UNITED NATIONS (Reuters) - Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, announced plans on Friday to deploy an army of mothers worldwide as part of an Internet-based network to connect women in need with people ready to help.
“I will be the general uniting mothers all over the world, wherever they are, so that they can come and be listened to,” Ferguson, who is known as Fergie, told reporters at the United Nations headquarters in New York. “A bossy general.”
Ferguson’s described it as the “mothers’ army initiative,” which she said would be launched in September and based in New York. She hopes to begin the network’s work in Chile, which was hit late last month by a massive earthquake.
During an upcoming trip to the Latin American country, she said she plans to meet with mothers to discuss their most pressing needs and name “lieutenants,” — Chilean women who can collect information on behalf of the network.
“It’s connecting the dots,” Ferguson said. “But its really connecting already existing organizations to the people that need it, which is the women, and the mothers and the families on the street.”
“It’s a supermarket for philanthropy,” she said.
The goal of the plan would be to offer information about available services provided by governments, private non-governmental organizations, and U.N. groups, to women, whether they are victims of rape, abuse, poverty or otherwise in need of help.
Ferguson said the network was inspired by the village halls operated by women in the United Kingdom during the Second World War, which were distribution centers for basic necessities, like sugar and butter.
“A mother in Palestine, right this very second, whose daughter goes missing, where does she call for help?” Ferguson said. “She can go online to the Mother’s Army and there will be somebody that will be listening to her.”
Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Jackie Frank