RANCHO SANTA FE — Vivian Glyck just returned from visiting lifesaving dental and medical clinics and schools she established in Uganda, East Africa. Now the humanitarian mom plans to host an “African Thanksgiving” to benefit her Just Like My Child Foundation.
The benefit will be held Nov. 19 at the home of John and Maria Assaraf in Rancho Santa Fe, featured in the movie “The Secret.” It will feature remarks by author, speaker and global visionary Deepak Chopra as well as African music, dance and fine dining for 250 guests. Tickets are available now at www.JustLikeMyChild.com.
The African Thanksgiving celebrates Just Like My Child Foundation’s third year of saving lives and empowering women and children in a community of 600,000 people and 48 villages in central Uganda. Just Like My Child raises money through grants and donations for education, healthcare and microfinance projects that involve communities in creating permanent social change.
Glyck recently traveled to Uganda with a young dentist, Puja Shah, who raised funds to equip and establish a lifesaving dental clinic, to witness the work of this dental clinic and the hospital Just Like My Child helped to build. At the new dental clinic, more than 100 children, many facing life-threatening abscesses, lined up to receive quality care, and their lives were saved as a result.
She and medical staff also witnessed C-sections, credited with saving the lives of hundreds of mothers and children, performed in a tiny but immaculately clean operating room, funded by Just Like My Child Foundation. They visited a new school the foundation established and met with parents eager to build a second school. Glyck also met a girls’ empowerment specialist who is teaching young girls on foundation scholarships how to stand up for themselves in a society where girls and women are often marginalized.
We are also working with a league of women attorneys who will teach people in these “very remote communities about women’s rights and women’s empowerment,” she says. “To me this is really what needs to happen. There is no change until there is social change, and in order to have social change at the grass roots, women must have a voice.”
A daughter of Holocaust survivors, Glyck was inspired by her own mother who overcame an abusive marriage and lack of education to earn two masters degrees and teach school in New York City. Glyck established Just Like My Child after the birth of her first child, Zak, when she realized that every mother loves her children and every child deserves opportunity.
“As a mother, I see that what really makes the difference in a child’s life is how much their mother can be involved and how much their mother can be an advocate for them,” she said. “If you can help a woman to find her voice, she can educate herself, gain financial independence, and advocate for her children.”
Glyck formerly served as a marketing director and consultant for Deepak Chopra’s organization. The author, as well as business and life coach John Assaraf and his wife Maria, marketing expert Arielle Ford and many others have supported the Just Like My Child foundation.