Vaccine education on Rwanda, Image Credit: ONE/Carl Forti
I’m sure many of you know I’m a passionate ambassador for the ONE campaign. I join over 6 million people across the globe who choose to come together to work with ONE to campaign and be an advocate for those living in poverty, especially in Africa. Together we take action to see an end to extreme poverty and preventable diseases.
Why do I do this you might ask? Surely I can’t be making a difference? But I believe I do, not alone I’ll grant you that. The blog posts I write and the campaign information I share on social media are just a drop in the ocean but sincerely I do believe in the power of the little guy and particularly of all the little guys coming together and causing a right raucous. Let me give you just one example of how digital influencers can work together to make a difference.
Last September I attended the #AYAsummit with ONE in Washington DC and it was pretty close to the time when the White House would decide how much money the US would pledge to GAVI (the Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisations) for their next funding round. There was around 80 attendees at the summit and we are all digital influencers and activists and ONE called upon us to rally our readers and get them badgering the White House via social media (twitter, FB and Instagram) and later via calls, letters and even meeting their member of congress to push them to commit $1 billion to GAVI over the next 4 years.
We all took this challenge seriously and enjoyed shooting our well timed arrows at the White House both during the summit and after and then in late January we all whooped with delight when we heard the US had indeed pledged $1 billion to GAVI over the next 4 years. I’m not saying we did it alone, loads of activists and not-for-profit/ charitable organisations were working on this but it happened, we got results and that makes it all worth it for me.
You might even wonder why it is important that the US pledged $1 billion to GAVI, what do they even do? Well since 2000 when GAVI was formed 440 million children have been immunised and 6 million lives saved and when you hear those kind of numbers you start to realise just how important it is that children living in developing countries are vaccinated against the diseases and illnesses that we do not even have to think about in the UK, things like tuberculosis, polio, measles, diphtheria and tetanus. Children’s lives are being saved and really that is all we need to know, we are all parents after all.
Here is a link to a short video from the CEO of GAVI, Seth Berkley with a personal message for ONE members across the world thanking us for our work in helping with the replenishment of the fund, it is only 55 seconds take a peek.
I hope that gives you a little understanding of why I choose to be a digital activist and why I work with ONE. I’m thrilled to share with you their latest campaign (well one of many as they never rest on their laurels) and this one is titled Poverty is Sexist and it is a campaign to help highlight the inequalities that girls and women in developing countries face. Here is an excerpt from their campaign page to explain a little –
“Being born female in one of the world’s poorest countries means your life will be harder, simply because of your gender. As a girl, you are more likely to be taken out of school. As a woman, you’ll find it harder to get credit or own land.
Unlocking the full potential of girls and women wouldn’t just transform their lives or their families’ – it could help end extreme poverty. Because when women rise out of poverty, they take other people with them too.
The fight for equality is already on. In developing countries, girls and women are breaking down barriers and achieving extraordinary things. Your voice can help them win the fight faster.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is hosting a meeting of the world’s most powerful leaders this June, so she gets to decide what gets talked about and acted on.
Show every girl and woman, no matter where they live, you’re on their side.”
It’s therefore important that we all sign the petition and urge world leaders to put equality and the issues of girls and women at the forefront of their meetings and goals this year. When the sustainable development goals are agreed in New York in September I sincerely want to see them making waves for all females across our world.
If you feel like you might want to know more then head over to the ONE Girls and Women site and have a look around. There are links to some amazing resources and articles that will inspire, motivate and infuriate you in equal measure.
I hope you will join me and sign up to ONE. The more people that sign up and share what they are working on the more chance there is that the aim of ending extreme poverty by 2030 will become a reality.
I’m speaking as part of a panel at BritMums Live on Saturday 21st June, if you want to find out more about bloggers working with charities and not-for-profits then please do come along to our session.