In three weeks my son will be five years old. FIVE! There is so much to celebrate about this number. He has been looking forward to it since the day he turned four. Last Fall I interviewed W about what it was like to be four because I didn’t want to miss anything. I take quick phone photos of him every day and I try to jot down his quirky sayings as often as I can, but I wanted to be able to remember the good stuff. When he was four he had just started thinking about what to say when asked a question and I love that I have video of him simply pausing and thinking.
Last week I was in Washington D.C. for several days learning about a number of global issues. I was with a group who had formed thanks to our involvement in the 2013 Blogust campaign via Shot@Life. In addition to becoming Champions for Shot@Life we were also becoming official Global Issues Fellows of the United Nations Foundation.
Really this meant that we spent a ton of hours in the brand new offices of the UNF (right next to the White House) and heard from world experts on issues relating to the Millennium Development Goals. The MDGs were not something I was overly familiar with. Now I am amazed at how the world came together to create these goals and it is overwhelmingly mind-blowing to hear how these goals are slowly (ever so slowly) becoming realities.
I sat in the conference room listening to several hours worth of data and then my heart burst. One of the biggest goals the world is working on is MDG4 – reducing the childhood mortality rate in the world. My first thought about this goal was that it had to be mostly about infants and newborns. We heard stories about women who would give birth and then refuse to hold their baby because they were afraid of getting attached. In Mozambique one in 10 children won’t live past the first year. One in 7 dies before reaching the age of 5.
Here I am, counting down the short weeks to my son’s fifth birthday, and across the globe there are mothers who are holding their breath. Praying, hoping, begging that their child makes this same milestone. In 2012, an estimated 6.6 million children, 18,000 a day, died from mostly preventable diseases: pneumonia, preterm birth complications, diarrhea, intrapartum-related complications and malaria.
THIS IS WHY – we have to get involved. The quickest way is to get to know Shot@Life and see if you can contribute to their amazing work. These guys appreciate a monetary donation, but if you aren’t in a position to help that way don’t let that stop you from helping out. Follow them on Twitter and Facebook and when you see an update that resonates with you, share it. Information is HUGE when it comes to global issues.
If you are online you can change the world. You’ve all heard of “social media” and “social good” – it can be one and the same. I promise you that there is a cause waiting for your voice right now. Over the next couple of days and weeks I will be sharing information about causes I learned about this last week. So many need us in the most basic way – to help spread the word.
W is almost five. Across the planet another child is almost five. I am invested in both of them.
Resources: Millennium Development Goals
Disclosure: The United Nations Foundation made it possible to attend the fellowship training by providing transportation and lodging. I have not been compensated for my involvement in this campaign or any campaign affiliated with the UNF.