak at international conferences.Former fellows have come from countries throughout Africa and South East Asia and must be from a developing country. The work of these fellows has been featured in a variety of news and media publications: such as, NPR, TEDx conferences, BBC, Think Africa Press, Reuters, The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, and others. There is an incredible amount of pioneering work happening around the world, but it is not always communicated. Amplifying the voices of maternal health leaders raises awareness of critical issues and shares successes that others can learn from and implement.Click here to nominate someone for the New Voices Fellowship and to review information on the nomination process and frequently asked questions.
Posted on December 10, 2014June 12, 2017By: Nevia Pavletic, Implementation Science Intern, TRAction ProjectClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)This post is in commemoration of Human Rights Day and the importance of the last 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, which started off with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Disrespect and abuse in maternity care is an institutionalized form of gender violence. In addition, please find a round-up of recent news addressing human rights violations and gender violence at the end of this post.The fact that nearly one in three women globally has experienced intimate partner violence, a form of gender-based violence (GBV), is widely known. But can you easily name a situation where GBV occurs in the healthcare system?GBV is a worldwide problem that occurs in many contexts and in many forms including sexual violence, physical and verbal abuse, and cultural practices that harm women. The 16 Days of Activism against Gender Based Violence campaign, which launched on November 25th, puts this serious issue under the international spotlight.Current discourses on GBV, though they acknowledge that GBV occurs in many different contexts, rarely address GBV in health care settings. Disrespect and abuse during childbirth not only echoes other forms of GBV, but also contributes to women’s underutilization of skilled delivery services, which can negatively impact women’s health. Promoting respectful and dignified maternal health care is central to upholding human rights and improving the provision of women’s healthcare. Incorporating discussions on respectful maternal care into the global GBV dialogue is necessary for making this important issue a global priority.Around the world, women experience a range of disrespectful and abusive behavior at the hands of the health system: including, physical abuse, disregard for privacy, and unfair requests for payment. Research from TRAction-funded projects on respectful maternal care reveals that this disrespect and abuse—as with other forms of GBV—is an extension of existing structural inequalities. For example, these disrespectful, abusive behaviors are often a byproduct of stressful working conditions, as (often female) healthcare workers are overworked in a health system that is frequently understaffed and strained for resources. The TRAction-funded STAHA project in Tanzania has implemented interventions to help healthcare workers cope with stress, and the Heshima Project in Kenya has adopted a model of disrespect and abuse that takes into account the individual, structural, and policy levels, suggesting that effective interventions to decrease disrespect and abuse must be systemic.Recently, TRAction’s implementing partners at Columbia University published a commentary in Lancet’s Midwifery Series, in which they emphasize that disrespect and abuse does not occur only at the hands of healthcare providers, but also by the health system itself. In other words, the existence of disrespect and abuse is a symptom of a “health system in crisis.” While it is imperative that we consider women’s perspectives and experiences, tackling GBV in all its forms will require us to go beyond individual-level interventions to address the structural contexts and power inequalities that enable GBV and disrespect and abuse during childbirth to occur in the first place.Gender equality is clearly key to international efforts to achieve sustainable development goals and situating respectful maternity care within the broader global dialogue on GBV will help us in these efforts.This post originally appeared on the USAID TRAction Blog.News Round-up for Human Rights DayKenyan women with HIV sue over sterilisationWhy Sterilization Is The Most Popular Form Of Family PlanningIndian sterilisation patient: ‘I was slapped and told to calm down’Indian women die after state-run mass sterilisation campaign goes wrongWoman dies at second India sterilisation campShare this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 21, 2015August 8, 2016Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) welcomes general and research abstract submissions relevant to midwifery and women’s health for the ACNM 61st Annual Meeting & Exhibition to be held May 22 – 26, 2016, in Albuquerque, NM. Abstract submissions are being accepted online through July 10, 2015 at 11:59 PM EST.All general abstracts submitted for oral presentation must go beyond ACNM core competencies or show new learning, and have appropriate documentation of references. References from the past 5 years from peer-reviewed, refereed journals or texts are required with the abstract submission. Topics relevant to full-scope clinical midwifery, including primary care, evidence-based practice, global health, education,business, and policy that expand on current practice or introduce novel approaches to care are sought.Click here for a complete list of instructions on submitting your abstract for an education session, workshop, poster presentation, roundtable, or forum.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on May 10, 2017January 2, 2018By: Katja Iversen, President and CEO, Women DeliverClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In the lead up to the 70th World Health Assembly (22-31 May), president and CEO of Women Deliver, Katja Iversen, highlights a neglected health problem that must be addressed in order to reduce global rates of maternal mortality and fulfill Sustainable Development Goal targets: diabetes in pregnancy.Over the past two decades, improving maternal health has become an increasingly important focus of the global development agenda—and rightly so. Between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality rate has fallen by 44%, from approximately 546,000 to 303,000 deaths per year. That reduction is a testament to the sterling collective efforts of governments, institutional donors, health service providers and family planning agencies, as well as tireless campaigning by international, national and grassroots organizations.Yet despite these gains, some 830 women and girls still die from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth every single day. These deaths are unacceptable. Clearly, the approach needs to change if there is any hope of meeting the Sustainable Development Goals target to reduce the global maternal mortality ratio from its current 216 deaths per 100,000 live births to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.To achieve this ambitious target, the global health community must tackle previously neglected conditions that are associated with pregnancy complications, and which are thereby responsible for the unacceptably high numbers of maternal deaths each year. Diabetes in pregnancy is one such condition, affecting one out of every six pregnancies around the world.Diabetes in pregnancy includes women who have previously been diagnosed, as well as those who exhibit high blood glucose (blood sugar) levels and develop gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) during their pregnancies. Left untreated, GDM can have devastating consequences for mother and baby alike. There are proven links, for example, between GDM and the risk factors that contribute to maternal mortality, like postpartum hemorrhage, obstructed labor and pre-eclampsia.Children born to mothers with untreated GDM face increased risk of neonatal death and long term disability. Furthermore, children born to mothers with GDM are four to eight times more likely to develop type 2 diabetes in later life, while daughters of affected mothers are more likely to be similarly affected during any future pregnancy of their own.Diabetes in pregnancy is on the rise globally, due to changes in lifestyle and dietary habits, and