And I was one of them.
This campaign, called Blogust 2013, worked off a principle that every blogger knows:
For every comment our posts received, Walgreen’s donated a vaccination to a child who otherwise might die from a vaccine-preventable illness like polio, pneumonia, or diarrhea. When the final count of comments was tallied, the campaign had raised over 36,000 vaccinations for children at risk.
As part of this exciting campaign, the other Shot at Life Champions and I were invited to Washington D.C. this past week to participate as delegates at the 2014 United Nations Global Issues Fellowship Summit.
I had no idea what I was in for.
Arriving Saturday night after a long flight, it was up and at ‘em bright and early Sunday morning at 8am (or 4am for those of us coming from California thanks to Daylight Savings Time!).
Led by the intrepid UN Foundation Shot @ Life Director, Devi Thomas…
…15 bloggers, and several staff members from the Foundation, headed out on the metro for a day of informative meetings at the new UN Foundation offices in Washington, D.C.
It’s quite a view from up there!
Over the next four days we would learn a lot about the work of the UN Foundation on behalf of those most in need, specifically the women and children of our world.
Is the UN Foundation the same thing as the United Nations?
If you are anything like me then you likely don’t have the slightest idea what it is the UN Foundation is or does.
First of all, the UN Foundation is not the United Nations.
The United Nations was established after World War II when it became obvious that we were entering a new era of globalization. After the war, people realized that countries, both big and small, could no longer operate in a vacuum. Some sort of organization needed to exist that would hold the larger, more powerful countries accountable, and make sure that smaller, more vulnerable countries had a voice.
The United Nations taking over America?
While some Americans fear that the purpose of the United Nations is to destroy the sovereignty of the United States, non-Americans fear that the UN’s dastardly purpose is to Americanize everybody else. Neither is true. The UN cannot act without the support and consent of the nations it serves. Also, each of the five Permanent Members of the UN’s Security Counsel, the United States, China, Russia, France, and Great Britain must agree before any unilateral UN action towards another nation can occur.
Whether we agree with everything the UN does, or doesn’t do, I’m convinced that if the United Nations didn’t exist—to ensure the stability of our complicated world–we’d need to invent it
So What is the UN Foundation?
The UN Foundation is a public charity started by a billion dollar grant from media mogul, Ted Turner. Its purpose is to connect the UN’s work with people around the world, “mobilizing the energy and expertise of business and non-governmental organizations to help the UN tackle issues including climate change, global health, peace and security, women’s empowerment, poverty eradication, energy access, and U.S.-UN relations.”
Ambassadors, Directors, and Lobbyists, Oh My!
Okay, so I’ll leave out the boring parts (there really weren’t any boring parts, but writing about meetings and speeches is boring) and get to the chase.
Women and children need our help!
Speaker after speaker talked with us about the plight of women and children—particularly girl children—on this little blue marble of ours.
We can do better!
What are the 8 Millennium Development Goals?
Do you know what the 8 Millennium Development Goals are?
Apparently while I’ve been living under a rock, the United Nations got together back in 2000 and established something called the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to reduce the number of people who live in extreme poverty by 2015.
These eight goals were developed by the international community, including leaders from 191 countries. Here they are:
We were given progress reports on where we stand today on these goals, and where we need to go from here.
Next year is 2015, and in its effort to create goals that meet the most pressing needs of this world, the United Nations has established a website called My World 2015 where we can vote on matters that mean the most to us. I voted, and I hope you will too.
Click on the picture below and vote now. I’ll wait here for you.
Polio Eradication is Close at Hand!
One of the most exciting things we learned during our first two days is that polio, one of the most dreaded diseases of the 20th century, is almost gone from our world. Only three countries remain polio-endemic: Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Nigeria.
Sunday night, Dr. Asad Majeed Khan, Deputy Chief of Mission from the Embassy of Pakistan spoke to us about the progress of polio eradication in Pakistan. Dr. Khan was very frank about the problems facing Pakistan, but expressed Pakistan’s commitment to polio eradication. His talk was both realistic and hopeful.
Thanks to the tireless work of organizations like Shot at Life, generous grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the cooperation from the nations in the UN, I believe I’ll see polio eradicated in my lifetime.
Bloggers Make a Difference for Social Good
While you all know that I’m skeptical about making a living from blogging, I am completely convinced that bloggers can make a difference for social good. I know for a fact that last August 31 bloggers made a difference in the lives of 36,000 children around the world by giving them a Shot at Life.
The Shot at Life Champions of 2013 in Washington D.C.
From top left: Fred Goodall from Mocha Dad; Jessica Ashley from Sassafras; hidden behind Jessica is Carmen Stacier from Mom to the Screaming Masses; Caryn Payzant from The Midlife Guru, vlogger, Lucrecer Braxton; Sili Recio from My Mamihood, Ellen Seidman from Love that Max; and Rachel Faucett from Handmade Charlotte.
From bottom left: Migdalia from Latina on a Mission; Chloe Jeffreys from Chloe of the Mountain; Rebecca Woolf from Girl’s Gone Child; Jill Nystul from One Good Thing by Jillee; Shannon Des Roches Rosa from Squidalicious and The Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism; Dresden Shumaker from Creating Motherhood; and Denene Milner from My Brown Baby.