This seminar examines ways – when creating experiences, events or media designed to get our message across and raise funds – in which we can avoid distraction of the audience while delivering our message. In addition, we will lay out certain methods that can be applied to all forms of communication of any scope for agencies of any size or mission.The discussion will explore practical applications of:• Exploration of Assumption• Circumventing Preconception• Comfortable Disorientation• Successive Revelation, and• Subliminal EngagementAbout Our SpeakerKile Ozier has built messaging experience for over 25 years across myriad contexts; from theme parks to academic institutions and non-profit agencies. In academia, he has created campaigns totaling over $3 billion for such institutions as Stanford University, Harvard Law School, Johns Hopkins University and more. Founder of one of the most respected AIDS funding organizations in the US, San Francisco’s Academy of Friends, Ozier has been cited for the quality and efficacy of the experiences he creates by a disparate spectrum of clients, from the United States Navy to the Themed Entertainment Association. He is also a great cook.
Raising awareness is vital to the survival of most social benefit organizations. Your organization may be doing important and valuable work – but if no one knows you exist, you are missing out on the opportunity to meet, engage, and motivate others to take action on your behalf.Unfortunately, because nonprofits have limited resources, they can face significant challenges when deciding how to get their message out to large numbers of people. They must continually answer the all-important question, “How can we reach the most number of people in the most cost-effective way?”Enter MySpace, one of the most popular social networks on the Web today.Designed to help like-minded individuals and organizations connect and share information, social networks are showing promise as low-cost, high-impact marketing channels because they are both highly visited and highly targeted. In particular, many nonprofits are starting to set up profiles on social-networking sites like MySpace to keep “friends” up to date on the latest activities. These friends then invite more friends to join the group and so on, ultimately allowing the nonprofit to reach people well beyond its original circle.If you decide to launch a MySpace page for your organization, here are seven things you can do to increase your chances of success:1. On your MySpace page, ask friends to take specific actions such as “link to our Web site,” “subscribe to our e-newsletter,” “tell a friend about our current campaign,” “contact us to learn about,” and so on.2. Write blog entries and circulate your entries via your “bulletin board.” Invite friends to post comments to your blog; visit your friends’ pages and leave relevant and valuable comments; host events; and continue to add friends.3. Add videos to your MySpace pages. Images and videos have a way of motivating people to take action.4. Update your MySpace page frequently and customize it to resemble your organization’s look and feel. Be careful not to make your page appear too stuffy.5. Don’t make the mistake of staying within your own circle of like-minded organizations. When you add friends, consider reaching out to folks outside of your circle. In particular, nonprofits could reach out (via MySpace) to for-profit companies with strong social responsibility programs that can help spread the word about their causes.6. Add your MySpace URL to your email signature line, business card, and letterhead in order to encourage people to visit your MySpace page.7. Write articles about how your organization is using MySpace to advance its causes and submit them to both online and print publications. Or publish them on your Web site and ask bloggers to link to them.Social networking does require a commitment; but when done right, it has the power to get your message to people that traditional marketing efforts miss – and at a very low cost. Given this, many experts see social networking as a defining example of how emerging technologies are leveling the playing field between large corporations and modest-sized nonprofits.Now get inspired and get your organization’s message out there!Copyright: Cruz Coleman AssociatesSource: http://www.techsoup.org/learningcenter/internet/page6016.cfm
Three important things happened recently. Take note.1. Sally Beatty of the Wall Street Journal says charities need to be more open and transparent. She says it feels good to give to charity, but “the warm feeling fades when we try to find out about charities’ successes and failures.” She says it’s very hard to know who is doing effective work. The article makes three recommendations to improve the situation. Here’s what she tells charities to do: 1) Provide more information online; 2) Adopt high standards of measuring efficiency; and 3) Adhere to those voluntary standards. 2. The Chronicle of Philanthropy did a story chronicling the work of GiveWell’s Clear Fund project – which aims to rate charities on their effectiveness. Founder Holden Karnofsky found that to be very hard work, for the reasons Sally Beatty cites. GiveWell has a new report on charities saving lives in Africa – useful for figuring out who to support this holiday. Holden and his colleagues went through all the major causes of death and extreme debilitation that affect Africans more than they affect us and recommended the best. They estimate that their top-ranked charity saves lives for something around $1000 each – 3-4x as cost-effective as their second highest rated. Find out what charity is so great here. (Hint: It’s one of my favorites and the one that opens my book!)3. The Great Nonprofits site is getting nice traction in Pennsyvlania – enabling ratings of local charities. Yes, welcome to the world of customer reviews of charity – pretty fascinating stuff. Founder Perla Ni, who is an impressive innovator in our sector, likens it to Zagat’s for charities.If you read this blog regularly, you know I’m constantly harping on two things: first, connect with your audiences and what they care about. Answer the question, “why me?” for them. Second, for those audiences, answer the question, “what for?” What will the audience get for their donation? What will change? What will happen? (The other questions to always answer, by the way, are why now? and who says?)I think “what for?” has never been more important. You must answer this question before, during and after people give.Skepticism about marketing is at an all-time high. You can’t just demonstrate need, you have to show results. If you don’t do it yourself, then GiveWell or Great Nonprofits or Charity Navigator will be doing it anyway. So you have no choice but to share honest information on where the money goes. People give money out of emotion, but that doesn’t mean they don’t care where their dollars go after they give. The number one reason people quit supporting a nonprofit is how they were treated by that nonprofit – as in too many appeals, not enough thanks, and insufficient information on impact of their efforts. People give because it feels good but if nothing seems to happen, it starts feeling bad. This is a problem. Open up or else. Open up about the difference you make and how you make it. Or else people may start closing their wallets.
“>Last night my older daughter read me this excellent and hilarious story from the fabulous Squids Will Be Squids : Fresh Morals/Beastly Tales by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith. It’s about the best (nonprofit) marketing metaphor I’ve heard in years. I suppose I should be disturbed that I find marketing meaning even in bedtime stories, but instead I’m going to tell you about the story.Duckbilled Platypus vs. BeefSnakStik(R)“I have a bill like a duck and a tail like a beaver,” bragged Duckbilled Platypus.“So what?” said BeefSnakStik. “I have beef, soy protein concentrate, and dextrose.”“I also have webbed feet and fur,” said Duckbilled Platypus.“Who cares?” said BeefSnakStik. “I also have smoke flavoring, sodium erythorbate, and sodium nitrite.”“I am one of only two mammals in the world that lays eggs,” said Duckbilled Platypus.“Big deal,” said BeefSnakStik. “I have beef lips.”Moral: Just because you have a lot of stuff, don’t think you’re special.Exactly. If you’re bragging about all the nuances of your work as an outreach strategy, you’re probably sounding about as relevant (and convincing) to your audience as Duckbilled Platypus and BeefSnakStik.
