I started taking malaria pills today in preparation for my trip Tanzania. I have had my polio booster, typhoid and hepatitis A vaccines. I’ve stashed a mini medical kit of Bandaids, Neosporin, gauze and tape. I’ve packed my diarrhea pills the doctor recommended…for just in case. I’ve coated all my clothing with permetherin to keep the mosquitos from biting through my clothing. And I’ll be coating myself with Deet, wearing long socks under my pants to keep the mosquitos at bay. I already feel like I’m descending into a world so unlike the one I take for granted– a world without access to clean water or where diseases persist that we’ve either eliminated in the U.S or have nearly eradicated.
I feel a bit of pressure. As a part of the UN Foundations Shot@Life Champions, I’ve been chosen to represent 60 amazing women (and a few good men) on this trip. These Champions are an incredible group of passionate people working tirelessly to create a global movement towards helping to eradicate terrible diseases that needlessly kill a child every 20 seconds. I shudder to think how many children will die just in the course of writing this blog post.
I will be traveling with a videographer and photographer and it will be our job to collect stories and information to be shared through social media channels and to share at an event in the fall. I need to be a brilliant writer. I have to be able to convey the various emotions I’m sure I’ll feel. I want to be able to share the hard-to-swallow information while showing we are making progress and giving people hope.
I have been given an opportunity to use the power of my words, photographs and my social graph to move others to join us in this important cause. I think Amanda Peet said it best, “If moms in the U.S. banded together, we could be on the right side of history. Let’s get it done. It’s not just about your kids, but about your neighbor’s kids, everyone’s kids.”
With 82 million moms in the U.S. alone, imagine the possibilities if we all did indeed band together on this?