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Answering a Call to Help the Children of Uganda
Tuesday, 21 January 2014

By Karla Peterson, San Diego Union Tribune | January 21, 2014

During her first humanitarian trip to Africa, Vivian Glyck met a man who told her about a small Ugandan clinic that was fighting for the lives of its people and losing ground every day. It was a desperate story from a land of many desperate stories, and it should have scared her off. But where other people might have heard a warning, Glyck heard a call.

“He said there are people dying left and right. There is no doctor. There is no nothing,” Glyck remembered. “And I said, ‘That sounds like the right place for me.’”

And so it was. Nine years later, it still is.

In 2006, Glyck made her first visit to the Bishop Asili Hospital in Luwero. When she returned, she started the Just Like My Child Foundation. The group quickly raised $30,000 to buy the hospital a much-needed generator. Then came a doctor, a sterile room and surgical tools. Since then, Glyck has made 15 more trips to Uganda. Her calling struck a chord that keeps on resonating, and Just Like My Child has made a world of difference everywhere it goes.

The foundation has worked with local educators, parents and community leaders to build six schools, helped more than 300 families struggling with HIV to start self-sustaining farming businesses, and held life-skills and mentoring workshops for more than 1,300 adolescent girls in 12 villages.

As for that dark and dank clinic, it is now a fully equipped teaching hospital. In 2007, Just Like My Child received a grant from the Clinton Foundation to provide HIV pediatric testing through Bishop Asili. The hospital also provides everything from lifesaving operations and AIDS treatment to prenatal care and malaria prevention to more than 76 villages.

“Vivian is a force of nature. I have watched her go from having just the seed of an idea to making magic happen with amazing speed and dexterity and thoughtfulness and creativity,” said Arielle Ford, a longtime friend and a founding member of the Just Like My Child board. “People know that when they donate to Just Like My Child, she will squeeze something out of every penny. She is not flying first class to Uganda. She is on the ground getting her hands dirty and doing whatever it takes to fulfill this mission.”

This was never what Glyck thought she would be doing. But it is exactly what life prepared her to do.

The youngest of three children, Glyck grew up in New York City’s Spanish Harlem, where her family struggled with poverty, domestic violence and sexual abuse. She escaped early, heading to the University of Rochester at 16 and later into a career in health care and media relations. She worked at Beth Israel Hospital in Boston and with Deepak Chopra. She wrote books, including “12 Lessons I Learned from My Garden: Spiritual Guidance from the Vegetable Patch” and “The Tao of Poop: Keeping Your Sanity (And Your Soul) While Raising a Baby.”

Glyck married author and entrepreneur Mike Koenigs, and the couple moved to San Diego in 2001. Their son Zak was born one year later. Glyck felt blessed and happy, which made it the perfect time to throw herself a major life curveball.

“I knew I was really good at telling a story and finding ways to connect with people, and I became on fire with the idea of helping kids around the world,” Glyck said during an interview in the family’s La Jolla Shores home office. “I was so in love with my little boy, I thought, ‘How could children just like him be perishing?’ One night, I woke up with the sound of children crying in my head, and I thought, ‘OK, I have to go to Africa.’”

This year, Glyck and the foundation are focusing on the group’s Girl Power Project. The goal is to use workshops, mentoring and leadership camps to give adolescent girls in the developing world the emotional, psychological and educational tools they need to stay in school, avoid early pregnancies and build independent, self-sustaining lives.

If 100,000 girls take this new knowledge back to their villages, and each girl mentors 100 girls, Glyck can see a world that looks much different from the one we have now. That is one part of the dream. The other part is that the Just Like My Child boys and girls can claim this better future as their own. Because it will be.

“When I was in Uganda last time, I was talking to one of our legal volunteers, and she said, ‘I just wanted to thank you for giving us knowledge, not just giving us money.’ That is what I’m most proud of,” Glyck said. “When I go to one of the (Girl Power) conferences, they have no idea who I am. They take care of each other. It’s just them.”

Read the full article here: Answering a Call to Help the Children of Uganda

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Vivian Glyck on the life and legacy of Debbie Ford
Thursday, 21 March 2013

This past Wednesday, March 20, Vivian Glyck was invited onto WS Radio's "The Coaching Show" to speak about Debbie Ford, her good friend and fellow champion for children's rights. Listen in to hear Vivian speak about the work of Just Like My Child, its successful partnership with Debbie Ford's organization, The Collective Heart Foundation, and the work still left to be done in Africa.

We are committed to continuing the legacy that Debbie left behind – one of compassion, generosity, and empowerment. It was Debbie's final wish that people contribute to Just Like My Child's Girl Power Project, so that her passion can live on through thousands of girls growing up in Africa.

Listen to Vivian's full interview to learn about what you can do to empower women and children half a world away, and in doing so, make the world a better place. As Vivian says,

"We believe in solidarity, not charity."

Collectively, we can make a difference. It's what Debbie wanted.

Oprah and JLMC pay tribute to Debbie Ford
Saturday, 23 February 2013

As many of you may know, Debbie Ford – beloved author, transformational speaker, and founder of The Collective Heart – passed away Sunday night in the company of her family. After a nearly two decade-long battle with cancer, Debbie was ready for life's next adventure.

