Tuesday, December 24, 2013

No Parents Left Behind: Gifts from the Heart Change the World

No Parents Left Behind: Gifts from the Heart Change the World: Christmas is around the corner.  The streets of my town are filled with sweet smells, colorful garlands and bright decorations.  Chri...

Gifts from the Heart Change the World

Christmas is around the corner.  The streets of my town are filled with sweet smells, colorful garlands and bright decorations.  Christmas songs are playing on the radio and many people are eager to go shopping from Black Friday until December 24th …in search of gifts for their families and friends!  At this time of the year almost everyone thinks about giving to others.

What is it in a gift that makes everyone so excited and happy?  So happy that it makes them cry with joy and excitement?  Well, to start with, a gift means that you are special!  It means that somebody cares about you!

A gift that is carefully selected with someone in mind (whether it was purchased in a store or made at home) has the power to change you and your relationship with the receiver forever.  The reason is because no matter what continent you live on or what language you speak, our needs as human beings are very similar - we all need to feel appreciated.  Additionally, we all need to feel unconditional love; we all need to feel accepted; and we all need have a place to belong.  These are some of our most basic needs because the list can go on and on.  Naturally, as human beings we all yearn to have these needs met at one point or another in our lives.  We want to know that we are important to others, that they value us and care and that we are accepted and trusted.  That is the simple power of a gift - it tells you that someone cares and that you are loved without having to ask for anything.  The funny part is that sometimes the giver has no idea what their gift can do for the receiver.   
Christmas means giving; and to not give is to ignore its true spirit.  If the focus of Christmas was only about receiving, then it would become shallow and more about materialism.  In giving, I am not talking about expensive things, jewelry, etc…  I mean that Christmas is about giving of yourself, your time, your service, your love, your compassion, your empathy, your food and your heart to others in need.
I always love this season!  I love to see people slow down to stop and give you a smile or greeting.  I love to see the random acts of kindness that starts with the Thanksgiving holiday.  I was excited and moved when a local Boy Scout troop collected 5 turkeys with all the trimmings to donate to families in need, then later in December when I saw a teacher buy a coat for a student who was cold and so poor he didn’t have one.  

Giving to others leaves you with a wonderful feeling!  I love the feeling of giving!!  With this simple act of thinking of others rather than yourself, you are transforming others without realizing that you are transforming yourself.  Giving has the power to make you happy and for some reason I always feel like I gain more from the act than the receiver of my gifts.  Again, I am not talking about expensive things or big gifts - I am talking about gifts that matter and melt the heart of both the receiver and giver.  I love this feeling!  I am trying to have it with me 365 days a year because these little acts make me a better person every day.  As such, there is no a price tag that can buy the happiness I feel. 

So this Holiday season I invite you to take time with your family and to carefully select your gifts for those that will receive them.  If you do so, your gifts will change the lives of the receivers - and yours too, forever!  I would also like to invite you to be part of something that has lasting memories.  If you want do something extraordinary you can donate here and change a life forever! http://www.globalproblems-globalsolutions.org/images/friendraiser_uploads/1741954154.orig.gif 

                    Merry Christmas!  Feliz Navidad!  and a Happy 2014 year!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

No Parents Left Behind: This Season Celebrate and Give the Gift of Life

No Parents Left Behind: This Season Celebrate and Give the Gift of Life:                             Little Fiona from Uganda        I am a wife, a mother, an educator and a former nurse from Mexico.  I ch...

This Season Celebrate and Give the Gift of Life

   Little Fiona from Uganda      
I am a wife, a mother, an educator and a former nurse from Mexico.  I champion, support, and advocate for Shot@Life to make sure children around the world have all the vaccines and health care needed to grow to celebrate their 5th birthday, grow older go to school.  Here is Fiona, from Uganda who with her siblings and other children will benefit from our efforts.

Mothers all around the world have the same dreams and hopes for their children.  They want their children to be healthy and protected from harm, especially bodily harm. They want them to live to have many birthdays. These mothers worry about childhood illnesses that can take the lives of their children.  These include diseases like polio, measles, diarrhea and pneumonia.  Can you believe that pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide?
At this time of the year I see friends and know of people who catch pneumonia.  Already this year some of my friends got so sick that they needed to go to the hospital; and others had symptoms not so aggressive but still had “walking pneumonia”. Almost every year my husband has walking pneumonia, and it pains me too, when I see how miserable he feels.

