“Global Week of Action” for child health

World Vision launches Global Campaigns

‘Count Me In – I Want Children to Survive 5!"

13-20 NOVEMBER 2012 - The 13th to 20th November will be World Vision’s first Global Week of Action. In response to the shockingly high number of children dying before their fifth birthday World Vision is seeking to bring people together across the globe to show support for the millions of children at risk of illness or death from preventable causes like malaria, diarrhoea and malnutrition.

Expected to take place in more than 60 countries and involve some 500,000 people, the Global Campaigns Director for World Vision International, Andrew Haslett kicked off the Global Week of Action campaign with a special blog,

Acting together for a just and equitable future for all

Andrew Hassett, Global Campaigns Director, World Vision International

“Today I am kicking off a conversation that we need to have. About life and death, about what matters and how collectively we must act for a more just and equitable future. No matter who you are or where you live around the world, you have a critical role to play.

“With just three years remaining, there is so much more to be done for the world to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Governments, civil society, the private sector and citizens across the world must demonstrate a renewed sense of urgency. The lives of children, and the health and wellbeing of whole nations depends on it. This is a test of how effective and legitimate international cooperation is when it comes to addressing critical social and environmental issues. The cost of inaction is simply too great.

“We can no longer rely on others to do the heavy lifting. Critically, global leaders must rise, act with urgency and purpose.... they must lead. Budgets must not be balanced on the back of the poorest, nor energy diverted towards insular or nationalistic policies. Many of the poorest and most vulnerable communities have lost faith and feel let down by rhetoric and vague commitments by those who have the power to make positive change happen.

“In a tough and shifting political and economic environment, what is needed more than ever is the united and piercing voice of people right across the world - demanding that the MDG job be finished – demanding justice, equity and opportunities for all. Throughout history it is clear that when people come together and are able to articulate a set of beliefs, values and conviction about who they are, what they stand for and what kind of world they are trying to create, large scale social change is possible. However this does not happen at an individual level. It is a collective process. We need peers to inspire us, lead us, support us, motivate us to be our best and encourage us to start acting like members of a community.

“This is when governments take note and take decisive action. It is citizens that give national governments permission to do more, to demand that they do more. Only then will children everywhere celebrate their fifth birthday and no woman will lose her life during child birth. But let’s be clear, it is a long and difficult journey that requires resolve and a belief in the possibility of a better global system. And a strong understanding of the positive role individuals can play, along with the commitment to be active rather than sitting on the side-lines waiting for others.

Child Health Now’s Global Week of Action is a contribution to mobilise this type of public support as part of a broader movement for change, particularly around maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH). Between the 13-20th of November, World Vision’s Child Health Now campaign will bring over 2 million people together, face to face, through a series of community events in 62 countries. Many more will take action online and through social media channels. The week will culminate with Universal Children’s Day.

“To provide a flavour of the types of public events taking place, India will be holding local events with women's, children and youth groups in over 150 communities and Uganda will be running a workshop with the parliamentary committee on maternal and child health.

“The objective is to demonstrate widespread public support at a national and global level for the UN Secretary General's Every Women Every Child (EWEC) Initiative, an unprecedented global movement to mobilise and intensify global action to save the lives of 16 million women and children. Governments must be held accountable for the commitments they have made and it is the citizens of these countries that have the most power to make this happen. By acting publicly, and with a united voice.

“Over the next month Child Health Now will be telling a series of stories of women and children and public mobilisation efforts. I hope these will provide a better understanding of the issues facing the poorest and most marginalised communities, along with providing a better understanding about why and how to take action.”