There are seven deep human needs to remember when creating nonprofit campaigns. (These are not to be confused with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs!) The old marketing and fundraising playbooks don’t work anymore. It is time to reinvent nonprofit marketing and communications for a new era using The Seven Deep Human Needs.Need 1: To be SEEN and HEARDDoes your home page make people feel heard? Not many people give money because they read a well word-smithed mission statement. Effective nonprofit websites and campaigns provide space for people to express themselves. Nonprofits need to truly listen to their supporters and acknowledge what they are saying.Not listening is the root of most problems, personal and professional.ExamplesMarch for Women’s Lives allowed people who couldn’t march to post messages and stories on the March for Women’s Lives’ web site.Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation created a site for young people. As an after thought, they included a pen pal section where young people could connect with other young people who have diabetes. It is the most popular part of the site.Oxfam used Flickr petitions successfully in several campaigns. When two of their staff members returned from Darfur, they created a video to raise awareness about it. They collected questions about Darfur from supporters to include in the video.The Environmental Defense Fund asked supporters to help them write a Declaration of New Patriotism.Need 2: To be CONNECTED to someone or somethingEngage people by connecting to what they (not you!) care about.ExamplesBeliefNet has prayer circles where people can share prayers for specific people.March of Dimes’ Share Your Stories allows families of babies in the NICU to share stories.CarePages allow families and friends of people who are sick and hospitalized to share updates on patients’ conditions and provides a place for people to send messages of support.National Resource Defense Council asked supporters to upload their photo and post about why they care about the environment.An Ocean Conservancy member created a Cause page for the organization without telling them. On their own, the member recruited 2,500 people to the Cause.Need 3: To be part of something GREATER THAN THEMSELVES(This one speaks for itself.)ExampleFrogwatch USA is a monitoring program that facilitates people’s collecting and sharing data about frogs in their area.Need 4: To have HOPE for the futureDoom and gloom, and finger-wagging messages don’t work.Example of gloomy messagingThe Ad Council’s Don’t Almost Give Campaign video on YouTube. One commenter wrote, “I hate these commercials.”Examples of hopeful messagingEarth: The Sequel received 15,000 views within 2 weeks.Save the Children’s homepage uses mostly photos of healthy, rather than sick, children.The Mix It Up campaign encourages young people to cross “social boundaries” and sit with someone new at lunch.The Yes We Can Obama video.Need 5: The security of TRUSTPeople are starved for a sense of trust in “the messenger.” The book The Geography of Bliss discovered that one of the common factors among people in “happy countries” is a sense of trust.Examples76% of givers say they are influenced by friends and family. Allow people who already support you champion your cause help spread the word and fundraise on your behalf.The Packard Kid Connection site helps kids get ready to go to the hospital. It builds trust because it looks like Club Penguin (Club Penguin is a social network for children), and it has videos of children explaining how things work at the hospital.Need 6: To be of SERVICEThe #1 reason people stop giving to a nonprofit is that they feel like they are being treated like an ATM machine. They want to help, but they want to be of service, and to have different ways of serving. That need is not being fulfilled if all they hear is the unimaginative drumbeat of dollars.Need 7: To want HAPPINESS for self and othersThe core of Buddhism is that everyone wants happiness and to be free from suffering. The more you want happiness for others, the better it is for you, and them.
You may not realize it, but you’re already doing a bang-up marketing job by talking about your organization online, offline or some combination of both. It’s OK to talk about your organization (at length). And have other people talk about it. And have their friends talk about it — not just online, but in REAL life.Try a few of these practices to get your word-of-mouth marketing away from your dinner table and into the marketplace where it can thrive:Find other people to talk about you. Just because you’re on the payroll doesn’t mean that you can’t talk shop outside the office — make sure co-workers are doing their part, too. Get your Board out there. Court bloggers. And, of course, tap into your pool of volunteers.Give ’em something to talk about. Turn your talkers into storytellers. You and your web of supporters have passion about what your organization does. Let your advocates explain why.Give ’em a way to talk about it. Give your storytellers outlets: handouts, collateral and online opportunities (through social media, message boards and blogs, etc.). Remember: Social proof is a powerful tool.When people talk back, listen. LISTEN to them. What are people saying about you? What’s the public’s impression of your organization or your current campaign? Pay attention, and then…Join in the conversation again. Once you get the ball rolling with your word-of-mouth campaign, it’s time to engage the people who are responding. Be tactful and true to your organization, but most of all, be real. You enlisted people to spread your message. Now, show them that your organization is full of people (not a marketing machine) who care about their response. (Here are few tips for showing yourself in the online realm.)Keep in mind that you can apply both offline and online tactics to the above strategy. Being a marketer means getting the message out — whether it’s at computer or over coffee — and engaging with those who hear it. Now get out there and spread the word!
There are more than 1 billion smartphones on the planet. That means one in seven people on the earth have the ability to do so many things at their fingertips. Here we have an unprecedented opportunity to unleash generosity through technology and make what people want to do, easier and more compelling.Join me and my friend at PayPal (the leading mobile payments solution), Tanya Urschel, for a discussion of where mobile stands in 2013, why your organization needs to have a sound mobile strategy and how to make it happen. Plus I’ll talk about how Network for Good has wrestled with mobile and what we decided to do.We will cover:Why is it so imperative that my cause be experienced through a smartphone or tablet?What are the benefits of using mobile for deeper engagement?How can I optimize my organization’s mobile website for giving and pledging?Register here.
Would you love for your message to reach more people, both online and off, this year? You’re in luck.Jonah Berger, author of the bestselling book Contagious: Why Things Catch On, will join us tomorrow for the first Nonprofit 911 webinar of the year. As a marketing professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, Jonah has studied how products, ideas, and behaviors catch on and become popular. He’ll be on hand to answer your questions and will share the secrets to making your nonprofit’s message catch on with your audience. Don’t miss this special opportunity to understand the science behind recent viral hits and learn how you can apply the same principles to your messages to make your outreach more successful.Free Webinar: How to Make Your Cause Go ViralTuesday, January 14 2014 at 1 pm ESTRegister Now(Can’t make it for the live session? Register and we’ll send you the recording and slides for you to review at your convenience.)
