NEON MOON'S WOMEN WEDNESDAY
We love how women are changing the world and making an impact to their home countries that we're talking all things awesome and new every Wednesday!
The little girl from Chiapas was recognized by UNAM's Institute of Nuclear Sciences for her outstanding scientific achievement. At just 8 years old, Xóchitl has designed and constructed a solar-powered device to heat water, using only recycled material. For many, this device may seem totally unnecessary. But, in Xóchitl's community, where resources are scarce, "people don't have the money to buy heaters, so they chop down trees to get firewood [to heat the water]," says Xóchitl. Her device not only functions to provide hot water to low-income families in her community, it also saves trees! Xóchitl's family helped her set the device up on their roof and have been using it to heat water to bathe. Xóchitl says she always bathes quickly though, "so [the hot water] will last for my little brother." If this is what Xóchitl is doing at 8-years-old, we can only imagine what the future holds.
Every day, 10 women die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth in Madagascar. Many more survive, but suffer from untreated complications of pregnancy, including the most debilitating injury of childbearing, obstetric fistula. A prolonged or obstructed childbirth can lead to a condition called obstetric fistula, where women are left incontinent, continually leaking urine and faeces. Without treatment, they often become socially isolated. But in Madagascar, some women who have successfully been treated for fistula become patient ambassadors. They travel on foot to remote villages to find and help others with the same condition. They personally accompany them to clinics to get life-changing surgery and support. Afterwards, those women return to their villages and begin campaigning for other women to seek care. Many medical organisations around the world are waking up to the power of the patient's voice - patient ambassadors can resonate with vulnerable groups in a way that other kinds of outreach can't.
On her blog, Latoya Snell offers training tips and inspiration for runners who don’t look like the elite athletes in race posters. After she completed an ultramarathon, her Instagram following topped 10,000. Snell first started running in 2013, after she was diagnosed with sciatica and a herniated disc. Snell says her doctor had told her: “If you don’t lose this weight you’re going to die.” She was working as a chef at a Lower East Side restaurant, often pulling 12-hour shifts. She would finish work at 2:00 am, visit a nearby bar to drink until 4:00 am, and then hit the treadmill at a 24-hour gym before going home to send her son off to school. Even with her daily workouts, she was often skipping meals or fasting as she tried to drop to a size 8. Snell had lost close to 100 pounds by the time she ran her first marathon in 2015, the Washington, D.C. Rock 'n' Roll run. But, crossing the finish line, her sweat smelling of alcohol, she realized that the weight loss hadn’t made her any happier. “I felt depressed as all hell,” she says. She returned to eating the foods that strengthened her for her training sessions—buttered steak, salmon, couscous and other carbs. She gained back the weight, but she also gained more energy. She recognized her reflection in the mirror. And with her commitment to a fitness routine, she says that her doctor no longer considers her weight a medical risk. She’s creating a community, a societal change in how we look at fit bodies. She’s creating the future.
Have a positive week,
Love Neon Moon x
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