I wrote a post featured today on Social Good Moms in support of funds and assistance to the poorest and most uneducated babies, children, and mothers in the world. My post follows as well as a link to the SGM 500 site.
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'” ~ Matthew 25:40
Social Good Moms 500
Starting on August 18, 2014, and for 500 days moms around the world will raise awareness about the importance of Millennium Development Goal 4that calls for reducing child mortality by two-thirds. We are kicking everything off in Kenya with coverage of Save the Children’s Millennium Development Goal briefing in Nairobi.
Working in partnership with Save the Children we are spreading the word about MDG 4 for the next 500 days with one goal in mind: that we can achieve the MDGs and bring lasting change to the world’s poorest.
Countdown to the MDG Deadline – Day 494
Vividly, I remember the smell of filth and dirty diapers as I walked into the small orphanage in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was all of 14 years old and had lived a life of privilege. I held a tiny baby who had just arrived and had yet to be named. In my mind, I named him Josiah. I couldn’t imagine why someone wouldn’t want him. I was told that life in the orphanage was better than the one of extreme poverty he would face with his birth mother. One year later, I stood on the streets of Tijuana shopping at a market when I was approached by a little girl. She was impossibly cute and I asked if I could take her picture. She quickly responded, a mere child of 4 or 5, “one quarter for picture.” I stood silent as she increased her price to “one dollar for picture.” I handed over the dollar, snapped my picture, and quickly bought up a bracelet and necklace I’ve never worn but are still in my jewelry box from little “Rosa.”
I don’t know if Josiah or Rosa survived childhood. I don’t know if they lived to be successes or criminals or prostitutes. I don’t know if they are dead or alive. And I never will. Unfortunately their fate is the norm in areas where poverty captures and doesn’t let go. Sickness, disease, poor nutrition, early mortality, and no education are the ropes that bind these people trapping them in a life beyond saving at times.
In 2000, our world leaders saw the tragedy unfolding in country after country around the world and decided it had to stop. They created goals- or the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)–”including commitments to cut poverty by half, get every child into school, and dramatically reduce child and maternal deaths by 2015.”
Here are the facts from the UN’s website: MDG4 and from our partners at Save the Children. I want to highlight a few from Save the Children:
•Each day an estimated 800 mothers and 18,000 young children die from largely preventable causes.
•More than 1 million babies die on their first and only day of life across the world, and 2.9 million in their first month.
•The newborn crisis is much bigger than we may think, with a staggering 1.2 million stillbirths occurring during childbirth.
•More than half of these maternal and under-fives deaths take place in locations beset by a high risk of conflict and/or natural disasters.
•40 million women give birth without any skilled help – that’s more than 100,000 women every day.
•Even more dramatically, 2 million women a year are entirely alone when giving birth.
•Investing in mothers works. Maternal deaths and child mortality in the most challenging countries of the world are being dramatically cut when efforts are made to improve services for mothers and children.
•Preventable: We can stop this. Many of these deaths are preventable if the mother-to-be had a trained midwife to help them give birth safely
•Equality: Newborn mortality rates can only be reduced through fairer distribution of essential health services and through universal healthcare access; this means making these more available to the poorest and most marginalised families, as well as to communities living in rural areas.
In 2014, moms shouldn’t have to worry about sending a child to bed hungry or walking miles for clean water. Children shouldn’t have to choose working on the streets to beg for money over going to school and getting an education. Babies shouldn’t have to die from things like malaria or chronic diarrhea. We live in a society with so much. Why are there people out there still living without the basic needs. Every child should have a safe and happy life. We shouldn’t stand for anything less than a world where every child is fed, healthy, and educated.
We have 494 days until the MDG4 deadline. Spread the word. Tell our leaders to make these goals a priority. The benefits are great and much better than spreading hate. Use the hashtags: #MDGmomentum #commit2deliver when you post. We are in the midst of sending our children back to school. Let’s send ALL children back to school.