Have you heard about mothers in parts of sub-saharan Africa who don’t cry when their babies die? Who feel numb and unable to share the grief ripping them apart, because it is so commonplace, so every day? Because they expect their children to die.
I wonder if they had access to a computer and the internet, if they would turn to message boards and mom blogs and community websites like ours and ask, “can anyone help save my child?”
Millions of mothers in Africa do have access to these things. But not the ones we’re talking about. In the most vulnerable places for women and children on the earth, mothers don’t have computers, or the internet or the training to send their message out to the world.
So models like Alek Wek, former refugee from South Sudan, share their message for them. Bloggers like the ONE Moms and Dads witness the story and tell it. Communities like this gather and we learn about the issues and then send it on to those around us so they can learn too.
And then we act. We sign a petition. We send $20. And it does something. It changes us. And it changes them.
Ciao Mom asked, how do you make a difference? And her answer was so clear. You just do.
You skip that week of buying coffee and you save a child.* Large corporations care because we care and because it’s the right thing to do. Governments care because we care and because it’s the right thing to do. But really, all roads lead back to us. So when she asks “can anyone help save my child?”
The answer is always you and me.
Photo credit: UN Foundation / Shot@Life / Stuart Ramson
*$20 is what it costs for one child to receive 4 life-saving vaccines: measles, pneumonia, diarrhea and polio; preventable diseases
This is cross-posted from The Million Moms Challenge, where I am the Community Manager. It is an initiative of the United Nations Foundation and ABC News, along with more than 30 partners to share global health issues for mothers and babies. All opinions expressed here are my own.
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