it currently affects some 14 million women every year. As with most problems related to pregnancy complications, diabetes in pregnancy is more prevalent in low- and middle-income countries, which account for 88% of cases worldwide. Yet the countries where diabetes in pregnancy is most prevalent are the least likely to offer routine screening and treatment.The public health challenge of diabetes in pregnancy is immense and pressing, and any concerted efforts to raise awareness and confront the problem are relatively recent. The XXI FIGO World Congress of Gynaecology and Obstetrics in Vancouver (2015) adopted new global guidelines on how to screen and manage GDM, and the World Diabetes Foundation hosted a panel on the subject at last year’s Women Deliver Conference in Copenhagen. Practical interventions are also underway. In 2011 the World Diabetes Foundation collaborated with others in Columbia to integrate GDM diagnosis and treatment into prenatal care for vulnerable women in the city of Barranquilla. Yet much still remains to be done.There is a strong need to build bridges between the diabetes and the maternal and newborn health communities to promote joint action around diabetes in pregnancy—particularly in the high burden countries of India, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Mexico and Brazil. Without this cooperation, the global development sector risks curtailing the great progress that has been made in improving maternal health over the past two decades. By including universal screening for diabetes as a standard of care for pregnant women, there is an opportunity to improve health, save lives and promote prevention efforts, like nutrition and physical activity, which will improve wellbeing for generations to come.Anyone interested in finding out more about the problem of diabetes in pregnancy can take part in Women Deliver’s Webinar Series. Watch part one here and register for part two at bit.ly/DIPwebinar2.This post originally appeared on the BMJ Opinion blog.Share this:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on September 28, 2017October 6, 2017By: Sarah Hodin, Project Coordinator II, Women and Health Initiative, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public HealthClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)A core component of high quality health care is ensuring that services are people-centered—that providers incorporate the “preferences and aspirations of individual service users and the culture of their community.” The World Health Organization’s “Standards for improving quality of maternal and newborn care in health facilities” released in 2016 recommend that practitioners participate in regular in-service trainings to improve their interpersonal communication, counseling skills and cultural competence to encourage the provision of respectful maternity care. Organizations such as the Joint Commission, the National Institutes of Health, the International Confederation of Midwives and the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics have also emphasized the importance of cultivating cultural competence in health care and offered practical guidance.How have program implementers, clinicians and researchers approached the issue of providing culturally-appropriate maternity care, and what challenges have they encountered?A recent paper in BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth aimed to answer these questions. This paper was a secondary analysis of a previous systematic review that the authors published in 2014 as part of the MHTF-PLOS Collection, “Integrating Health Care to Meet the Needs of the Mother-Infant Pair.” The authors reviewed 15 studies to examine how interventions to provide culturally-appropriate maternal health services—specifically related to patients’ ethnicity, language and religion—affected utilization of skilled antenatal, intrapartum and postnatal care.Ten of the 15 studies found that the intervention had positive effects on skilled maternity care utilization, especially antenatal care attendance.Keys to successThe following four themes illustrate barriers and facilitators to ensuring that women receive culturally-appropriate maternity care:AccessResearchers noted that financial and geographic barriers often inhibit women of certain cultural groups from seeking maternal health services, even if those services are culturally-appropriate. In some settings, gender-based restrictions on travel, low levels of education or literacy, limited knowledge of health services and a lack of social support or child care were also barriers to access. Facility-based interventions cannot be effective if the target population cannot access services.Community participationCreating mutual respect through coordination and communication among health workers and communities was essential for the success of interventions. Some program implementers highlighted the importance of establishing community ownership over interventions. Community-based participatory research is a promising approach that involves communities in program design from the beginning.Person-centered carePoor interactions between patients and providers was a common issue, with many women reporting caretakers’ unfriendliness, discrimination and negative attitudes. These experiences of disrespect and abuse decreased women’s self-worth and caused feelings of anxiety and shame. The most common strategy to combat these issues was employing staff with similar cultural or linguistic backgrounds to those of the women seeking care.Continuum of careSeveral interventions focused on a specific aspect of maternity care such as antenatal visits, but addressing issues of cultural appropriateness across the entire continuum of care was an important success factor. Collaboration among different care providers was essential to ensuring culturally-appropriate services to women at every encounter with health workers during pregnancy, delivery and postpartum.The stakes are highRespectful maternity care is a human right, and failing to guarantee culturally-appropriate care has serious implications. For example, women who do not receive respectful and culturally sensitive care at a health facility are less likely to seek facility-based maternity care in the future, which can have long-term consequences for both mother and baby.It is important to note that the 15 studies included in this review were conducted in Australia, Peru, the United States and the United Kingdom. Given how critical local contexts are in evaluating interventions to provide culturally-appropriate care, further research in other regions is needed to ensure that no woman is left behind.—Read the full, open access paper, “Interventions to provide culturally-appropriate maternity care services: Factors affecting implementation.”Learn more about respectful maternity care.Check out related posts from the MHTF blog:Respecting Choice in Childbirth: Preferred Delivery Positions Among Ethnic Minorities in VietnamIntegrating Culture Into Maternity Care Programs: A Systematic Mapping of InterventionsShare this:
Posted on May 11, 2018May 14, 2018By: Staff, Maternal Health Task ForceClick to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Interested in a position in reproductive, maternal, newborn, child or adolescent health? Every month, the Maternal Health Task Force rounds up job and internship postings from around the globe.AfricaAdvisor, Social and Behavior Change Communication: Save the Children; Dar es Salaam, TanzaniaInternational Consultant – OB/GYN (Obstetrician/Gynecologist) [specialization in fistula treatment]: United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA); EritreaMaternal and Newborn Health Advisor: Jhpiego; LiberiaASIAAsia Regional Program Coordinator: EngenderHealth; New Delhi, IndiaProgramme Analyst, Maternal Health: UNFPA; Jakarta, IndonesiaEUROPEEvidence, Insights and Evaluation Manager: Marie Stopes International (MSI); London, United KingdomTechnical Officer: World Health Organization; Copenhagen, DenmarkNorth AmericaAdvisor, Adolescent Sexual Reproductive Health in Humanitarian Settings: Save the Children; Washington, DCAdvisor, Newborn Health: Save the Children; Washington, DCAssociate Program Officer, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Discovery & Tools: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation; Seattle, WADirector of International Research: Guttmacher Institute; New York, NYGlobal Maternal and Child Health Research Associate: Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health; Boston, MA (with significant travel and time in Ethiopia)Program Manager, Health Systems and Financing: ThinkWell; Washington, DCProvincial Director, Clinical Education and Quality Improvement: Provincial Health Services Authority; Vancouver, BC, CanadaService Provision Assessment (SPA) Specialist, Maternal Newborn Child Health and Nutrition: PATH; Rockville, MDSexual, Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) Senior Director: CARE; Atlanta, GA—Is your organization hiring? Please contact us if you have maternal health job or internship opportunities that you would like included in our next job roundup.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Working with Government Systems to Improve Exclusive Breastfeeding Practices in Urban Informal Settlements of India