Last month, I attended my third Nonprofit Technology Conference (NTC) and had the opportunity to connect with some amazing people face-to-face. I was also lucky enough to get them to share some of their wisdom with me on video. Keep reading to learn more about these faces in fundraising and the tips and tools they wanted to share with you:Farra Trompeter is a Vice President at Big Duck, a nonprofit consulting firm in New York. She’s also one of our nonprofit BFFs in a fun quiz I put together earlier this year and a Nonprofit911 speaker.When Farra stopped by Network for Good’s booth, I asked her to share a fundraising tip. Here’s what she had to say:Jono Smith is the Director of Brand Marketing and Digital Strategy at Make-A-Wish America. I attended Jono’s presentation with Michael Hoffman of See3 Communications about donor personas and how to use video content to engage different types of donors. There were lots of great nuggets of wisdom in their presentation, but here’s the grand takeaway: stop trying to reach the general public. Take some time to think about who gives to your organization and why. Craft your messaging, stories, and outreach with those people in mind.Tony Martignetti interviews Michael Hoffman and Jono Smith at the 2016 Nonprofit Technology Conference. Photo: Nonprofit Radio’s Facebook PageTony Martignetti of Nonprofit Radio was at NTC and interviewed Jono and Michael about their presentation. Give it a listen. You can also read this blog post on the process of creating donor personas on See 3’s blog.Ananda Leeke is a yogi, digital communications expert, and creativity coach. She gave an inspiring Ignite Presentation on the first day of the conference about her evolving career path. It centered on the themes of change and mindfulness. Watch the recording (it’s only five minutes long) starting at the 36 minute mark:Ananda giving her Ignite Presentation. Photo: NTENI ran into Ananda after her presentation and thanked her for reminding me to breathe. Nonprofit work is exciting, but stressful. Don’t forget to take care of yourself!Emily Wang, Caryn Stein, Pete Hart, and Jonathan Gibbs are my colleagues here at Network for Good. Ok, this one is kind of cheating because I see these folks face-to-face on a regular basis, but I think they have some great knowledge to share. While hanging out at our exhibit booth, I got to hear these fabulous people have insightful conversations about online fundraising, donor management, and peer-to-peer fundraising. Here are some recurring messages from those discussions:Many NTC attendees were wowed by our new donor management system. Jaws dropped when we showed them what it looks like on a mobile device.Integrating your donation page and donor database is a beautiful thing.You don’t have to have an in-person event to host a peer-to-peer fundraisingYes, that is a Yoda-shaped basket at our booth. It’s because “The Fundraising Force is strong with us.” Nancy Schwartz is a frequent guest blogger on The Nonprofit Marketing Blog and has tons of tips for nonprofit communicators on her blog, Getting Attention! I stopped Nancy in the hall and asked her to record a video tip for us. Here’s what she had to say about the importance of using donor database data to create better experiences for those who give to your organization:ip)Heather Yandow is a nonprofit consultant with Third Space Studio and the creator of the Individual Donor Benchmark Report. You might have read our Q&A with her from a few weeks ago or attended her Nonprofit911 webinar on fundraising plans. Heather has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to fundraising, but when I asked her to share one tip with our audience, she wanted to tell you about the art AND science of fundraising. Check it out:lip)Next year’s NTC Conference is here in Washington, DC. I can’t wait to see these friends and make new ones next March! And I also hope Jonathan will recreate this move: Did you attend NTC? Reach out to me on Twitter (@Network4Good) and let me know the most valuable tip you took home from the conference.
Posted on September 5, 2013February 2, 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)The concept of preconception care has emerged in recent years as a potentially vital tool for not only improving adolescent girls’ and women’s chances of having healthy pregnancies and newborns, but of supporting their reproductive health status over time. It holds special promise for women and couples who have particular health needs, such as HIV-positive women. As a recent guest blog post by Dr. Jean Anderson, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Jhpiego, Kelly Curran,Jhpiego, MCHIP, and Laura Fitzgerald, Jhpiego, MCHIP pointed out, extending preconception care and family planning services to HIV-positive women can be a powerful tool for ensuring that they are able to prevent unintended pregnancies, promote healthy birth-spacing, prevent maternal to child transmission of HIV, and reduce the risk of transmission from infected partners to uninfected partners.In spite of this promise, preconception care remains a loosely defined field, with no set period of time or services. What is more, there is neither guidance on what elements of preconception care should take priority in research or practice. For this reason, a group of maternal, newborn and child health experts gathered recently to develop a research agenda on preconception care. The result, “Setting Research Priorities for Preconception Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Aiming to Reduce Maternal and Child Mortality and Morbidity” was published this week in PLOS Medicine. In it, the authors offer a set of 12 priority research questions meant to guide effective interventions. In defining priorities, the group placed a high importance on feasibility of interventions, likely effects of interventions on health outcomes, and potential for advancing health equity in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC). They also suggest that the timeline for preconception care be standardized, with services offered at least one year prior to a possible pregnancy.From the article:The research questions that received the highest scores therefore highlighted the need to develop strategies to increase coverage of basic interventions such as improving nutrition; reproductive planning for adolescents; contraception; prevention, detection and treatment of chronic conditions that affect maternal health; immunization, diagnosis, and treatment of infectious diseases; and reducing harmful environmental smoke exposures. The highest priorities also advocated for a systems-based approach to increase preconception care services in LMICs including integration with other programs; task-shifting to CHWs; improving supply chains for preconception care commodities; partnerships with media and information technology; maximizing demand for and uptake of preconception interventions, especially by adolescents.The authors go on to conclude:It is imperative that preconception care is seen as an earlier opportunity, not just for family planning or to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, but also to improve long-term outcomes for adolescent girls, women, and children. Adolescent health and reproductive health must increasingly be considered as crucial stages in the continuum of care. Health research investment and policy should be pursued in a more balanced way, promoting increased access and delivery of an essential package of preconception interventions.Along with the article on research priorities, PLOS Medicine also published “Preconception Care in Low- and Middle-Income Countries: New Opportunities and a New Metric” this week. In it, the authors further make the case for incorporating preconception care into the existing continuum of reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health measures, and emphasize the particular importance of enabling adolescent girls and young women to delay pregnancy until they are ready, as well as promoting girls’ education as essential to ensuring that preconception care is effective. Building from the notion that preconception care should both have a goal of reducing unwanted pregnancy and securing safe pregnancies, they identify age-adjusted maternal mortality rates as a useful metric for judging the quality of preconception care. Where the agenda-setting piece argues that preconception care should be incorporated into the existing continuum of care for maternal, newborn and child health, this piece looks beyond health services to place this care in a broader context of opportunities and barriers to health that young women and, in particular, adolescent girls face.For more on recent efforts to advance preconception care, visit the World Health Organization’s report: “Meeting to Develop a Global Consensus on Preconception Care to Reduce Maternal and Childhood Mortality and Morbidity.”Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
