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jul/aug 2016


5 things about disability kids diy: cardboard toys for pretend play family recipe + more


purpose in children TIPS, real stories & ideas

8. tips: instilling a sense of purpose in children

15. handmade: when i grow up, i want to be ...

16. inspire: finding purpose 22. special needs: 5 Things About Disability Everyone Should Know

25. craft: cardboard toys for pretend play

26. cook: sponge cake

28. special reader's offer

30. fatherhood: sticks and stones

32. subscribe

Kids Nation is a bi-monthly magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world. It is published by MOS Design Creative (

Front Cover: Raymond N. (Australia)

Copyright Š Kids Nation magazine. All rights reserved. Reproducing without permission is prohibited. Copyright of articles and photos remain with the individual contributors and may not be reproduced without permission.

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photo: melissa hicks photography

from the editor Every year, over 1.2 million students drop out of high school in the United States alone. That’s a student every 26 seconds – or 7,000 a day* … And do you know, one of the most common reasons they left school was because they were bored*.

We’re also privileged to have five experts – Nancy Lublin (USA), Tessy Ojo (UK), Tim Elmore (USA), Serena Low (Australia) and Alice Whitehead (Singapore) – share about tips for instilling a sense of purpose in children.

In this edition, we wish to inspire you to instil a sense of purpose in your children.

Ellen Stumbo (USA) tells us five things about disability that everyone should know.

Read the true stories of these 3 young people – Ryan Hreljac (Canada), Reese Fernandez-Ruiz (the Philippines) and Daniel Flynn (Australia) – of how they found their purpose. If you are a teacher, Ryan’s story is a must-read.

Don’t forget to check out Desi Trisnawati’s delicious sponge cake recipe, DIY cardboard toys for pretend play and reader’s offers. Together we can change the statistics!

xo, Mia Source: *

this edition’s contributors:

MIA SETYAWAN AUSTRALIA EDITOR & FOUNDER of KIDS NATION MAG Mia is a mother of two boys and a business owner from Australia. She owns an award winning graphic design studio and print + stationery online shop. She also writes a lifestyle blog and volunteers at a local children program.

ELLEN STUMBO UNITED STATES WRITER & FOUNDER OF DISABILITY MATTERS ELLENSTUMBO.COM Ellen Stumbo writes and speaks with gritty honesty and openness. Ellen’s writing has appeared on Focus on the Family, LifeWay, MomSense, Not Alone, Mamapedia and the Huffington Post. Ellen blogs at and you can also find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Tim Elmore united states founder & president of growing leaders growingleaders. com Tim is an international speaker, founder and president of Growing Leaders, an organization equipping today's young people to become the leaders of tomorrow. He is best-selling author of more than 30 books, including Generation iY: Our Last Chance to Save Their Future and the Habitudes® series.

Desi Trisnawati INDONESIA food artist & chef consultant inspirational-chef. com Desi is the winner of Masterchef Indonesia 2012 and the first female Masterchef Indonesia. She is the author of 20 Fun Recipes of Strong Heart and creator of the Indonesia's first culinary board game Cooking with Inspirational Chef Desi.


this edition’s contributors:

tessy ojo united kingdom ceo of the princess diana award www.diana-award. Tessy is CEO of the Princess Diana Award. Prior to joining the Diana Award, she worked in the Private Sector for over 10 years. She’s a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, has an MBA in Third Sector Management and a trustee of two charities. She is passionate about helping youngsters reach their full potential. Connect with her on Twitter. Dr. Michelle Watson United States Author & Founder of The Abba Project drmichellewatson. com Michelle is a national speaker, counselor, author of “Dad, Here’s What I Really Need from You: A Guide for Connecting with Your Daughter’s Heart” and founder of The Abba Project, a 9-month educational forum for dads of daughters ages 13 to 30 in Portland, Oregon. Connect on Facebook and Twitter.


nancy lublin united states founder & ceo of crisis text line www.crisistextline. org Nancy is the Founder & CEO of Crisis Text Line - an organization providing free crisis intervention via SMS message. She was CEO of for 12 years, which is the largest organization for teens and social change in the world. Nancy was named one of Fortune's "World's 50 Greatest Leaders".

