There’s poverty in the United States. No doubt about that. And there are millions of children who go to bed hungry at night in America. But there is a totally different kind of poverty all across the world that gets little attention here at home.
I don’t want to compare one person’s need against another, but certain poverty in Africa is a kind that even most of the poorest Americans will never know — the hunger and dire unmet needs that come with famine and governments that sometimes use food and hunger as political tools. Those two things are what prompted U2′s front man Bono to create the organization ONE some years ago in an effort to being more attention to the neediest of the needy especially among those of us who have so much.
Many of us contribute to organizations we believe do good work and provide help to those who need it, be it cancer research, food banks or women’s shelters. But that kind of giving is easy — write a check, send it off, charitable giving done. No need to actually see what has to be done to put that money to work. We can turn away from the actual face of an issue or problem even once we’ve decided to budget our funds for that kind of giving.
And for many of us, if we believe in the work of ONE, we can do that, too. But I’ve been following some women I know who stepped up to travel to Kenya with ONE to observe first-hand the extreme circumstances that many families must deal with and how the work of that organization is impacting those who need that assistance. I’m still reading through all the posts and reports, but I can tell you one thing — this was no luxury boondoggle.
I know there’s a lot of budgetary stuff going on here at home, what with whole debt “crisis” thing, but there is still a need for us to help the tens of millions of people facing conditions we can’t even conceive of and governments have to step in — a little charity from our individual wallets isn’t going to make this crisis go away.
Don’t take my word for it. Read the accounts and take in the moving images of some awesome Mothers of Intention like Karen Walrond, Lindsay Maines, Emily McKhann and Cooper Munroe and Jyl Pattee, just to name a few. While I didn’t get to experience what they did, I was honored to be asked to be a ONE Partner blog to help reach even further into the amazing community of women online (there are 79 million of us social media mavens hanging out on the “interwebs” each week!) to raise awareness and build support for the work being done to help so many families who might not survive without it.
I firmly believe in the power of women to revolutionize the world — as people who love to network and connect, we were already doing it in our personal communities. The world of social media has just made our community that much bigger and better.
I can’t wait to read more about the trip of a lifetime that these women took. And I can’t wait to see how many more opportunities come to women with the tools to help make change for families around the globe.
I’m not usually that optimistic. But this time I am.
And don’t forget, if you’re at BlogHer ’11 or Women Create Media Conference, and you’ve purchased my book Mothers of Intention, come find me and I’ll enter you in the “PunditMom Scavenger Hunt” (you’re scavenging for me!) to win some great cool prizes, including a shiny new pair of New Balance running shoes and some fabulous, original art from Robin Plemmons (aka Balls to the Walls, Y’all).