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on August 1, 2018August 1, 2018By: Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action, Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)In urban Maharashtra, a highly industrialized state in India, exclusive breastfeeding rates are low, around 50%. Increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding is an effective strategy for preventing diarrhea, a leading cause of poor nutritional status and death among infants. Researchers at the Mumbai-based non-profit Society for Nutrition, Education & Health Action (SNEHA) recently published results of a study aimed at improving exclusive breastfeeding practices in informal settlements in Mumbai. We examined factors associated with practicing exclusive breastfeeding and whether its practice is associated with pregnant mothers’ enrollment in a community-based program to tackle child malnutrition.The community-based program for prevention and treatment of acute malnutrition operated for nearly five years in Dharavi, a large and vulnerable settlement in Mumbai. The program was implemented in partnership with the Government of India’s Integrated Child Development Services, covering 300 childcare or anganwadi centers and an estimated population of 300,000. The program’s primary activities included monthly growth monitoring, home-based counseling for pregnant women and caregivers and referrals to public health care facilities. A mixed-methods evaluation of the program found that the program had successfully reduced wasting (weight-for-height) prevalence among children under the age of three, in large part due to the continuous presence of trusted and informed community health workers (CHWs).Activities for pregnant women and children up to six months of ageThroughout the intervention, CHWs employed by SNEHA continually identified new pregnancies, new migrant pregnant women and missed pregnancies (as some women did not disclose their pregnancies until their second trimester). They also tracked newly married couples and couples with a single child who might be considering having a child. During the home visits, the CHWs encouraged pregnant women to register for delivery and access early antenatal care. They provided information on the possible danger signs during pregnancy for which they should seek immediate medical care.The CHWs counseled women on preparation for institutional delivery, appropriate postnatal care, the importance of iron and folic acid for the baby’s growth and on a nutritious diet and rest. A critical component of the counseling was to discuss the importance of breastfeeding practices such as initiation of breastfeeding within one hour of delivery, the benefits of colostrum, exclusive breastfeeding and avoidance of any prelacteal feeds. These educational visits continued from pregnancy through the birth of the child until the child was six months old.The CHWs also counseled lactating mothers on correct positioning, common challenges and remedies related to breastfeeding. The home visits allowed CHWs to respond to mothers’ breastfeeding concerns in a timely manner. Approximately 11% of mothers reported a problem with breastfeeding, with the majority reporting an issue of “low milk supply.” Each CHW was trained with specific strategies to manage issues and facilitate exclusive breastfeeding. In addition to home visits, SNEHA CHWs organized group meetings and culturally relevant community events for pregnant women for social support and health education.Factors associated with exclusive breastfeedingEndline evaluation data showed that 64.4% of 888 mothers with children under age six months of age were exclusively breastfeeding. Infants less than three months of age had much higher rates of exclusive breastfeeding (75.3%) compared to infants aged five to three months (52.7%). About a third of mothers gave prelacteal liquids in the first days following birth and had lower levels of exclusive breastfeeding (54.7%) as compared to mothers who did not give any prelacteal feeds (70%). Giving birth in a public facility was associated with higher rates (71.7%) of breastfeeding as compared to mothers who had given birth in private facilities (55%). Having a normal weight-for-height status and participating in the SNEHA program were positively associated with exclusive breastfeeding.Benefits of early enrollmentIn the study, we also examined our program surveillance data to explore whether counseling pregnant women helped improve exclusive breastfeeding practices. Mothers were significantly more likely to report exclusively breastfeeding if they had enrolled in the program while pregnant. Caregivers benefited from receiving counseling services earlier and more frequently: Mothers enrolled during antenatal care received an average of nine home visits from a SNEHA CHW, and mothers enrolled after a new birth received an average of five home visits. This study provides evidence in support of antenatal intervention in child nutrition programs and serves as example of how this can be done in partnership with existing government partners.—Read the study in PLOS ONE | Participation of pregnant women in a community-based nutrition program in Mumbai’s informal settlements: Effect on exclusive breastfeeding practicesLearn more about breastfeeding>>Read insight into breastfeeding from Dr. Ana Langer, Director of the Maternal Health Task Force>>—Photo Credit: Suraj Katra/SNEHAShare this:
zoom Trade union Nautilus has supported calls for improved services to help seafarers deal with the increasing pressures of working at sea.The union has backed a number of initiatives including action to raise awareness of the challenges that seafarers face and the need for programs to support them in dealing with the impact of issues such as stress, fatigue, long working hours, and isolation.“Seafarers face particular challenges that can lead to workplace stress, such as long working hours, and frequent absences from home. While these conditions are part and parcel of a seafarer’s job, the union is campaigning for greater mental health awareness and for mental health training to be incorporated into first aid training onboard ships, so that the topic is no longer taboo, and crew is not discriminated against,” Mark Dickinson, Nautilus’ General Secretary, commented.Dickinson added the union’s Women’s Forum members had, in March 2017, got the backing of the Trades Union Congress to urge companies to put measures in place to enable seafarers to flag up stress-related factors at work, and for owners to provide them with access to recreational and welfare facilities including adequate shore leave and access to communications including the internet.Nautilus said it also supports the work of The Sailors’ Society wellness at sea coaching program and its health and well-being initiatives.Additionally, The Shipowners’ Club stressed its commitment to improving standards for mental health and wellbeing within the marine industry. Last year, the club recorded several claims involving crew members with suspected mental health issues.The club said the high rates of suicide in the marine industry underline the challenges the industry faces in improving standards for mental health and wellbeing. In recognition of this, the club has published an article outlining some of the key symptoms of mental health signifiers among seafarers and makes recommendations for mental health interventions onboard.The initiatives backed by Nautilus coincided with Mental Health Awareness Week held from May 8 to 14, 2017.“This Mental Health Awareness Week we call on owners and operators to review the pressure put on crews and to ensure that suitable support mechanisms are in place,” Andrew Wright, The Mission to Seafarers’ Secretary General, pointed out.
