Saturday, May 28, 2011

4 Million in 4 Hours - A Call to Arms

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As a photographer and artist there is a saying among our communities that we started taking pictures because we can't draw.

True in my case, and many photographers will say the same if they're being totally honest.

Some aspiring art and artists were brought to my attention by a call to arms last night as concerned mums across the world are posting their children's self-drawn portraits in support of the No Child Born To Die campaign by the Save the Children organization.

World leaders will gather for a 4 hour vaccine summit in London on June 13th. A petition is circulating around the world and web in support of 2 new vaccines that will stop diarrea and pneumonia, two of the biggest child (5 yrs and under) killers  in developing countries. The vaccines have the potential to save 4 million children's lives by 2015 - 4 Million in 4 Years (see this clip at

Funds and manpower are lacking, and how much to be pledged towards getting the vaccines safely to where they are needed will be decided. Save the Children will be presenting the petition to U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron at the summit.

Three of our blogosphere's empowered and passionate voices from the U.K. have hooked up with Save the Children H.Q. and are en route to follow a vaccine's trail from lab to limb, in an effort to raise awareness for the lack of access to vaccines for preventable diseases, compared to the ease of access in developed countries where vaccination is assumed, a choice, and available.

The Mums in Mozambique trio of bloggers are Lindsay Atkin (Lilies are Like - vblog), Chris Mosler (Thinly Spread) and Tracey Cheetham (A view from the Public Gallery). Their compassion and commitment is gaining momentum inside and out of the online community. The vaccine the women are tracking took two years to produce in The Republic of Ireland, and the cold-stored solution will make it's final trek on the back of a motorbike when it reaches a child in a rural part of Mozambique - a country where more than half of the 21 million people are under 18. Over 1.4 million of them are orphans, almost half orphaned by HIV and AIDS. Atkin says in her video post that she, Mosler and Cheetham will witness the administration of the vaccine by an STC health worker.

To get more insight on the June 13th summit and powers that be, log on to GAVI ALLIANCE at

As for the awesome artwork I mentioned at the beginning, you can find it where I did, across the pond at Faceless Food's We Don't Eat Anything With a Face. The meme and message is spreading quickly through the world and web, and you'll find all the blog hop details through her. The pictures alone are worth the look, and the personal stories from the many participating moms. Most importantly, the deadline to sign the Save the Children petition is for June 13th, so there is still time to spread the word. You can click on the SC link to sign and show your support, and/or give them a boost on your site.

I'm not a mom. I don't even have any children, although my very fertile girlfriend keeps a handle on how many hours I spend on the seat when I go cycling.  As a man, a bachelor, and an uncle, children have been somewhat alien to me throughout this lifetime. And I have certain rules before they can have parent-free access to the UNKL P Fortress of Solitude (think amusement park with the raccoon sign in front of the rollercoaster - 'You must be this tall and potty trained to enter. And tell mommy to bring me some chips!').

And even my own 48 year childhood has been pretty good so far.

But I love kids and with my own on the horizon, I live with the same fear and wishes as any parent - for a healthy child with a long life. And last year, Margaret had a first hand look at life in the Townships when she volunteered in Capetown. You can read about it on her blog.

How ironic that the words 'viral' and 'meme' that are so popular in the blogosphere, will use this very platform as a powerful weapon between the good and evil of their origins. I don't have thousands of readers, or kids, and I definitely can't draw. But I have a voice, a keyboard, a Saturday afternoon and a choice.

This tiny post on this tiny blog is like finding a needle in the world wide haystack - but I think it's worth a shot in the dark, and the arm.


  1. Good stuff on this blog. Enjoyable. I am going to point out an oversight (something I norm. don't do esp. if its funny like this) however you may consider correcting link named above... viz.: re-check if the blog of veg heads referenced in this post should or should not have faces. Gary

  2. Thank you Gary! Corrections have been made. For those of you who are wondering what we're talking about, I made a terrible error in my post. What Gary spotted in his first reading, I had missed after several proofs and final revisions.
    The link to We Don't Eat Anything With a Face that you see now is the corrected version. The original said, We Don't Eat Anything 'Without' A Face, indicating we aren't vegetarians, or don't eat anything unless our faces are on, or that we have one at all. We Don't Eat Anything With A Face means if it has a face, we don't eat it, and that is exactly the kind of consciousness and compassion you'll find on Faceless Food's site, and a lot of her followers and friends. Check them out - you won't be disappointed.
    To all of you, I apologize.
    As for Gary, thank you for catching the error, pointing it out, and watching my back - a testament to the camaraderie and collective among friends and foodies. Thank you for your compliments, for reading, and for helping save face among my potential viewers.

  3. Haha! Thanks for linking up with this meme and thanks for correcting my blog name to relect the fact that I'm not a carnivore!

  4. Glad you see the humor in it, and we can thank Gary for saving 'face' and my ass. Mine look alike anyway, can't really tell them apart (cheeky little fella). It's my pleasure to support your meme and causes. You're all doing great things over there in the U.K. and on your sites.
    Thank you for your friendship, feedback, and following.