|Image from www.one.org|
Can I have an iPhone? No.
Can I have ice cream before dinner? No.
Can I have a billion dollars? Yes!
Let's face it. There aren't too many times when kids get exactly what they ask for - especially if it's a billion dollars. But that's what happened this morning! Today, the U.S. made a commitment of $1 BILLION dollars over four years for GAVI, the Vaccine Alliance, to get immunizations to children in poverty who desperately need them. This is the pledge my girls and I have been writing letters and making lobby visits to members of Congress about. We joined tens of thousands of people tweeting, writing, publishing, and visiting to create a movement of demand for global vaccines. Our favorite advocacy organizations - RESULTS, Shot@Life, and ONE - were united in the request for the same amount of money to fight diseases like polio, measles, and rotovirus...so deadly and easy to prevent!
|Mothers in Uganda bringing their infants to an|
outdoor health clinic for vaccinations
I awoke this morning at 5AM unable to sleep...maybe I felt a rumbling in the "Force" coming from Berlin where the GAVI replenishment session was underway? I turned on my laptop and discovered the meeting was being live streamed. I watched as country after country stepped up with their promises. When it came time to get the kids up for school, I woke them with the news that this morning the U.S. was going to make the promise we asked for. "Is it happening now?" Yes, it is. "Can we watch it during breakfast?" You want to watch a pledging conference? Sure, why not?
|On live web-cast, Canada promises $500M|
- Qatar is a new donor to GAVI. It has no "u" in its name even though it seems like it should. It's located in the Middle East. Despite what we see on American TV news, some very, very good things come from the middle east.
- China made it's first ever pledge to GAVI. It used to be a recipient of GAVI money, now it gives back. It is possible to move out of poverty and contribute to others.
- Japan said nice words, but did not make a pledge. Sometimes grown-ups don't get their act together and get their homework done even when it's super-important. That's embarrassing.
- The UK is the biggest donor to GAVI. The U.S. is not always #1.
- Bill Gates pledged $1.5B Wow, Bill Gates is a famous person who is still alive! Some individuals are able to contribute more than some countries.
- Together, all the countries reached over the goal to a total of $7.539 billion. It takes everybody working together to solve a global problem.
- The U.S. pledged exactly what we asked for. WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
|Celebration selfie before heading off to school!|