SERENA LOW AUSTRALIA MENTOR, SPEAKER & WRITER CAREER-CHANGECONFIDENCE.COM Serena Low is an Amazon Bestselling author and a midlife career mentor to highachieving professional women in their 40’s who are facing a crossroads and contemplating the next step in their career development.

this edition’s contributors:

Ryan Hreljac canada Founder & Program Manager of Ryan's Well Foundation

daniel flynn australia co-founder & managing director of Thankyou

Ryan Hreljac is the founder and program manager of Ryan's Well Foundation. Ryan has received many awards for his work in helping to bring clean water and to empowering others to become active global citizens. Ryan is also recognized as UNICEF, Global Youth Leader.

Daniel established Thankyou alongside a group of co-founders at 19. Daniel was awarded 2014 Victorian Young Australian of the Year, 2013 Victorian Young Achiever of the Year and named an honouree in the 2014 JCI Ten Young Outstanding People of the World program.

alice whitehead singapore teacher & global concerns program coordinator Alice is a Grade 1 classroom teacher on Dover Campus, and is also the coordinator for our Primary School Global Concerns (GC) programme (which is the 'outside Singapore' arm of our service learning programme).

Reese FernandezRuiz the philippines co-founder of r2r (rags2riches) Reese Fernandez-Ruiz is the co-founder of R2R (Rags2Riches), a fashion and design house empowering community artisans in the Philippines. R2R is a company that makes things that matter and weaves joy into every story. Reese loves collaborating on designs & building systems for social change.


photo: Eveline de Bruin


tips for instilling a sense of purpose in children COMPILED BY: MIA SETYAWAN


photo: marie claire (peter hapak)

" ... get switched on to the world" — nancy lublin


ews-o-matic app. Its a terrific app with highlights from the day's news.

Get your kid switched on to the world ... and she will want to be part of changing it.

nancy lublin united states founder & ceo crisis text line


"start by asking the right questions" — tim elmore


any students began with "What do I want, and what must I do to get it?" Even if the search was altruistic, it was still ignited by self. Let's make a shift in the questions we’re asking. Stop Asking:

What do you want to major in? What do you want out of life? How much money can you make? How can you achieve something great? What do you possess inside? What will make you happy? start Asking:

What problem do you want to solve? What is life asking of you? What do you have to give? How can you add value in a given context? What are the needs or opportunities around you? What are you being summoned to do? Happiness comes when I find a great “why” behind a career choice. As Frederick Nietzsche noted, “He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”

Tim Elmore united states founder & president of growing leaders


"encourage + validate, foster hope, engage in social action & find a mentor" — tessy ojo

tessy ojo united kingdom ceo of the princess diana award


ere are my four top tips for instilling a sense of purpose in children:

Encourage and Validate: Optimism is connected to success. We thrive with positive reinforcement. Celebrate and encourage positive behaviour, as well as little milestones, they are the building blocks that lead to bigger dreams and a much bigger purpose-focused life. Fostering Hope: Hope plays a significant role in our ability to cope, adjust and thrive in various situations; helping us see beyond the now. Engage young people in social action: Getting young people involved in social action is a great way to instill a lifelong sense of purpose. There is a double benefit effect of knowing they’re truly having a positive impact on the lives of others as well as developing strengths and capability through the process. Find a mentor: A mentor can be invaluable to help navigate life and acts as a sail and an anchor. It is important that young people have positive role models in their life and these can range from a trusted friend, family member or even another young person. Each of these suggestions will not only instill a sense of purpose, but can help young people build the right character that underpins success in school and in life.