What might be most outstanding are the rows of classic manga lining the walls. The drawings are entertaining in themselves but if you can read Japanese, you’ll enjoy them even more. Try browsing through some of them while waiting for your curry.When the restaurant opened in 1997, smartphones weren’t as widespread as now. The owner thought that customers who come alone might be bored when waiting for their curry. He decided to offer something most people liked as an entertainment source, namely mangas.Moyan Curry – 3 Recommended DishesMoyan Curry has an endless variety of toppings that all go wonderfully well with their rich curry sauce. There is something for every taste and every budget. They even offer high-class wagyu beef curry, which is one of their most popular items on the menu.An English menu is not available at the store but you can always refer to the one on their official website.Let us introduce you three unique curry dishes at Moyan. All of them are part of the dinner menu.1. Avocado Bacon Tomato Curry Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryJapanese curry, also known as curry rice, is an extremely popular dish in Japan, being widely enjoyed either at home or when dining out.While Moyan Curry might look like your typical Japanese curry restaurant at first glance, it is a real secret tip among curry lovers. Made using only fruit, vegetables, and a secret spice mixture, their dishes are not only some of the most delicious curries in Tokyo but also some of the healthiest. 15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Ikebukuro Curry Dishes Made with Fruit, Vegetables and Healthy Spices In this article, we will introduce Moyan Curry’s branch in the thriving Ikebukuro area, secretly tucked away close to Sunshine City and Tokyu Hands. The interior of Moyan is rather unique and reminiscent of a cozy wooden hut. Customers sit on stable stools that look and feel like little tree trunks. Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryThe Niku Niku Miso Pork Kalbi and Chicken Curry (1,000 yen) is a new item on the menu. Kalbi is the name of Korean style marinated barbeque ribs.”Niku Niku” means “Meat Meat” in Japanese. As the name suggests, it’s the perfect choice for meat lovers. Thick slices of miso-marinated pork and chicken are served alongside Moyan’s delicious curry.This dish is served with a raw egg as topping. If you don’t like raw eggs you can ask for it to be served soft boiled or fried. You can also skip it altogether. Either way, it is a satisfying meal packed with rich flavors and a lot of protein.Customize your Curry Japanese Curry And Rice – What’s It Like, And Where Can I Try It? Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryMoyan’s curry was invented by accident. The owner used to be a normal office employee and his favorite hobby was to cook. When he learned that fruit and vegetables lost two-thirds of their original flavor and nutritional values in the last decades, he started to experiment using three times the amount of fruit and vegetables than usual in his dishes. He also tried intensifying their flavors by slowly simmering them to a stew.When he added different spices to bring out their flavors even more, he accidentally ended up with a flavorful curry instead of a stew.He refined his unique curry base with high-quality olive oil and a secret, matured spice mixture. The fruit and vegetables for Moyan’s curry mixture are simmered for two days until they become a deep brown base. After two days, the spice paste and filtered water are added to create a creamy sauce. The spice paste itself is matured for two weeks in advance to reach its full flavor potential.The thickness of the curry comes from its natural ingredients. No flour is added. If you are lucky, you can even watch it being made in a big pot in the restaurant.The first Moyan Curry shop opened 22 years ago in Shinjuku. Moyan has since expanded to overall six locations all over Tokyo. The store in Ikebukuro has been in this location a little bit over ten years.Entertain Yourself with Manga while Waiting for Your Curry Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryMoyan’s Lunch Buffet is an incredibly popular lunchtime service. It only costs 1,080 yen and has no time limit. Coffee, rooibos tea, and water are free as well just like at dinner time.After paying at the entrance, you will be given a big plate. You will have to use the same plate from start to finish so it is advised to start small as the plate can get very messy. 15 Popular And Less Common Things To Do In Ikebukuro The Avocado Bacon Tomato Curry (1,400 yen) is not only beautiful to look at, but it also bursts with flavors. The juicy cherry tomatoes pair great with the rich sauce, the creamy avocado, and the incredibly juicy bacon. This unique dish is rich and refreshing at the same time.Many of Moyan’s signature dishes are topped with avocado. It is surprising how well the creamy avocado goes with the rich curry. After you tried it, you might never want to eat curry without avocado ever again.2. Lemon Curry Read also Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryThe writer’s favorite dish at Moyan is the refreshing Lemon Curry (950 yen). It comes with a big slice of juicy marinated chicken, seasoned with Chinese spices and grilled in olive oil. As you can see in the photo, this is another dish at Moyan with avocado topping.While this dish tastes delicious as it is, the unique part is that you are supposed to squeeze the lemon over the curry. The lemon juice cuts nicely through the thick flavor of the curry and gives it a refreshing taste. It’s the perfect curry for summer!3. Niku Niku Miso Pork Kalbi and Chicken Curry Moyan Curry – The Favorite Dining Place of Japanese Curry Lovers Read also Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryYou can also add a variety of toppings for a small additional charge. How about extra Gouda cheese or avocado? The refreshing lemon mentioned earlier can also be added to any curry.Coffee and Rooibos Tea Free of ChargeLike at most Japanese restaurants, a jug with free water is available on every table. In addition, you can also get as much coffee or rooibos tea as you like at Moyan. All beverages are self-service. Take your tea and coffee from the beverage machine beside the kitchen.Another free service is that you can have up to two boiled potatoes to go with your curry. These are self-service as well. If you want butter or mayonnaise on your potatoes, it will cost an additional 100 yen.Please feel free to use the spice mix that is also available at the table. It is blended by a herbal medicine specialist and it is supposed to be good for your body as well as delicious on curry.Moyan Lunch Buffet – Try a Variety of Curry Sauces Five types of curry, marinated chicken, boiled potatoes, rice and a variety of vegetables are all part of the lunch buffet. It