In the time it takes you to read this post, 15 children will die of diseases that we know how to prevent. Diseases like rotavirus, pneumonia, polio and measles. Can you imagine being the parent whose child contracts one of these illnesses and you know halfway around the world children will survive and perhaps never even come in contact with one of these diseases because of modern medicine? Every child should have a Shot @ Life, shouldn't they?
This week 100 women (and a few brave men) gathered on Capitol Hill to raise awareness about this problem, one that is easily solvable with more access and more awareness of the importance of vaccinating young children in third world countries.
This week in Washington D.C. the U.N. Foundation Shot @ Life Champion Summit met for the second year. These champions are ordinary men and women, who have come to understand the urgency of this issue. They are mothers and fathers, bloggers and businessmen, marketers and pediatricians all impassioned to help innocent children get the care they need from a bureaucracy that can often feel inhumane.
Over the past year Shot @ Life has become an extremely popular advocacy issue. What started as a group of 38 impassioned individuals a year ago, has now grown to a group of 400 voices and this year they took to knocking on the doors or every congressman or woman with whom they could schedule a meeting. They held over a hundred meetings in one day. It was an extraordinary feat of organization on the part of the Shot @ Life campaign. However, it has left many who participated even more invigorated to spread the word about not allowing further cuts to foreign aid spending in the latest version of the budget. International health is 1 percent of the budget and of that only 15 percent represents the spending on global health. Eliminating this funding in no way helps balance the budget, but it will have a tremendous affect on the children who will suffer without much needed medicine.
Shot @ Life hopes to grow it's group of champions even larger in the coming year, perhaps even stretching into the thousands. Imagine the affect they will have on congress next year if this is the case? Holly Pavlika, president of MOMentum Nation and also a Shot @ Life Champion, feels what is being built is a movement of global motherhood, one in which women can share experiences and support one another from across the globe, all thanks to the rapid spread of social media. Global motherhood could very well be the next most influential movement in our world. Imagine the power harnessed if mothers can truly unite in order to protect and care for their children. It is a power it would behoove our government to listen to. It is a power that stretches across generations, borders and socioeconomics.
If you are an impassioned mother, who wishes to join this global movement for the sake of our children, please visit the Shot @ Life website to learn more about how you can participate. Since Shot @ Life was founded by mothers for mothers, there are simple ways we can all participate that mix well into the life of the 21st century mother. Take time today to reach out and see how you can ease the distress of mothers who worry about the health and well being of their children. This is truly a grassroots campaign, so all the work we do in our own communities, whether online or in the neighborhood, will strengthen the movement, growing awareness from the ground up. Come next year, I hope to hear there are thousands of Shot@ Life Champions, who hail from every state in our country. Perhaps next year our discussion will be about how much money we can spend rather than how much money is being cut. When a mother's voice is raised to help children, I know, as a mother, there is nothing that stands in her way.