Really take a moment to think about this: 13 million individuals are starving, dying, or displaced in the Horn of Africa; that is more that the population of Los Angeles and New York combined and 10 million more than the Haiti earthquake. Yet, for some reason, this is not being talked about on national news, local news, or even in households across the country. Over the last year I have seen what can happen if ONE mom uses her voice; when a mom comes to the table with facts, compassion, and speaks up people start to listen.
This week ONE Moms visited Capitol Hill to take action by asking their Members of Congress to take the lead protecting programs that are saving lives for the world’s most vulnerable. While some of us were there in person, thousands were being advocates through social media. We brought letters from their constituents and facts of what the human impact would be if funding for these programs were cut. These programs mean life or death for millions of women and children around the world.
We also had a unique opportunity to meet with Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and Gayle Smith from the National Security Council. Hearing the depth of compassion and the sense of urgency as Dr. Biden shared her stories from her recent trip to the refugee camps in the Horn of Africa, I wanted to carry her experience out with me. When I was in Kenya, I was able to see programs funded through USAID working.
Administrator Raj Shah is focused and determined to see that our investments are saving lives, building communities, and creating stability. As Gayle Smith from the National Security Council so clearly pointed out as she answered my question, when we provide individuals with food, shelter, and medicine we give them dignity which is important, especially in large ungoverned spaces.
People with dignity tend to “act right”.
As moms we all want our kids to live in a peaceful, healthy, stable world. Imagine the results when we all come together as ONE to speak up and say we care about these issues. It is time to pay attention to the stories and carry them forward.