is very difficult to keep the curries from running into each other so many people like to build “walls” on their plates using vegetables or rice.This buffet is a great opportunity to taste the variety of Moyan’s curry sauces and to fill your stomach with nutritional food at a reasonable price. At lunchtime, you can even try a couple of curries that are not available on their dinner menu such as the spinach curry.Please note that you cannot order items from the dinner menu during lunch hours.How about a Delicious Dessert? Picture courtesy of Moyan CurryCustomers can order any type of curry just as it is on the menu or they can customize it to their personal tastes.You can order a milder or spicier curry, add rice, reduce rice or increase the amount of curry sauce and rice. The level of spiciness can also be adjusted to one’s liking.Please note that the spiciest levels are very spicy. We would suggest starting with the regular level or just a little bit spicier than the regular type. Moyan stores also offer handmade desserts. They pride themselves on making one of the strongest matcha and dark chocolate gelato in Japan. Usually, matcha gelato has only up to 6% matcha content, but Moyan’s matcha gelato is made with 12% powdered green tea from Uji, the city famous for tea production located south of Kyoto.If you want something more fruity, try their mango gelato, which made with real mangoes or the annin tofu which comes with a side of yuzu gelato. Annin tofu is a jellied dessert made of apricot kernel milk that tastes like almonds. The creamy flavor provides a great contrast to the tart yuzu citrus flavor of gelato.Another popular item on the menu is the cold water infused cheesecake topped with brown sugar and honey syrup. It is carefully dehydrated to achieve the perfect creamy consistency that melts on your tongue.Each dessert is available for 380 yen. All of them are made with beet sugar or honey, no refined sugar is used. As a result, the desserts are not too sweet and have the perfect balance to be enjoyed after a rich curry meal.Moyan Curry – Discover the Endless Possibilities of Curry DishesMoyan Curry only uses high-quality ingredients, putting the greatest care in preparing their dishes. The natural ingredients make their curry surprisingly light, fruity, and not heavy at all. Most people who try their curry will become returning customers with some even claiming it is the best curry in Tokyo.If you like Japanese curry, make sure to visit Moyan Curry in Tokyo. Don’t forget to leave some room for their delicious dessert as well! Moyan Curry View Informationrestaurant Moyan Curry View InformationrestaurantIn cooperation with Moyan Curry Taste Kikanbo’s Fiery Miso Ramen In Ikebukuro – Feel The Flames!
Are you familiar with the Japanese animation series called Mobile Suit Gundam?Mobile Suit Gundam was the first of its series that aired in Japan in 1979. Within the series, robots called Mobile Suits (shortened to MS) were popular for its unique designs and the human drama between the characters.Even after 35 years since the first time it aired, many products and new episodes continue to be made. It has gathered a wide fan base with people of all ages, everyone from children to adults. In addition to fans in Japan, the Gundam series has been loved by many people around the world.What Are Gunpla?Aside from the animation, the reason Gundam became popular was also due to the product line based off the series.The gunpla (Gundam + Plastic model) were first sold by Bandai Co., Ltd. in 1980 and were a major hit among fans; and they are still growing in popularity today. They are plastic figurines of the MS that appears in the anime. Not only are they fun to play with and a popular hobby for some, but there are even competitions where highly detailed, advanced works are showcased.The original gunpla available at that time came only in one color and had to be glued together, but today’s models, the FG Series (*1), come in pre-colored plastic and can be built without glue or pliers.This toy evolved so beginners can easily make their very own gunpla with ease. In this article, we will introduce spots where you can purchase gunpla and some advice on how to buy them.*1 FG series: Short for First Grade Series.Buying Gunpla With an Exchange StudentGunpla are fairly easy to find and purchase in Japan. If you go to toy stores or malls, you can find them being sold.This time we went out to find a gunpla in Osaka’s version of Akihabara, Nipponbashi with Nabiru, who is an exchange student studying in Japan.We visited the Super Kid’s Land Osaka Nipponbashi Character Hall. This shop carries a good variety of gunpla that can be purchased for reasonable prices.Everything from the latest gunpla to models from 1980 (also referred to as old kits) were sold within the shop.Many of the kits available here are sold with a 30% discount, so the writer of this article frequently shops here for their own gunpla.In addition to kits, you can find diagonal cutting pliers (wire cutters) and other tools you need to use to construct a gunpla. Many professional builders visit this shop for supplies as well. It has a wide selection of goods catering to both beginners and advanced gunpla builders.Nabiru also managed to find a gunpla that he liked along with the necessary tools as well.Un-boxing Before Going HomeExcited to purchase his first gunpla, Nabiru couldn’t wait and unboxed his model in a cafe before reaching home! The gunpla he selected was the Build Burning Gundam.The writer of this article bought the Zaku the Ground War Set. Imagining the outcome and the process of constructing your favorite MS is very exciting!The sight of all the parts filling the box along with the instruction booklet is sure to make your imagination go wild.Along with the excitement, Nabiru seems to be a little nervous while reading the instruction booklet. Will he manage to complete making his first gunpla?We will find out in the next article about constructing the gunpla itself.InformationSuper Kid’s Land Character HallAddress: Osaka, Osaka, Naniwa, Nipponbashi 4-10-1Hours: Weekdays: 10:15-20:00 Weekends and Holidays: 10:00-20:00Closed: NoneNearest Station: Nipponbashi StationAccess: 610 meters south from Nipponbashi Station on the subway or the Kintetsu Nipponbashi Station.Phone: +81-06-6648-1411Website: Super Kid’s Land Character Hall (Japanese)