Posted on March 26, 2015October 27, 2016By: Beth Yeager, Principal Technical Advisor, Management Sciences for Health & Chair, Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Reproductive Health Supplies CoalitionClick 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)Nearly three years ago, I blogged about a systems approach to improving access for a Maternal Health Task Force (MHTF) series on maternal health commodities:Increasing access to essential medicines and supplies for maternal health requires a systems approach that includes: improving governance of pharmaceutical systems, strengthening supply chain management, increasing the availability of information for decision-making, developing appropriate financing strategies and promoting rational use of medicines and supplies.It was an exciting year for maternal health. The UN Commission on Life-Saving Commodities for Women and Children (UNCoLSC) had just released its report with 10 recommendations for improving access to 13 priority commodities that included 3 for maternal health: oxytocin, misoprostol and magnesium sulfate. The UNCoLSC report also reflected the idea that a systems approach was necessary and included recommendations related to both upstream and downstream supply chain bottlenecks, information, financing and appropriate use. That same year, the Maternal Health Supplies Caucus of the Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition held its first membership meeting in October for the purpose of joining the maternal health and family planning communities to “draw on existing approaches to address the bottlenecks undermining commodity security across health systems.”Since then, great progress has been made in identifying the bottlenecks to access, raising awareness of the complexity of addressing these challenges and increasing global commitment to ending preventable maternal deaths as part of the post-2015 development agenda.Improving governanceWith respect to governance, through the efforts of the UNCoLSC to promote coordinated national strategies for Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (RMNCH), the need for coordinated planning among all stakeholders, including measures of accountability, has come to the forefront.Reviewing national policies — such as the essential medicines lists and standard treatment guidelines — and advocating for the inclusion of the three priority maternal health medicines in these policies has raised awareness of both the need to harmonize policies at the national level and the challenges to implementing these policies.Recognition of the importance of the regulatory role governments play in ensuring the quality of products in circulation in the public and private sectors has also grown. In a recent study conducted by the USAID-funded Systems for Improved Access to Pharmaceuticals and Services program (SIAPS) in Bangladesh, we found that over 40% of the oxytocin in circulation at the district level was procured from local wholesalers.Strengthening supply chain managementIn terms of supply chain challenges, resources are now available to assist countries in more accurate forecasting for maternal health medicines. The Estimation of Unmet Medical Need for Essential Maternal Health Medicines developed by SIAPS (a project led by Management Sciences for Health with partners) presents an approach that allows national program managers and other key stakeholders to assess a country’s theoretical need for the three maternal health commodities and compare this with actual procurement data from past years in an effort to make more evidence-based decisions. The RMNCH quantification guidance developed by the Supply Chain Technical Resource Team of the UNCoLSC also includes the three maternal health medicines.Information for decision makingOver the past three years, we have also learned how little information is readily available about these commodities and the conditions they are meant to treat at the country level. In many cases, logistic management information systems do not capture these three products (and many others necessary for maternal health). Likewise, health information systems do not necessarily capture the number of women who develop post-partum hemorrhage and are successfully treated. Efforts are currently underway in a number of countries to address this problem.The global community has learned a lot these past three years and made great progress in further revealing the actions required to increase access to quality medicines and supplies for maternal health. With the current proposed target of ending preventable maternal deaths by 2030, global and national stakeholders need to continue their coordinated efforts to build stronger, more responsive systems.Beth Yeager, MHS, is Principal Technical Advisor, SIAPS program, at Management Sciences for Health (MSH), Chair Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Reproductive Health Supplies CoalitionThis post is part of the blog series “Increasing access to maternal and reproductive health supplies: Leveraging lessons learned in preventing maternal mortality,” hosted by the Maternal Health Task Force, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition/Maternal Health Supplies Caucus, Family Care International and the USAID-Accelovate program at Jhpiego which discusses the importance and methods of reaching women with lifesaving reproductive and maternal health supplies in the context of the proposed new global target of fewer than 70 maternal deaths per 100,000 births by 2030. To contribute a post, contact Katie Millar.Share this: ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read:
ShareEmailPrint To learn more, read: Posted on October 2, 2017October 2, 2017By: Sam Mednick, Freelance Journalist, South SudanClick 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)Juba, South Sudan – Nyomon Lilian will never forget the day she decided to become a midwife.Two years ago, she had watched her neighbor bleed out while giving birth. “The woman helping her had no idea what she was doing,” says Lilian. By the time her neighbor was finally rushed from her rural village to a nearby hospital, it was too late. She’d lost too much blood and died, leaving behind five small children, including her newborn. Now, Lilian, 25, is studying midwifery at Juba’s Teaching Hospital. “I’ve seen too many mothers die,” she says.As South Sudan grapples with a four-year civil war and persistent famine, it is also struggling with one of the highest maternal mortality ratios (MMR) in the world. According to the United Nations and the World Bank, as of 2015, for every 100,000 live births in the country, an estimated 789 mothers die. Health experts attribute the high rate of maternal deaths to an ailing health care system, lack of infrastructure and an acute shortage of skilled health workers.In recent years, however, the world’s youngest nation has taken strides to combat the epidemic. The Ministry of Health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and local NGOs have been working together on a series of maternal health initiatives aimed at educating and reviving the country.Before 2012, South Sudan had fewer than 10 midwives with skills on a par with international standards, serving a population of roughly 11 million people. Today, the number of skilled midwives has mushroomed to more than 400. It is too early to know how that has affected the country’s maternal mortality rate. But health experts say the initiatives can only have improved things for South Sudanese mothers since the last national census, in 2006, which showed there were 2,054 women dying for every 100,000 births, making South Sudan the deadliest place to give birth at the time.