Oprah just posted a beautiful tribute to Debbie and in her honor, OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network is airing an encore of Oprah's "Super Soul Sunday" interview with Debbie Ford on Sunday, February 24 at noon ET/PT. Then, tune in at 1 p.m. ET/PT to watch Debbie's past Oprah Show appearances.

Follow the link on Oprah's blog post to watch Vivian Glyck's moving video tribute to Debbie Ford.

Beyond her deep friendship with Vivian, Debbie was a champion for Just Like My Child Foundation's cause. First, by helping to build several schools in rural Uganda – where children who would otherwise not have access to education are now thriving with the opportunity to reach their full potential. Next, Debbie and The Collective Heart took on the Girl Power Project with us: pledging $100,000 to help empower 10,000 at-risk adolescent girls in Uganda. Many of you have seen photos and updates from our first official Camp Girl Power, held in January – none of it would have been possible without Debbie and The Collective Heart's support and passion.

In lieu of flowers, her family has asked that donations go to The Collective Heart to carry on Debbie's legacy of compassion and empowerment, by touching the lives of over 10,000 girls in Uganda through Just Like My Child Foundation's Girl Power Project.

"I have been speechless with gratitude for many years for your constant grace in my life and for the family rituals we shared together. I know I must have been very good in some previous life to have had you as my soul sister. You embodied “tough love” right until the last minute and wouldn’t let me get away with anything but loving myself entirely. I know you are smiling on me, on us, but I MISS you already and will always carry your encouragement and love in my heart. Zak told me today that you were his “God Aunt” and that he was so sad he didn’t get to say goodbye to you. And then we had a beautiful conversation about you as a mother and how we would send Beau love everyday. You cracked my boy’s heart wide open even as you slipped out of your body. I’m sure you will work your magic for many more, and we’ll all just have to be courageous enough to do it with you in spirit, rather than in body. I love you always Debbie Ford."

– Vivian Glyck, Founder & Executive Director, Just Like My Child Foundation

Vivian Glyck named one of San Diego's 50 People to Watch in 2013!
Thursday, 10 January 2013

Pick up a copy of San Diego Magazine's 50 People to Watch issue and you'll find a bio on Vivian Glyck, Founder and Executive Director of Just Like My Child Foundation. This feature explores Vivian's passion for creating sustainable change in the developing world by working predominately with women and girls. We are so proud of her and the Just Like My Child Foundation for helping thousands of women find their voice and push for positive change in their communities!

Here's a sneak peak of what you'll find in her feature article:


"She has already established programs for micro-enterprise, medical services, female empowerment, and legal rights education in Uganda. No one would blame her if she took a break from all the fundraising and frequent flying. But in 2013, the founder of Just Like My Child will return to Uganda with donors in tow and visit her myriad projects, as well as expand her programs into Senegal on a second trip. Thanks to Glyck, hundreds of families and individuals in dozens of villages now have the tools to deal with poverty, disease, land rights, domestic violence, rape, and more."

Read more at, and pick up a copy of San Diego Magazine's 50 People to Watch in 2013, on newsstands now!

Paid for Life '10 - Supports Sustainable Enterprise in the Fight to End Poverty
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Support Sustainable Enterprise

Many of us feel a deep, driving need to contribute. But how? If you're called to pursue a purpose... to be of service... and you want to use profit as a catalyst to reach your goals and empower others, Paid For Life can help.

Paid for Life: Earn More, Live More, Give More is a systematic, holistic approach to building wealth in ALL areas of your life. We'll show you how to create and grow your conscious venture so that the wealth you create can funnel into the projects and people you care about most.

Coordinated by Just Like My Child, the weekend-long workshop is a fundraiser to give local entrepreneurs valuable tools to build their business and live their dreams, in turn, equipping global entrepreneurs to achieve their goals .. Because sustainable enterprise is the ONLY proven weapon against poverty.

Proceeds from Paid For Lifego DIRECTLY to fuel Just Like My Child's programs empowering women, children and therefore entirecommunities to reach their full potential - Through improved Health Care, Education and Microenterprise.

Saturday June 26th & Sunday June 27th
in San Diego, CA

JLMC on YouTube!
Thursday, 13 May 2010


Our commitment to donors is to provide audio, video, and written documentation so that they can experience a first-hand account of how their donated funds are being allocated. The bottom line is that we want you to make a DIRECT connection with the people you are helping.

SUBSCRIBE to stay up-to-date, and watch first-hand how Your Support is making an Immediate Difference in Uganda:

JLMC Founder, Vivian Glyck, featured on San Diego Channel 6 News CW
Friday, 11 December 2009

Why is Just Like My Child Different?
Monday, 02 February 2009

Learn more here.

JLMC on CNN Headline News
Friday, 11 December 2009

JLMC on Wellness Roadshow, "Raising consciousness through conversation"
Thursday, 28 January 2010
JLMC Founder, Vivian Glyck

Just Like My Child featured on Wellness Road Show: Searching for Whole Being, "Raising consciousness through conversation" (November 2009)

Click here to listen or download