On April 14th 2016, an earthquake with the magnitude of 7 degrees on the Japanese seismic scale has occurred in the Kumamoto prefecture, located in Japan’s Kyushu region. Even today (April 19th), aftershocks can be felt in the region and the situation is still unstable.In this article we have compiled a series of Multi-lingual Information Sources useful to travelers who are now in Kumamoto and in the Kyushu area.Please use the information in this article to keep safe during your stay in Kyushu or to confirm the safety of your relatives or friends who are in Kyushu right now.We will keep the information updated in all the languages covered by the MATCHA website. Please send us your requests regarding information related to the disaster on our SNS pages and official homepage.Related article: Japanese Encyclopedia: Kyushu RegionThe Kumamoto Earthquake – Present Situation (today, April 19th)April 19th, present.A series of large scale earthquakes with the epicenters in the Kumamoto and Oita prefectures hit the Kyushu region. At present, several transportation routes around Kyushu are closed, making it difficult for supplies to be carried in the affected areas.Kyushu is located in the western part of Japan, being separated by several hundreds of kilometers from the Kantō region, where Tokyo is located, or from the Kansai region , where cities such as Kyotoand Osaka are located. At present, in the areas outside the Kyushu region, the situation is normal.Traffic SituationThe AirportsAt the Kumamoto Airport traffic has been only partially restored, with only arriving planes being allowed at the moment. The other airports in the Kyushu region function almost as usual.Kyushu ShinkansenThe service has been stopped on all the lines.Major JR Lines with the Service SuspendedKagoshima Main Line: Kumamoto – YatsushiroHōhi Main Line: Kumamoto – Bungo TaketaMisumi Line: traffic suspendedHisatsu Line: Yatsushiro – YoshimatsuOther Train LinesMinamiaso Railways: traffic suspendedKumamoto Tramway: traffic suspended on all the linesKumamoto Electric Railway: the traffic is suspended on the interval between Kamikumamoto and Kita-KumamotoFerryboat LinesKyūshō Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27thKumamoto Ferry: the traffic between the Kumamoto and Shimabara Ports is suspended until April 27thHighways with suspended trafficKyushu Expressway: Ueki IC – Yatsushiro ICOita Expressway: Kusu IC – Beppu IC, Hiji JCT – Hayami ICKyushu Chūō Expressway: Kashima JCT – Oike Takayama ICOther RegionsIn the other regions of Japan (Kantō, Kansai, Tōkai, Kōshin’etsu, Hokuriku, Tōhoku, Hokkaido,, Chūgoku, Shikoku) the situation is stable and traffic is conducted as usual.Important Information Sources and Media ServicesJNTO (Japan National Tourism Organization)The JNTO (The Japan National Tourism Organization) has created an English language website for foreign travelers, publishing daily information related to the area affected by the earthquake in Kumamoto.Official Website: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.htmlEmergency Calls: 03-3201-3331 or (＋81)3-3201-3331(for international calls) * Support in Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language. *During nighttime (from 17:00 to 09:00, Japan time) Japanese and English support only)Safety tips (Smartphone application)A Smartphone application for disaster information, giving alerts for early earthquake and tsunami warnings (available on iPhone and android). Japanese, English, Chinese and Korean language versions are available.Download page: http://www.jnto.go.jp/eq/kumamoto.htmlTokyo Disaster Prevention WebsiteA Disaster Prevention manual made available for free by the Tokyo Metropolitan Government. It contains information on what to do in case of a large scale earthquake, useful data and emergency call numbers. The English, Chinese and Korean versions of the manual are available for download.Download page: English, Chinese, KoreanHirosaki University – Quick Reference in Easy JapaneseA disaster prevention website created by the Laboratory for Sociolinguistics of the Faculty of Literature, Hirosaki University. It contains a compilation of advice in easy Japanese for language learners, related to what conduct we should adopt in case of natural disasters.Website: http://human.cc.hirosaki-u.ac.jp/kokugo/EJ-kuikkurefa.htmlFree Media Service (BeBorn, Inc.)This is a translation service with support in 10 different languages, made available for free all-day round by BeBorn, Inc., a company based in Fukuoka city. Please keep in mind that the use of this service is restricted to emergencies caused by the quake disaster.This service is used by regional authorities, by the Defense Forces, by the staff and volunteers stationed in the emergency shelters, by journalists and tourism officials in order to communicate with foreigners living in Japan.Telephone: 092-687-5137Language support: English, Chinese (Mandarin), Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Portuguese, Spanish, French, Russian.Shelters and other emergency facilitiesKumamoto city has established an emergency shelter for foreign residents and travelers. It is located in the Kumamoto City International Center. Information related to the disaster is available in English and Chinese.Kumamoto City International CenterOpen: 24 hours a dayAddress: Kumamoto, Kumamoto city, Chūō ward, Hanabatakechō 4-18Telephone: 096-359-2020Website: Japanese, English, Chinese*The shelter will be functioning until April 24th, 9 AM.For other emergency shelters please check out the following links:Shelters in Kumamoto and Oita (the orange pins mark the shelters in function at present)https://goo.gl/VXBEFjDialysis Centers in Kumamoto and Oita (the red pins mark facilities where dialysis can be performed)https://goo.gl/u2DcNhDrinkable Water Sources in Kumamoto and Oita (the bottle icon marks places where drinkable water can be obtained)https://goo.gl/WvMFgvOpen Supermarkets (the blue pins mark stores that are open for business)https://goo.gl/1ooSqPGasolin stands (red pins)https://goo.gl/LmCbldDistribution of boiled rice and supplies (the red pins mark places where boiled rice and supplies are distributed at present)https://goo.gl/Uw6kjrOpen public baths and onsen (red pins)https://goo.gl/zvjMpqVoices from the refuge shelter (Japanese only)https://goo.gl/kteRDHToilets (the red pins mark public toilets, the blue pins mark drinkable water sources)https://goo.gl/bstBMlFree WiFi in the Kyushu regionMap of Free Public WiFi Spots in the Kyushu RegionJapan Connected-free Wi-FiAn application that can be easily used to search for and connect to the free WiFi spots in Japan.Download page:http://www.ntt-bp.net/jcfw/ja.htmlPublic TelephonesIf you cannot connect to the WiFi or the battery of your mobile phone is low, you can use the public telephones in the city. This is a map of the public telephones made available by the NTT West Japan. (Japanese only)Kumamoto prefecturehttps://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/43/Oita prefecturehttps://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd/map/search/addrlist/44/How to use the public telephone in an area affected by a natural disaster (English)http://www.ntt-west.co.jp/ptd_e/basis/disaster.htmlInformation on how to support the affected areaGaijinpot has created a website with information on the area affected by the disaster. You can find