"children find purpose when they are helping others that they care about." — alice whitehead


hildren respond when they are presented with contexts that are meaningful to them. Ask them what matters to them and choose experiences based on these interests. For example, if they are passionate about animals, connect them with a local animal shelter or wildlife protection organisation.

Tell them they are needed. Give them opportunities to form relationships over time; foster compassion and empathy in these. This year my students collected over 200 stationery sets for the children at Mumbai Mobile Creches (MMC). The significance of collecting something tangible, like pens and pencils, helps younger children to make a more direct connection to their own lives.

One of the students in my class, brought his birthday money in to me and told me it was for MMC. When I asked him why he said, “My bedroom is full of stuff, I don’t need any more! There are people in the world that need things.” Another student went to visit some of the MMC centres during his holiday. He enjoyed teaching the children how to make chatterboxes and paper planes and he shared some new games like Duck Duck Goose. Children, like adults, find purpose when they are helping others that they care about.

alice whitehead singapore teacher and primary school global concerns program coordinator


"Help your children notice their unique qualities". — serena low



urpose is a complex concept for a little child to grasp. I prefer to help my children notice:

What makes them light up (a favourite book, game, topic) What they are naturally good at (languages, drawing, spelling) When they feel happy and proud (doing an exceptional piece of work, helping a friend) What is important to them (belonging, feeling loved) What upsets them and makes them want to do something about it (social injustices). I tell them that these are clues to what they are here to do. As they grow and gain new experiences, their sense of purpose will evolve, so giving them plenty of variety will ensure that they have options to choose from.


for the love of children, home & celebrations



when i grow up, i want to be ... compiled BY: mia setyawan

medical kit: MM Embroidered Gifts (usa) | ukulele: Cedar And Sycamore (uk) apron: Rubies and Gold GIFTS (uk) | art display: Designed Signs (usa) 15

photo: rags2riches


g n i d n i f e s o p ETYAWAN r u p IA S PILED




Reese Fernandez-Ruiz the philippines co-founder of r2r (rags2riches)

A brief story of how it all started: Rags2Riches (R2R) began in Payatas, one of the biggest urban poor communities in the Philippines, back in 2007. Our co-founders (9 people from different industries and backgrounds) met a group of talented & passionate artisans (mostly women) from Payatas who were making woven rugs out of scrap fabric. While these artisans were hardworking, enterprising, and joyful, they are caught between a long chain of middlemen who pass on the raw materials they use as well as the finished woven products they make, without necessarily adding value to the chain. Because of this long chain of unfair trade, the artisans were only getting PHP 12-16 per day (about 30 cents in USD), which is far from enough for even a decent meal. The co-founders and artisans decided to do something about this. They started working together and built not just a business partnership but a lasting friendship.

What is the most inspiring words you have received as a child/teen, which have shaped you to become who you are today? It's not so much the words actually, but more of patience and encouragement through action. When I was in high school, I really thought I was bad in Math. I had this Math teacher who would always be available, always reliable when I had questions. He was not the warm and fuzzy kind of teacher but he explained things patiently, clearly, and challenges his students to think more and better. From someone who is bad in math, I got top ranks in the whole school because of him. He taught me to not give up on people so easily, especially on myself.

What’s next for you? We are excited to engage more advocates from all around the world.

empowering & partnering with local artisans across the philippines to weave better futures 17

Ryan Hreljac canada Founder & Program Manager Ryan's Well Foundation

A brief story of how it all started: When I was 6 years old, my Grade One teacher, Mrs. Prest, explained that people were sick and some were even dying because they didn’t have clean water. So I started doing extra chores to earn the $70 I thought would build a well. I thought that’s all it would take to solve the world’s water problem. I worked for 4 months to earn my first $70. I also learned that the problem was way bigger than I realized. I started speaking to service clubs, school classes, to anyone who would listen to my story so that I could raise money for my first well at Angolo Primary School in Uganda. That’s how my little Grade One project became the Ryan’s Well Foundation.