“It’s important to help mothers deliver and save entire populations,” says Margaret Itto, deputy governor and former minister of health for Imatong State. “If a lot of young [mothers] are dying, it’ll be a huge loss for a generation.”Itto says one of the biggest challenges in lowering the MMR has been changing the narrative when it comes to who should assist mothers in childbirth. Most women, especially in rural areas, use traditional birthing attendants to help them deliver at home. These are untrained, usually older women without the knowledge or materials needed to safely deliver babies, particularly when complications arise.In 2012, the Ministry of Health and UNFPA launched the Strengthening Midwifery Services project with a midwifery and nursing scholarship initiative. It operates in four schools across the country and has graduated more than 300 midwifery and nursing students so far. More recently, in 2015, the health ministry, together with the Canadian Association of Midwives and UNFPA, started a peer-to-peer mentorship program to exchange knowledge and experiences between Canadian and South Sudanese midwives.As more South Sudanese men and women are becoming qualified to deliver babies, some hospitals are seeing a rise in the number of expectant women turning to midwives for help.Jacqueline Kaku, a family planning practitioner at Juba’s Teaching Hospital, says in the past two years there has been a 30 percent increase in the number of women coming in for prenatal support. “Thousands have now come in,” says Kaku, who attributes the influx to heightened awareness in rural areas as well as a deeper trust in the system. She also says that incentives are offered for women whose husbands come in with them. “We tell women we’ll give them priority if they bring the men.”Imatong State Deputy Governor Itto, who has over 30 years of experience in medicine, has seen huge changes in her town of Torit, in the South Sudanese state of Equatoria. “Before 2012, we had zero midwives here,” she says. “We only had traditional birthing attendants.” Now the town has nine midwives.As one of the first students to graduate the U.N.’s scholarship program, in 2013, Grace Achan says she switched from nursing to midwifery when she realized how grave the maternal health situation was. “I saw a mother and her child die from uncontrolled bleeding,” she says. “I cried and prayed for them, but nothing worked.” Today, Achan is in charge of family planning at one of Torit’s main hospitals and says that as a result of her training she is able to manage complications.In addition to the lack of trained professionals in South Sudan, there is the issue of the country’s shoddy infrastructure. There are over 10,000 miles (1600km) of road network in South Sudan, yet only 125 miles (201km) of it is paved, according to a 2016 Oxfam report. The consequence is that women who want to deliver in a hospital are often unable to get there on time.“Some women use donkeys to transport them,” says doctor’s assistant Ocan Walter. Walter, 32, says that when he was working in remote areas in South Sudan, he saw women being carried from their villages on wooden stretchers for days at a time in order to reach the clinic. “They’d die from infection before they arrived,” he says.To help address the problem, the U.N. and the ministry of health launched the Boma Initiative. As part of this task-shifting project, Walter is participating in a three-year program which will teach him how to deal with more complicated issues such as obstructed labor, fistula and cesarean sections.The deal is that once he graduates, he must work in a rural village for at least two years. Eighty percent of South Sudan’s population live in rural areas, and putting trained midwives in their midst gives them easy access to services, training and information.“We need young people to take over,” says Dr. Edmund Sebit, medical director of Wau Teaching Hospital. Sebit says, as far as South Sudan has come far in terms of lowering the maternal mortality rate, the country still has a long way to go. Once the midwives graduate from the new programs, he says, they discover they can’t get a fair salary working within the country’s health care system – if they can get paid at all. So they usually take jobs with NGOs or the U.N., leaving local hospitals low on staff.But South Sudan is a country in crisis and resources are severely limited. Although the government has technically allocated 15 percent of its budget to health care, the health ministry says it currently receives only about 1 percent of that funding. “The aim is to decrease dependency on outsider funding,” says Riek Gai Kok, South Sudan’s minister of health. “But the biggest challenge right now is peace.”“The government needs to pay people,” says Sebit.This article originally appeared on Women & Girls. For important news about gender issues in the developing world, you can sign up to the Women & Girls email list.Share this:
Former Germany manager Berti Vogts has questioned Philippe Coutinho’s move to Bayern Munich, saying the Brazilian may not be the world star that he used to be. Coutinho joined Bayern on Monday in a one-year loan switch from Barcelona, with the Bundesliga champions holding a €120 million (£110m/$133m) purchase option.The Brazilian joined Barca from Liverpool in January 2018 in a deal potentially worth a reported €160 million (£147m/$178m), but failed to live up to that massive price tag during a year-and-a-half with the club. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Emery out of jail – for now – as brilliant Pepe papers over Arsenal’s cracks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Coutinho started just 22 games last season, as he came in for criticism from fans and the media for his performances. The 27-year-old will now have a fresh start in Bavaria, though Vogts is skeptical that Bayern are getting a player who is worth the hype. “At first glance, the loan from Coutinho is a great signing for the Bundesliga,” Vogts said in a column on t-online.de.”But I want to ask a question: Why is a 27-year-old leaving a world club like FC Barcelona? Because he has given up the hope to prevail there.”Maybe he’s not a world star, but a player who – probably in the new season – would be a substitute for FC Barcelona.”Coutinho wasn’t the only recent signing for Bayern, with France U20 midfielder Michael Cuisance joining on Sunday from Borussia Monchengladbach.Vogts also questioned the wisdom of the move for Cuisance, who reportedly was looking for a guarantee of playing time with his previous club.”I have not been able to form a conclusive judgment on Cuisance,” Vogts said. “His great talent is evident, but that’s not all in football.”On the other hand, his behavior bothers me. According to (Monchengladbach) sports director Max Eberl, he internally demanded a guarantee of a regular place, as if there could be something like this for 20-year-olds at an ambitious Bundesliga club.”And then he moves to Bayern Munich, where his chances of action are likely to be even lower.”Still, Vogts believes that despite the two questionable transfers, and a 2-2 home draw against Hertha to begin the season, Bayern are still the favourites to lift the Bundesliga this season.”In a nutshell, there are doubts in Bayern’s two transfers, but the quality that already exists makes them title favourites.”