out where to get help in case of emergency, as well as how you can help the people in the area affected by the earthquake.http://blog.gaijinpot.com/2016-kumamoto-earthquake/Contact Information of Embassies and Consulates*In case of international calls, please replace the first “0” with “＋81” when calling. For example (＋81)3-3224-5003The United States of AmericaTelephone: 03-3224-5000Republic of KoreaTelephone: 03-3452-7611/9People’s Republic of ChinaTelephone: 03-3403-3380ThailandTelephone: 03-5789-2433IndonesiaTelephone: 03-3441-4201The Socialist Republic of Viet NamTelephone: 03-3466-3311/3313/3314PhilippinesTelephone: 03-5562-1600Great BritainTelephone: 093-541-5605AustraliaTelephone: 03-5232-4111GermanyTelephone: 03-5791-7700FranceTelephone: 03-5798-6000SingaporeTelephone: 03-3586-9111/2SpainTelephone: 03-3583-8531/2RussiaTelephone: 03-3583-4224For information on other embasies and consulates please refer to the following website:Embassies and Consulates in Japan (http://www.mofa.go.jp/about/emb_cons/protocol/a-h.html)
Sakura Spots Around Sumidagawa – Part 1There are many rivers that wind their way through the vast city of Tokyo – Tamagawa, Kandagawa, Arakawa, and perhaps the most famous of all, Sumidagawa or the Sumida river. According to the Japanese literary tradition of ‘makura kotoba’, or double entendre, Sumidagawa is said to be the place where ‘the emotions of Edo are still alive’. Historically, Sumidagawa was the main transportation artery of old Tokyo during the Edo period, so along this route you will see numerous buildings and sights that have existed since this era. It is an excellent place to see the authentic air of Edo indeed.When visiting Japan in the early spring, one of the most exciting things to do is see the cherry blossoms, or to have a hanami party in a popular sakura spot. There are many different famous spots to choose from all throughout Tokyo, but today we’d like to focus on one that will take you on a journey through Japanese history. This article is split into two parts, the second half can be found here.Let’s start on our cherry blossom viewing adventure.Before We Head OutIn order to better appreciate the atmosphere of the time, the author decided to use a rental bike service, which is available from many different municipal parking areas and services all around Tokyo. Bicycles can be easily parked almost anywhere and allow you to access many different areas that trains, buses and taxis may not necessarily be able to go. That being said however, bicycles are not permitted on the terrace along Sumidagawa, so you will have to ride down other streets instead of directly along the river itself in most cases. On the other hand, you can return the bike that you rented to any of the related parking areas after you have used it.It’s always nice to go for a ride on a sunny spring day.Spot 1: Toritsu Shiori Park AreaThis park is a ten minute walk from either Sekiya Station (Keisei Line), Ushida Station (Tobu Isezaki/Tobu SkyTree Line), or Koroku Shrine. This park was rebuilt about ten years ago, which makes it quite new compared to the other parks that we will mention later in this and the second half of the article. A popular spot with families, you’re sure to see lots of people here on the weekends when the weather is nice.If you walk to the northwest from the park you will soon find yourself surrounded by cherry trees. There are about 250 trees here, making it a great spot to see lots of sakura all at once.Spot 2: Zuikobashi ParkWhen you are traveling on your way back towards Asakusa from the Shiori Park area, you can also see cherry blossoms near Zuikobashi Park, our second stop. Toritsu Shiori Park is located between two bridges, Suijin Ohashi bridge and Shirahige Bashi bridge, which is an excellent place to view Tokyo SkyTree from. In fact if you are traveling in this direction, you can enjoy the spring-specific sight of Tokyo SkyTree on your left, and rows of sakura on your right.Incidentally, there was a movie studio owned by the Nikkatsu Film Corporation once located in this area. Active from 1913 to 1923, 760 early Japanese films were shot here in this studio which unfortunately burned down after the Great Kanto Earthquake in 1923. Now an elementary school stands on the grounds, but this area is still referred to as the home of Japanese modern film.Spot 3: Sumidagawa ParkSumidagawa Park is perhaps most famous for being where the eighth shogun of the Edo period, Tokugawa Yoshimune, planted several sakura trees. This area, along the bank of the river, is crowded with visitors throughout the brief sakura season. Roughly 640 trees run along a one kilometer stretch of the riverside heading towards the Azumabashi Bridge in front of the Asahi Beer Corporation, famous itself for its golden rooftop sculpture.In this area you can find the Kototoibashi, a bridge between the Sakurabashi and Azumabashi bridges. The name of this bridge ‘Kototoibashi’ essentially means ‘the Asking Bridge’ in Japanese, and comes from a very old poem by one of the Six Great Poets of Ancient Japan, Ariwara no Narihira. He composed this poem while on his journey from his home in the capital, Kyoto, to Eastern Japan.At the end of March to mid-April, the Sumidagawa Park Sakura Festival is held here, and the cherry blossoms are illuminated from sunset until 21:30 each night. The sight of Tokyo SkyTree in the background with the dark skies and illuminated sakura is stunning – a must see sight if you are in Tokyo in the spring.This concludes the first part of our journey along the Sumidagawa, but please stay tuned for the rest of this sakura viewing adventure!InformationWhere and How to Rent a BicycleSumida Park Parking Area: 5 minute walk from Asakusa Station (Toei Asakusa, Tokyo Metro Ginza, Tobu Skytree lines)Shin Okachimachi Parking Area: 2 minute walk from Shin Okachimachi Station (Toei Oedo line)Naka Okachimachi Parking Area: 2 minute walk from Naka Okachimachi Station (Toei Oedo, Tokyo Metro Ginza and Hibiya lines); 5 minute walk from JR Naka Okachimachi StationTsukuba Express Asakusa Station South Parking Area: 2 minute walk from Asakusa Station (Tsukuba Express line)Rental Hours: 6:00-20:00 (rent by 16:15 in order to have 4 hours of rental time)Return Hours: 6:00-20:30Credit Cards: Cash onlyLanguage: Japanese onlyPrice: 200 yen for 4 hoursRental Requirements: Photo ID (passport or driver’s license), proof of address in Japan (hotel receipt or guesthouse information including phone number)Website: Rental Bikes in Taito Ward (Japanese)