What is the most inspiring words you have received as a child/teen, which have shaped you to become who you are today? When Mrs. Prest told us that there were kids our own age that couldn’t go to school because they had to fetch water for the families. Mrs. Prest told us that kids would have to walk as far as 5km to get water, when we didn’t understand how far that was she took the time to explain that that was about 5000 steps. This sentiment has stuck with me over the years.

What’s next for you? Now that I've finished University, I'm excited to dedicate my undivided attention to the Foundation. There's still a lot of work left to do, and I'm looking forward to working with our partners to get our projects up and running. I hope my story continues to motivate people young and old around the world to get involved and make a difference. If I could start this initiative as a grade one student, imagine what we all can do!

providing solutions to the water crisis in the poorest regions of developing countries.


daniel flynn australia co-founder & managing director of thankyou

A brief story of how it all started: I was 19 years old when I discovered that the Australian bottled water industry was worth $600 million a year, yet around 900 million people at that time were without access to safe water. I pulled together a group of friends and together came up with the idea to launch a bottled water product that would fund water projects around the globe. Thankyou has now grown to water, body care, food and baby to fund safe water access, hygiene and sanitation, food aid and child and maternal health programs to people in need in 17 countries. To date Thankyou have given over $4 million to projects.

What is the most inspiring words you have received as a child/teen, which have shaped you to become who you are today? My dad always said: "Daniel (in his serious voice) a person of integrity expects to be believed and if they're not, they let time prove them right". I never understood these words as a kid but as I grew up I realised the profound weight they carry. We live in a world where not everyone believes you on face value and in our line of work there's a real skepticism around 'giving and charity'. I hold onto my Dad's words that even if people don't quite understand or believe something, stick at it and in time they'll see.

What’s next for you? In July the new Thankyou baby body care and disposable and reusable nappy range that funds child and maternal health hits shelves. The range was developed with industry experts and mums and dads. We're really proud of this range and love the thought that by doing an everyday task like changing a nappy or giving your child a bath you're saving the lives of mothers and babies through funding access to birthing centres, trained skilled birth attendants, equipment for a safe delivery and more to families in need in some of the most remote parts of the world. 20

Creating social good products and giving its 100% profits to combat global poverty.


photo: ellen stumbo

special needs

5 Things About Disability Everyone Should Know BY: ellen stumbo


photo: belinda soundso

A few years ago a friend of mine designed a t-shirt that read, “Don’t DIS my ability.” I have a daughter with cerebral palsy and one with Down syndrome, so I got the t-shirts for my girls because the sentiment is true, they each have great abilities. I don’t want anyone to limit them because of ignorance or myths about disability. And because I know there are many misconceptions about disability, here are five things about disability everyone should know:

1. DISABILITY IS A PART OF LIFE It happens, it’s really that simple. Babies are born with disabilities, sometimes disability is discovered later in life. Sometimes disability happens as a result of an accident. Often disability comes along with old age. All of us – in some way and at some point in life – will be impacted by disability.

2. DISABILITY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE Disability does not discriminate against race, religion, culture, social class or how much money you have in your bank. It can happen to anyone. Anyone.


3. PEOPLE ARE NOT THEIR DISABILITY I’ve heard it often, “She is Downs” referring to my daughter who has Down syndrome. No, she is not Down syndrome, she has Down syndrome. Down syndrome is something she has, not who she is. The same goes for any disability. People are not their disability, they are people first, and their disability is a part of who they are. Disability does not define a person, our shared and common humanity is what defines us. We are all made in the image of God.

4. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE GIFTS AND TALENTS (AKA ABILITIES!) Just because someone has a disability, it does not mean they don’t have great abilities. People with disabilities have gifts and talents. Rather than focusing on what people cannot do, we need to focus on what people can do.

5. PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES HAVE MEANINGFUL LIVES There is a myth that people with disabilities do not enjoy life as much as “normal” people. Enjoying life has little to do with disability and a lot more to do with a positive attitude and outlook in life. People with disabilities live rich and fulfilling lives, their lives have meaning, and beauty, and purpose.