This is special, so good to be back: Rohit Sharma posts picture with baby SamairaRohit Sharma posted an adorable picture with his daughter Samaira after returning home to Mumbai following a hectic tour Down Under.advertisement India Today Web Desk MumbaiFebruary 13, 2019UPDATED: February 14, 2019 07:08 IST Rohit Sharma and Ritika Sajdeh were blessed with a baby girl on December 30 last year (Rohit Sharma Instagram)HIGHLIGHTSRohit posted a picture with his daughter sleeping on his chest on social mediaRohit recently led India in the final two ODIs and 3 T20Is vs New ZealandIndia’s limited-overs vice-captain is likely to be rested for the upcoming ODIs vs AustraliaRohit Sharma can finally get back to his role of a doting father to his newborn daughter now that he is back home in Mumbai.India’s limited-overs vice-captain is back home after the gruelling tours of Australia and New Zealand where he also got the chance to lead the ODI and T20I sides in Virat Kohli’s absence.Rohit posted a picture with his daughter Samaira resting on his chest while the cricketer could be seen relaxing on a couch in his house.”This is special, so good to be back,” Rohit captioned the post.Rohit led the Indian team in the final two ODIs and three T20I against New Zealand after regular skipper Virat Kohli was rested.Under Rohit’s leadership, India won the final ODI against the Black Caps to end the series as 4-1 victors but narrowly lost the three-match T20I series 1-2 after losing the first and final match.India are now set to host the reigning world champions Australia in five ODIs, which will be preceded by a two-match T20I series, starting February 24. The squad for the series will be picked by MSK Prasad-led senior selection committee on Friday, February 15.As it turns out, India are likely to rest Rohit Sharma for at least a part of the upcoming series to give him a much-needed break after the tours of Australia and New Zealand.advertisementMeanwhile, pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who was rested for the limited-over series in Australia and New Zealand, is likely to return to the squad while the selection committee, head by MSK Prasad, will take a call on the availability of wrist-spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.It is also expected that out-of-favour India batsmen, KL Rahul, and Ajinkya Rahane may get another chance to impress the selectors. India, it seems, are keen on taking a backup opener for the World Cup to England and one of Rahul and Rahane may get a ticket, considering their performances in the upcoming series and the IPL.For sports news, updates, live scores and cricket fixtures, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for Sports news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byrohan sen Tags :Follow Rohit SharmaFollow Rohit Sharma daughterFollow SamairaFollow India vs New Zealand
In this sport, things tend not to live up to the hype. Cup finals are often cagey, sloppy affairs between two teams trying not to lose. Prodigies fall just as rapidly as they rise as the weight of expectation tends to be too much. Transfers falter and stars leave on unceremonious terms, while coaches come and go faster than many can explain.But, on occasion, there are those times that expectations are met. There are games or goals or players that give us something worthy of remembering. There are moments that don’t just live up to the hype but actually exceed it. MLS has found that in El Trafico, a rivalry that began with a humorous name and has rapidly become something much, much better. It has become the best thing MLS has to offer, and it lived up to that monicker once again on Sunday night.Sunday’s 3-3 draw between LAFC and the LA Galaxy at Banc of California Stadium had everything, just like pretty much every iteration of a rivalry that isn’t even two years old yet. It had big goals from big stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Carlos Vela. It had tension that felt palpable, and it had quality on display from all 22 players on the pitch. Sunday’s match felt like it meant something and, in a league where the regular season often feels like a slog, that’s special. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream It took less than two minutes for Ibrahimovic to kickstart a game that will go down as yet another instant classic by scoring a goal that announced the latest iteration of El Trafico as another one to remember. The Swedish star made his debut in this very rivalry last season and it seems that he’s saved his best MLS performances for each version since. When the lights are brightest, Ibrahimovic steps up and, while the pressures of Los Angeles may not match Milan, Barcelona or Manchester, there’s little doubt that Ibrahimovic has embraced his own brand of Hollywood flair.Zlatan ❤️’s #ElTrafico.< Heineken #RivalryWeek > pic.twitter.com/jEAYSWFbKq— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 26, 2019But that was just the start, the opening act of a play that dipped and dived every which way. It was Latif Blessing that proved Ibrahimovic’s foil on Sunday, with the 22-year-old scoring in the 12th minute to tie the score at one apiece.From there, the Galaxy seized control, first on a second goal from Ibrahimovic. The legendary forward continued to torment LAFC goalkeeper Tyler Miller, who has picked the ball out of the back of his net as a result of Ibrahimovic more times than he would like. This time, Ibrahimovic danced around Miller, rounding the goalkeeper before making it 2-1. Seemingly seconds later, it was three, with new signing Cristian Pavon, perhaps the league’s biggest summer addition, announcing himself to El Trafico by scoring. Pavon is no stranger to these big games, having played in the pressure-cooker that is the Superclasico with Boca Juniors, and the Argentine winger shone with a goal and an assist in his biggest MLS performance yet.For most teams, that would be it, going 3-1 down, but not an LAFC team that is on track to be the best regular-season team in MLS history. Blessing kick-started the comeback, scoring just moments before halftime to give the hosts a positive to build on going into the second half while putting one last exclamation point on an opening stanza that felt like a heavyweight fight. The second half was a bit tamer, but it was also time for LAFC’s star to embrace his moment in the spotlight. Vela leveled the match at three apiece in the 53rd minute, scoring his league-leading 27th goal in the process while moving one step closer to the MLS record. His pursuit of that record has only been overshadowed by the rivalry he’s developed with Ibrahimovic. The Swede said that he is, and always has been, better than Vela in the lead-up to a clash last month. Vela, in turn, fired back. The two, quite fittingly, combined for five goals in that July meeting, with Ibrahimovic’s three outdoing Vela’s two in a 3-2 Galaxy win.It was only a matter of time…@11carlosV ties it up! 3-3!#LAFCvLA // Heineken #RivalryWeek pic.twitter.com/yUXtmRhQoN— Major League Soccer (@MLS) August 26, 2019But, just as it appeared we were destined for another Vela-Ibrahimovic clash, the Mexican was gone. After seemingly pulling up with an injury, Vela was taken out by Bob Bradley, who opted not to risk the league’s best goalscorer. Vela was visibly frustrated, as the forward slammed his captain’s armband to the ground while yelling towards the bench. It was a cruel ending for Vela, who likely felt he had a bigger part to play in this battle. If there was one thing missing from Sunday’s battle, it was a Vela masterclass that, at one point, was seemingly on the horizon.Fortunately for Vela, he may get another chance, and it would certainly be fitting if he does. LAFC, on pace to be the best team in league history, has already wrapped up a playoff spot. The Galaxy, currently in the heat of a tight Western Conference battle, are expected to join them at some point. There are no more clashes scheduled between the two this season, but it wouldn’t surprise anyone to see LAFC and the LA Galaxy collide again at Banc of Califorinia Stadium once the post-season gets going this fall.In MLS, there are rivalries with more history, like the Cascadia clash that took centre-stage this weekend as Portland Timbers and Seattle Sounders fans united in protest to send a message to the league regarding stadium displays. There are rivalries with bigger stakes, like the Hudson River Derby that saw NYCFC top the New York Red Bulls in a clash of two post-season hopefuls with plenty of work to do.But there’s nothing quite like El Trafico in MLS as meetings between the two teams have rapidly developed into a marquee event that can go toe-to-toe with almost any in the world’s game. It’s a rivalry with the biggest stars and the brightest lights, and it’s a battle that seemingly one-ups itself each and every time.When it comes to El Trafico, the hype is real.
Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema has been hailed as “the world’s best centre-forward” in the last decade by former team-mate Omar Mascarell.Mascarell joined the Spanish giants in 2010 and became a regular for the Castilla side before making his only first-team appearance in the Copa del Rey in 2013.The midfielder was soon sent on loan to Sporting Gijon and Eintracht Frankfurt before Schalke signed him on a permanent deal in 2018. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream But Mascarell spent enough time at the Santiago Bernabeu to get to know the stars who were blocking his path to the first team and he has fond memories of Benzema in particular.While the 31-year-old has gone through rough spells in recent years, he has had a solid start to the new campaign with two goals and an assist from two matches in La Liga, and Mascarell remains convinced of his quality as a striker.”Real Madrid is the biggest club in the world,” the 26-year-old told Goal and Spox. “After all that I’ve seen at this club, nothing impresses me as quickly.”In my first training session with the first team, I played with Mesut Ozil, Cristiano Ronaldo, Xabi Alonso and Sergio Ramos in a team. That was absolutely mad.”As a young player from the club’s own youth system, you have almost no chance against such superstars. “Karim Benzema maybe impressed me the most. For me, he is the world’s best centre-forward in the past 10 years, but also an incredibly nice and down to earth guy who always helps young players and gives them advice. That’s why everyone at Real Madrid loves him.”Madrid brought in another striker in the close-season, luring Luka Jovic to the Spanish capital in a €70 million (£62m/$79m) move from Eintracht Frankfurt.Jovic, 21, is being used as a backup option for Benzema in the early stages of the season, having been brought off the bench in both of Madrid’s Liga games. But Mascarell believes his former team-mates will get along well together in the long term.”Luka will learn a lot from Karim, I’m sure. He is still very young, so you have to be patient with him,” he said. “He is just coming to a new country with a new language and new culture. Not everyone can handle the pressure at Real Madrid.”I wish for him to succeed. He has the abilities to do it, I’ve rarely seen such a striker at his age. I’m sure he’ll be worth the fee the club paid for him.”
Philippe Coutinho will make the difference for Bayern Munich once he is fully up to speed, according to team-mate Benjamin Pavard.Brazil international Coutinho joined Bayern from Barcelona on an initial season-long loan last month and featured twice in the Bundesliga before heading away on international duty.Pavard, a fellow new signing, acknowledges the former Liverpool man may need some time to rediscover his best form but believes he will then have a huge impact. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Asked to describe Coutinho, Pavard told Sky Sport: “A little wizard! He is very discreet and really personable. First of all, a really fine guy. And of course a very good footballer.”It’s very hard to get him off the ball. He’s not 100 per cent yet – he probably needs some more games because he joined the team very late.”But I’m sure, in a few weeks, we will see the world-class footballer Coutinho.”Of course [he can make the difference]. I now know him from a few training sessions and I have no doubt about that. He has incredible quality and will show it to everyone.”Both Coutinho and Pavard were involved in the recent international window, with the France international experiencing more success than his Brazilian counterpart.Coutinho started both of Brazil’s friendlies, with the Selecao drawing Colombia 2-2 last week and then falling 1-0 to Peru on Tuesday.Pavard, meanwhile, started for France in their 4-1 win over Albania on Saturday in Euro 2020 qualifying, before he was an unused sub in Tuesday’s 3-0 qualifying win over Andorra.The duo will now return to Germany as they look to help Bayern secure an eighth consecutive Bundesliga title this season.Saturday will see the defending champions take on RB Leipzig in an early-season showdown between the league’s first and second placed teams. RB Leipzig top the table with three wins from three games, while Bayern are in second after winning two and drawing one of their opening three matches.After the match against RB Leipzig, Bayern will begin their Champions League campaign next Wednesday with a match against Red Star Belgrade. Tottenham and Olimpiakos round out Group B in the Champions League.
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk are expected to be among the 30 nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or as they contest for the crown of best player in the world.Barcelona captain Messi is in the hunt for his sixth Ballon d’Or, having last won the accolade in 2015, and will be hoping to add it to his collection after already scooped FIFA’s The Best award in September.Juventus forward Ronaldo, whose last Ballon d’Or triumph came in 2017, could also potentially win the award for the sixth time, while Van Dijk, if he is chosen, would become the first defender to win it since Paolo Cannavaro in 2006. Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career The nominees were confirmed by France Football on Monday and the winner of the prestigious award is set to be announced at a ceremony which will take place on December 2.Real Madrid playmaker Luka Modric broke a decade-long duopoly between Messi and Ronaldo when he won the 2018 edition and the Croatia international has been included in the list of nominees.Other nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or include Liverpool stars Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, who were massively influential in the Reds’ Champions League success.Manchester City stars Sergio Aguero and Raheem Sterling have made the list after leading Pep Guardiola’s side’s charge for domestic glory.Goalkeeper Alisson Becker are also nominated having starred for Liverpool and Brazil, while Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe is in the running after a goal-laden campaign for the Ligue 1 champions.The award, which is independent of FIFA since 2016, takes into account the performances of a player for the calendar year rather than the previous season.You can see all the confirmed nominees for the 2019 Ballon d’Or in the full list of contenders below:
Discover this multi-faceted destination this summer on a stylish small-group journey RYE, N.Y., May 23, 2018 – Paris is such an iconic city that it’s the standard by which all others are measured – Buenos Aires is known as “the Paris of South America,” and Jaipur is often called “the Paris of India.” So it’s no wonder that the City of Light has officially been voted the #1 visitor destination in the world, according to the TripAdvisor 2018 Travelers’ Choice Awards. Visitors can’t get enough of its soaring monuments, stylish cafes, sumptuous palaces, and stunning museums. Insight Vacations, the award-winning global leader in premium escorted journeys, can show you the many magnificent sides of Paris and France this summer on our spectacular European itineraries. As with all Insight journeys, you’ll have immersive Insight Experiences, move from city to city on luxury coaches with extra legroom, stay in elegant hotels in stunning locations, and know that all the logistical details are taken care of by an expertly trained Travel Director. Here are five of the immersive cultural excursions and authentic dining experiences that guests will enjoy in Paris on these remarkable journeys:1. Gourmet walking tour with a local foodie: There’s no point in calorie-counting in the city known for its rich, fragrant food. On this off-the-beaten-track