Pneumonia is a condition in the lungs where the lung tissue gets infected. Breathing becomes difficult and oxygen can’t pass through the lungs into the bloodstream.

In the hills of Taxco, Mexico
It is difficult enough to see an adult suffering from pneumonia, but it is heart-breaking when you see a child with pneumonia.  It is still worse, especially, if that child is in a little clinic in a developing country, where little help can be offered.  Have you ever seen such a child with pneumonia?  I have.  These poor children burn with fever, their teeth chatter with chills, and their little bodies shake uncontrollably. You see them breathing fast & shallow and short of breath, while complaining of chest pain and coughing green mucus (sputum), sometimes tinged with red, from their lungs. Children with pneumonia also have fits of diarrhea and vomiting, and overall feel miserable every second they are sick. 

Tlamacazapan, Gro.
The impact of pneumonia is at its worst among the poorest and most marginalized countries where most children are malnourished.  Many are also infected with HIV while living in poor or remote communities, which is where it is most likely for a child to become infected with pneumonia.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) pneumonia kills an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of five every year.

Facts about pneumonia:

  • Pneumonia is the leading cause of death in children worldwide.
  • Pneumonia kills an estimated 1.1 million children under the age of five every year         – more than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined.
  • Pneumonia can be caused by viruses, bacteria or fungi.
  • Pneumonia caused by bacteria can be treated with antibiotics, but only 30% of children with pneumonia receive the antibiotics they need.
  • Pneumonia can be prevented by immunization, adequate nutrition and by addressing environmental factors.
Shot@Life’s mission is to ensure that children everywhere are given access to the vaccines that can save their lives from pneumonia, rotavirus (diarrhea), measles and polio.

Mom and child in the streets of Queretaro, Mexico
Can you help me this Holiday season to give the gift of life and protection for a child from the two most deadly diseases - pneumonia and polio? Your $5.00, $10.00, $15.00, $20.00 - or whatever you decide to donate - will help a family like yours to receive the best Christmas present this year: a healthy life for their children!  No mother deserves the pain of the loss of her child to something as simple to treat like diarrhea or pneumonia; not when we have the opportunity, tools & technology to save their life.  It only takes $20 per child to receive all of the vaccines they will need!  Just think, only $20 for a child’s healthy lifetime… Little by little, one child at a time, we can help eradicate these diseases together.  

Here’s where you can begin to make a difference: Shot@Life & Global Solutions

Friday, December 6, 2013

No Parents Left Behind: Given Tuesday: The gift that keeps Given

No Parents Left Behind: Given Tuesday: The gift that keeps Given: Given Tuesday: The gift that keeps given Christmas is around the corner and this year’s Given Tuesday was the perfect opportunity to st...

Given Tuesday: The gift that keeps Given

Given Tuesday: The gift that keeps given

Christmas is around the corner and this year’s Given Tuesday was the perfect opportunity to start the Holiday season of giving. 
So on Tuesday, December 3rd  I taught the gift of sharing and knowledge to our students. I spoke to them about giving, compassion, empathy, charity, love and service. I showed them about children like them in Uganda and Mexico and other developing countries who can't go to school because they cannot afford it. Kids who are sick, hungry and are in need of food, clean water, clothes, shoes,  medicine and vaccines.

I shared with them my pictures of Uganda about from students from the Railaway school, answered questions  and afterward, I asked them to write down what they would give to these children in Uganda.   

We made a list on the board and later we made and colored a booklet for them to take home.  We learned new sight words and had a very good discussion about giving to others. 

 Our class ended with me distributing gloves, hats and coats to our all of our ELL students.