Ellen Stumbo is passionate about sharing the real – sometimes beautiful and sometimes ugly – aspects of faith, parenting, special needs, and adoption. 24


by: Michelle McInerney (ireland)


diy cardboard toys for pretend play compiled BY: MIA SETYAWAN doctor's kit click on the pics to see the tutorials

by: Bronwyn Mandile (australia)

Cardboard TV

by: estefi Machado (brazil)

pizza oven

by: Joel Henriques (usa)



sponge cake BY: desi trisnawati


INGREDIENTS: 5 medium eggs 130g icing sugar 10g emulsifier 1 tablespoon vanilla essence 120g low protein flour 10g cornflour 20g milk powder 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 100g melted butter strawberry jam ready to used buttercream METHOD: 1. Preheat oven to 170C (338F). Grease and line the base of two square baking pans. 2. Beat the eggs, emulsifier, sugar and vanilla essence with electric mixer on high speed for 5 minutes. 3. Sift together the dry ingredients over the egg mixture and beat on low speed for 30 second. Pour melted butter into the mixture and beat on high speed for 20 seconds. 5. Divide mixture between prepared pans. Bake for 20 mins or until sponge springs back when lightly touched. 6. Serve with strawberry jam and buttercream.

For more recipes, follow Desi on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 27

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Rubies and Gold GIFTS (uk) 20% off any purchase Code: KIDS20 Expiry: October 31, 2016

Designed Signs (usa) 15% off any purchase Code: KIDSNATION Expiry: December 31, 2016

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photo: unsplash


Sticks and Stones by: michelle watson

We’ve all heard the childhood nursery rhyme: “Sticks and Stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me.” How insane is that statement?! words do hurt. Words can always hurt.
In fact, I think words hurt and stick with us far more than physical hurts do. 30

photo: unsplash


hink back to words that were spoken to you as a kid by the bully down the street, by your dad when he was angry at the end of a long day, by a coach who highlighted how you messed up, by the girl who wouldn’t go out with you, and on it goes. Words stick with us long after they’re spoken. Words stick with us for years, often decades. Here is a story that illustrates the long-term impact of words:

"My mom grew up with an angry father and she lived most of her life in fear of him. When she was 16 and was learning to drive, it was her dad who taught her to drive on narrow country roads. To this day, in her late 70’s, she still believes she isn’t a good driver because her dad’s voice is ringing in her head telling her that she has a 'lead foot'. Though these words were spoken over 50 years ago they still hold her hostage today." Sometimes we’re on the receiving end of hurtful words and sometimes we’re on the giving end. Sometimes we remember what we have said that hurt someone else and sometimes we don’t. The fact is that the person who remembers the longest is the one who heard the words, not the one who spoke them.

This is why it’s important to talk out the internalized messages that we’ve heard so they can be clarified, cleaned out, and talked out. Then hopefully when amends are made, forgiveness can take place. Forgiveness essentially means letting go, and until we know what we’ve said that has stayed lodged in someone’s head and heart, we can’t make it right. And until we’ve made it right they oftentimes can’t let it go. When it comes to your kids, this process of asking them about any word wounds you may have caused will allow for honesty and clarity so that healing can happen for both you and them. As each question is asked and then answered, listen through the whole response before adding your thoughts. It’s important not to be defensive but to acknowledge that their hurt is there. Once you have heard their responses thoroughly, make it right and ask forgiveness from a tender heart space. Then state your positive truth about them now in the present. It’s never too late to put current truth into the place where the hurt has been. This will go a long way towards their healing!



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Kids Nation Magazine - Edition 12 July/August 2016  

Edition 12: Instilling purpose in children World's first free digital magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world, with global c...

Kids Nation Magazine - Edition 12 July/August 2016  

Edition 12: Instilling purpose in children World's first free digital magazine, dedicated to empowering kids around the world, with global c...