tour, a local foodie guides guests through a variety of patisseries, boulangeries, fromageries and chocolateries, where they’ll savor Parisian delicacies with all their senses.2. Highlight Dinner at La Coupole: One of the most famous restaurants in Montparnasse, the Art Deco-style La Coupole has been delighting diners since 1927. Guests can try one of the delectable seafood platters or the legendary lamb curry, and wash it all down with a fine French wine.3. Cabaret! Guests have the option to attend a rollicking cabaret show with dinner at a legendary venue such as the Moulin Rouge or Nouvelle Eve. In some venues they’ll even get to meet two of the cast members before they perform the famous Can-Can dance.4. Paris by Night: If you think the City of Light is magical by day, wait until you see what it looks like after the sun goes down! On this excursion guests take a leisurely drive around the city and admire the gorgeous buildings that adorn the banks of the River Seine, stopping periodically to capture some of the sparkling sights on camera, such as the flood-lit Eiffel Tower.5. Eat with Locals: On select itineraries guests are invited into a Parisian home, where they’ll enjoy a home-cooked meal prepared by a local chef and eat with other visitors from around the world. This experience, which is possible through Insight’s partnership with EatWith, the global meal-sharing platform, lets guests immerse themselves in the food and culture of Paris while experiencing the magic of social dining. Some of Insight’s most popular Paris-inclusive itineraries for 2018 include:French Heritage: On this all-encompassing 23-day journey guests visit Paris, as well as the famed wine regions of Chablis, Burgundy, and Champagne, the mountains of Chamonix, the glamorous French Riviera, and the picturesque villages of Provence, Languedoc and the Dordogne Valley. Departures from May 11-October 5, 2018; prices start at $7150 pp. Country Roads of France: Starting and ending in Paris, this 17-day circuit of France also visits the leafy vineyards of Chablis, the majestic mountains around Chamonix, the sunny French Riviera town of Nice, the Roman ruins of Arles, and fortified towns such as Carcasonne. Guests also explore the pre-historic cave of Lascaux, and drive along the Grand Prix circuit of Monaco. Departures from May 11-October 5, 2018; prices start at $4795 pp. Normandy, Brittany and the Loire Valley: This magical nine-day journey lets guests fall in love with the French countryside as they travel from Paris along the River Seine through northwesternern France. They’ll admire the ancient cathedral of Rouen, explore the charming fishing town of Honfleur, see Saint-Malo, the City of the Corsairs, and marvel at the châteaux of the Loire. On the beaches where the D-Day invasion took place, they’ll hear stories of the landings from a Local Expert. In Villandry, they’ll savor a delicious farm-to-table meal with locally-sourced ingredients, complemented by wines from the region. Departures from May 11-October 19, 2018; prices start at $2825 pp. For reservations, contact your favorite travel agent, call Insight Vacations at 1-888-680-1241, or visit insightvacations.com Join the conversation on social media using the hashtags #INSIGHTVACATIONS and #INSIGHTMOMENTS About Insight VacationsAs a global leader in premium guided vacations, Insight Vacations® has been crafting magical journeys that embody The Art of Traveling in Style™ for 40 years. Through meticulous planning, detailed preparation and boundless passion, Insight’s collection of award-winning itineraries showcase the most outstanding destinations and curated experiences in Europe and North America. Guided by a highly skilled Travel Director, guests can look forward to traveling in smaller groups, savoring authentic dining and enjoying a range of immersive Insight Experiences. To find out more, visit insightvacations.com
Member travel advisors awarded the Nexion Alchemist and Community Action Awards IRVING, TX (October 4, 2018) –Nexion Travel Group, the leading host agency for travel professionals, has announced the winners of the Nexion Alchemist and Community Action awards. The Alchemist award honors a Nexion Travel Group member with exceptional luxury sales, while the Community Action award is given to a member who has demonstrated strong creativity and commitment to effecting change within his or her local community. The awards were presented during the company’s annual conference, CoNexion, held aboard Royal Caribbean International’s Harmony of the Seas. This year’s winners are:Nexion Alchemist: Patty Rossetti, ASAP Travel, Inc., Jupiter, FloridaCommunity Action: Peter Enns, Travel Concierge LLC, Scottsdale, Arizona Rossetti was named the winner of the Nexion Alchemist award for being the top luxury salesperson at Nexion Travel Group. From July 31, 2017 to August 10, 2018, she was the highest commission earner with Nexion Travel Group’s luxury supplier partners. Rossetti is also highly active in Nexion’s educational and specialty events. “This is an amazing honor for Patty,” said Jackie Friedman, CTC, CTIE, President of Nexion Travel Group. “Out of thousands of Nexion Travel Group members, her commissions with our luxury supplier partners were the highest. This is an incredible accomplishment, but it’s not surprising given Patty’s exceptional knowledge in combination with the relationships she has built with Nexion’s luxury supplier partners.” The Community Action award is given to a Nexion Travel Group member who has demonstrated a commitment to social change in and beyond their community. Enns was chosen as the Community Action award winner for his program that combines cruising with continuing education for first responders. Enns’ program allows participants to go on a group cruise, receive discounted rates and participate in a variety of continuing education sessions at sea. Enns proactively sought out education directors in the first responder world to offer this innovative opportunity to law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS/EMT, emergency dispatchers, nurses, active military and veterans. “Peter’s program is a wonderful way for first responders to combine continuing education with some vacation time, and we are very proud of him for developing this terrific opportunity that serves a group of people who are so important to us all,” said Friedman. “Congratulations to both Patricia and Peter on these exceptional honors.” All travel professionals interested in learning how to succeed as a professional business owner, backed by Nexion Travel Group’s many great benefits, are encouraged to call 800-747-6813 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Nexion Travel Group Nexion®Travel Group is a fully accredited host agency, offering membership to independent travel professionals since 1995. As part of Travel Leaders Group, Nexion Travel Group provides ticketing, operations and fulfillment support to independent travel professionals coupled with best-in-class tools, technology, marketing, education and support. Nexion Travel Group is the complete host agency for multi-agent agencies, corporate agencies, experienced agents and those new to the industry. 2018: Year of the Travel AgentTravel Leaders Group has named 2018 Year of the Travel Agent.Over the last decade, the travel agency industry has flourished through technology, the growth of travel options and personalized service. Travel Leaders Group represents approximately 52,000 travel agents with unmatched expertise in 135,000 destinations and 53,000 areas of interest. Travelers and suppliers have rediscovered the value a professional travel advisor delivers to the travel experience. Travel agents help to move people around the world, and keep our economy growing.