Ozu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park has been designated an Important Cultural property in Japan. There you will find the Former Kato Family Residence, which was built by the son of Yasutaka Kato, Yasumichi Kato, the last lord of the Ozu clan. And, with the theme of “preserving the historical value of the region while granting it a friendly, softer title”, this park is referred to by the citizenry as “Otonosama Park”. Ozu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park Address: Ozu, Ozu 848-1Phone: 0893-57-9993 (Ozu City Board of Education Culture and Sports Division)Website: http://www.oozukankou.jp/kanko-o6.html (Japanese)3. Hijikawa Storm Observation Park Ozu Castle, built in 1331, stood in the heart of Ozu, and the city developed around it as a jokamachi, or castle town. As a result of its age the tenshu (*2) was dismantled and the current one was restored in 2004. From this tower you can enjoy sweeping views across the center of Ozu. * 2 Tenshu: the castle tower, the tallest part of a Japanese castle, and typically the symbol of the castle itself. This is the interior of the castle tower. The restored tenshu stands four storeys tall and was rebuilt using domestically produced timber from all across Japan. The beams and flooring are made from 350 year old Kiso Japanese cedar, wood from Ehime was used to make the pillars, and chestnut trees from Akita prefecture were used to make the underlying floor structures.If you would like to learn more about Ozu Castle, please check out The Rare Wooden Tower Of Ozu Castle: Access, Highlights And More.Ozu CastleAddress: Ehime, Ozu, Ozu #903Phone: 0893-24-1146Website: http://www.ozucastle.jp/ (Japanese)2. A Historical Structure: Ozu Castle’s Sannomaru Minamisumi Yagura Park Flowing north and south across both Ozu and its neighboring city of Seiyo, the Hijikawa river is known for the Hijikawa Arashi (storm) here – a phenomena that is very rare in Japan.The Hijikawa Storm is a strong wind that occurs only on sunny days from October to March of the following year. From the Hijikawa Storm Observation Park, visitors can see how the cold air generated in the upstream Ozu basin creates and covers the Hijikawa river with fog.Along with Gifu prefecture’s Nagaragawa river and Oita prefecture’s Misumigawa river, this river is also famous for its ukai (*3). Every summer there are boat-based ukai events to enjoy on the Hijikawa river. * 3 Ukai: a traditional fishing method using birds such as cormorants.Hijikawa Arashi Observation Park Address: Ozu, NagahamaPhone: 0893-24-1719 (Ozu City Hall Urban Development Division) Kyoto is known for its historical streets, but were you aware that there are also many little Kyotos or cities with Kyoto-like historical districts to them, scattered all across Japan?Ozu in the southern part of Ehime prefecture is also called Iyo (*1) Little Kyoto. In this article, we will visit five must-see places to enjoy Ozu city to the fullest through Google Street View. * 1 Iyo: the former name for Ehime prefecture.1. Found in the Heart of the City: Ozu Castle
This is an office of Nippon Television (日本テレビ) which is located right in front of the ticket gate for Yurikamome (ゆりかもめ) near Siodome station (汐留駅).There are an open space, stores related to TV programs of Nippon Television, a udon restaurant or a crepe shop. It looks like it is the first floor, but actually it is the first basement.Take an elevator at Toyal Park Hotel next to the office to the first floor. Go through the elevator hall, and you can find CHAYA Macrobiotics on the left hand.One of the Best Restaurants for Vegetarians in ShiodomeAs its name shows, they basically serve macrobiotic food. They use no meats, eggs, dairy products, white sugar or chemical condiments, and basically use brown rice. Soy milk and beet sugar are served with coffee or tea.They also serve whitefish, so non-vegetarians (non-vegans) enjoy meals as well. They use ingredients such as organic vegetables which are good for health. Though five pungent roots are not removed, it is one of the best restaurants for vegetarians around Shiodome.There are 72 counter and tables seats in total which all are non smoking. The restauran is glass-covered, so it is bright and open space. Because I visited the restaurant around 3 pm, I was able to have lunch in a relaxed atmosphere.Many Dishes, Leisurely AtmosphereSet meals for lunch are bowl set meals of vegetable taco filling and rice, seasonal vegetables curry plate, bibimbap meal (Korean rice dish) or fried egg plant with Chinese chili sauce (麻婆茄子), salad and delicatessen plate, and fish and brown rice plate.There are other dishes than those; they also have preprandial drink and 6 kinds of delicatessen, “balance plate” which are brown rice and soup, and set course menu “healthy and beauty course”.This is one of the set meals for lunch “fish & delicatessen plate”. You can ask them to change fish to daily main dish such as tofu hamburger. There are salad with french dressing, ratatouille, bean salad, lightly-pickled radish and tofu hamburg on a plate.Tofu humburg has a lot of grains and vegetables in it, and the demi-glace source has rich taste. Brown rice is soft, so it is easy to eat. The soup is ratatouille with a lot of vegetables in it.You should check desserts as well. This is a seasonal big parfait “summer kids special” which may be good for a parent and child to share.One of the most tasty and substantial sweets I have ever had. Lunch time at “CHAYA Macrobiotics” is until 5 pm, so it is a good place for you to have late lunch when you spend too much time on looking around Shiodome. Moreover, it is a precious restaurant because it is a place that you can enjoy health food.Don’t Forget SouvenirEach cake is tasty, healthy and low calorie. They have various kinds depending on a season and you can take them away, so they may be good for souvenir.They also sell healthy ingredients, so it is also a good place for shopping. They sell granola, drink named “rice & soy”, caffeine-free roasted grain beverage, cookies, pound cake and so on.It is famous as a microbiotic treatment that you drink “umesho-bancha (梅醤番茶)” (pickled plum and ginger mixed with coarse tea) when you drink too much alcohol or eat too much food. You can buy “umesho-bancha paste” that you can make baisho-bancha by mixing with boiled water.You may also enjoy alcohol with healthy snacks at night in the nice atmosphere. Whenever you feel a lack of vegetables, this restaurant is always highly recommended.InformationCHAYA Macrobiotics ROYAL PARK HOTEL SHIODOME, TOKYOAddress: 1F ROYAL PARK PLAZA HOTEL SHIODOME, 1-6-3, Higashi shimbashi, Minatoku, TokyoTime: 11:00 am – 9:00 pm (last order 8:30 pm）lunch, sundaysOpen: Open everydayWi-Fi: Not availableCredit card: Available (JCB, AMEX)Language: JapaneseStation: 5 minute walk through underground passage from Shiodome-guchi (汐留口) of JR Shiodome station (汐留駅) / 8 minute walk through underground passage from Tokyo Metro Ginza line (地下鉄銀座線) Shimbashi station (新橋駅) / 1 minute walk from Toei Oedo line (都営地下鉄大江戸線) or Yurikamome (ゆりかもめ) Shiodome station (汐留駅)Access: 152 meters from Shiodome station (汐留駅)Price: 1280 yen～Tel: 03-3573-3616HP: http://www.chayam.co.jp/restaurant/shiodome.shtml