Sunday, June 17, 2012

No Parents Left Behind: The influence of Fathers- A blessing and a big res...

No Parents Left Behind: The influence of Fathers- A blessing and a big res...: The Influence of fathers- A blessing and a big responsibility By: Felisa Hilbert June 17, 2012 As a mother of two daughters and son,...

The influence of Fathers- A blessing and a big responsability

The Influence of fathers- A blessing and a big responsibility
By: Felisa Hilbert
June 17, 2012
As a mother of two daughters and son, I cannot help but wonder what type of father my son will be, And who will be the sons in law that will raise my grandchildren.  Therefore, I am writing this thinking of all fathers and to all the young men out there who will be the fathers of the next generation of children.  I do not want to scare anyone, but the title Father requires lots of preparation: physical, emotional, financial and spiritual.  It is not something you can retire out of early.  It is a job for the rest of your life!  What Fathers do now will influence generations to come.  Can you see the big picture?
The family is a stable and secure foundation of Society.  In recent times however, it seems that its stability is in question with the struggling to keep families together. There is a lack of positive influence of fathers in our youth’s homes.  Oh sometimes we have fathers at home but they are busy working providing for the basic need of their families and not having fun and quality time with their families.  
I came to United States when I was 26 years old when all my cognitive skills were already developed….in Spanish.  I realized that if I wanted to survive and function in this country I needed to immerse myself with the sounds, music and sounds of the new language.  I still remember how excited and ecstatic I was when 6 months later I had my first dream in English!  The same principles apply when we teach our children.  We need to immerse them with the sounds and provide an environment that will ease learning and preparation to survive and function in the World.  Homes should be the place where our children learn to read, understand and love.  Our homes are where moral values, reverence, respect and honesty must be taught in a way that helps the growth of good habits.
 A family needs a father to anchor it.  Fathers, your influence is great!  What you do is important!  Your influence is in great need!  Your actions help to establish the morals of the next generation!  You plant the seeds for children to make the world a better place. 
Children understand better, when you do it, then when you say it.  You may not realize it but your children eyes are constantly listening and watching what you do or say.  What you say to your children is important!  They believe in you, they believe what you say to them, your words are powerful.  We can see your wonderful example!  You are their hero, they want to please you and they want to be like you.

 My father died when I was eight and half.  I only enjoyed his presence for a few years, so, I almost forget what his face looks like.  However, I can still remember his voice and I believe what he saw in me.  He always told me that I was smart and different, that no matter what obstacles I faced, l would fulfill my dreams.  I am the person that I am today because I believed in him and trusted in what he had taught to me.  When he died, I killed myself studying and working full time to fulfill my education goals and make him proud…

 Believe me when I say, your children need you, your teenagers need you and adults like me still need the influence a good father.  I volunteer and work in a school setting for the last 15 years with  K-5 grade children and I had  seeing many children starving for a complement, a father hug and good role model.  
Therefore, in honor of Fathers, I want to thank you for what you do and for all your sacrifices and for the power you have to help foster children’s hopes and aspirations. Thanks to all the good men in my life who have been and still are a good role model for me.  Happy father's Day to my husband Dan, my son Thomas and to  all of you wonderful fathers!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

A Shot@Life from Mexico to the rest of the World

A Shot@Life from Mexico to the Rest of the World

I wrote this article March 12, 2012 for the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign and after that, I have many people ask me about it again and again and many wondering about my life there.  I will write about my life there some other time but now here is the story and why I am supporting Shot@Life.

I have always believed that we have a responsibility for the less fortunate and that one person can make a difference for many. I was born and raised in Mexico, then trained to work in health care as a Registered Nurse. In my 4 years of nursing school and one year of Social Service, I had the opportunity to work on many vaccination campaigns. I saw, firsthand, what a lack of access to vaccinations does to children in rural areas. I saw children die because they lived too remotely to receive required childhood vaccines and needed medical treatment.

One of my most excruciating memories is of a little child coming to the public hospital (IMSS) with tetanus. The pain and suffering for the child and the family, and for all of us attending him was horrible. It used to be quite common and heart-wrenching for those who could only watch helplessly without being able to alleviate the victim’s suffering, or to save their life.

Another time a mother came to one of our clinics with her child who had suffered for days from having the rotavirus. His little body was lifeless when his mother gave him to me in desperation, begging me in tears to help him. It was too late. When the doctor examined him, he told me: “This child is dying. If only they had brought him sooner we could have helped him and saved his life.” I took his dying body, held him very close to my heart, and cried. He died in my arms. Even more difficult, for me, was telling the mother that he was dead. She did not have any money to pay for a funeral in the city, and a long bus trip back to her village. With what little money we could collect for her, she held back her tears as she pretended her child was asleep and covered with a blanket all the way back to her village on the bus. Many times through the years I have wondered and marveled at how she traveled for three hours holding her dead child with her heart breaking in pieces with pain and agony. I cried then, and I am crying now just remembering how powerless I felt. In spite of all my training and knowledge, and that of my colleagues, it was not enough to save these children in a country without the resources like vaccines. Because of this, I saw kids die in these rural areas, and even the terrible effects of polio in the lives of many children.

As long as I can remember, I have been advocating for human rights and the basic needs of children, youth and women. When I moved to the United States, I became an advocate for education by teaching minority parents how to navigate the school system; creating programs and activities to enrich community lives; providing resources so immigrants and minorities can become involved in the education of their children and take ownership and pride in their communities.

I believe all children deserve the best education they can receive – but most of all they deserve the right to live in order to receive that education. They deserve the opportunity to be vaccinated no matter where they live. I believe in this cause! I will do everything in my power to make sure no more children die for lack of vaccinations. I want to hear no more of families seeing their children die of tetanus and other childhood diseases that are easy to prevent or cure. There should be no more children paralyzed by polio – anywhere! No more mothers sadly carrying their dead children a long way home for burial.

I am proud to identify myself as a Shot@Life Champion for this wonderful cause! Please join me in this fight and invest in a healthy world by giving a Shot@Life to ALL children.