Also, today I started a new season of fundraising for the Shot@Life campaign.  Shot@Life is a campaign of the United Nations Foundation that educates, connects and empowers Americans to champion vaccines as one of the most cost-effective ways to save the lives of children in developing countries.
Can you help me this Holiday season to provide the gift of life and protection, for other children like these, from  deadly diseases - like polio, measles, pneumonia and diarrhea?  You can give a child the gift of life.  Donate here http://www.globalproblems-globalsolutions.org/site/TR/Events/ShotLife?px=3255392&pg=personal&fr_id=1080

Monday, October 21, 2013

Walgreens event donates vaccines for developing countries

 Walgreens event  donates vaccines for developing countries

On Sept. 4, 2013 Walgreens announced their partnering with the United Nations Foundation this flu season to help provide life-saving vaccines for children in developing countries through a donation to the Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign.  I was super excited and jumping with joy for what this will mean too for many mothers around the world.
 As many of you know I am a passionate advocate and Champion for Shot@life, a campaign to protect children worldwide by providing live-saving vaccines to children in developing countries.  Also I am an educator and a former nurse who worked in a developing country.  There I saw the needs and illnesses, with pain, agony and sadness in the eyes of many mothers.  There was nothing the doctors could do to save their children patients from simple diseases that could have been easily prevented.  Statistics show that 1 in 5 children worldwide lack access to basic immunizations, and a child dies every 20 seconds from a disease -preventable vaccines.
So, it was great news of Walgreens helping to provide up to 3 million live-saving vaccines to children in need!  How amazing is that? … Very amazing!!  Because of this campaign 3 million children will get vaccinated and can live free of childhood diseases.  I am even more pleased to know that over the last 2 years Walgreens has worked with the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) to donate more than 400,000 doses of flu vaccines for at risk populations.  This has helped save children’s lives from Laos to Nicaragua.  Here in the United States, together with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, they developed a flu shot voucher program 4 years ago.  Since then Walgreens has distributed approximately I million flu vouchers to uninsured and underinsured individuals nationwide.  How cool is that?
For that reason I decided to take any opportunity to share that information and put in my teachers page wall, my church wall, my facebook page and on twitter.  I also told everyone I knew in Broken Arrow about how they can help with this effort.  I went to my neighborhood Walgreens and shared the good news and had a meeting with the store manager about promoting the campaign with an event and making some posters for the store. 
Cheryle Neil my Walgreen manager and I
Later we had our flu shots together and took a picture.  A week later I told all my friends that until October 14, 2013, for every flu shot administered at any Walgreens pharmacy around the country, Walgreens will donate the value of a live-saving vaccine like polio or measles through Shot@Life... Up to 3 million vaccines! So, I challenged all my friends in Broken Arrow to get their vaccines at my neighborhood Walgreens!

Great posters made for this event
 Still more amazing was that I received an e-mail at the end of September while in New York from my neighborhood Walgreens Manager, wherein they t told me that they  agreed to do an event to let people know about “Get a Shot, Give a Shot” before October 14, 2013.  We did it! We passed out advocacy cards, shared the message with customers, and had a lot of fun!  You can see for yourself in the pictures that we had people lined up for their flu shots.

waiting for their flu shots! 

More shots
our girl Xochitl and husband Dan are big supporters

I want to give a big shout-out to our Broken Arrow Walgreens at the corner of 91st and Olive!  Their support was incredible! The pharmacy staff, the nurse, the sales associates and their wonderful manager Cheryle did a great job preparing for and carrying out the event.
I sincerely hope Walgreens did very well around the country.  To be honest, I am curious to know how many vaccines they we were able to provide in the overall campaign.  I would just love it if our grand total was 3 million vaccines!  Can you imagine 3 million children having the opportunity to grow older and free of childhood diseases?  I can!  I have seen the wonderful work that Shot@Life and UNICEF are doing many countries.  Last fall I had the opportunity to travel to Uganda with the UNF Shot@Life team and saw many lines of mothers and families participating in UNICEF Free Family Health Days in communities like Mumbende and Fort Portal.  This program offered vaccines; HIV, blood sugar and blood pressure testing; vitamin A monitoring, de-worming, and prenatal care 4 times a year – free of charge to the public. 
I was awed and joyful to see that all of our advocate calls, e-mails, meetings and fundraising efforts are really making a difference in children’s lives.  Just think – and it was all because of you and your contributions of time, talent and financial donations.  THANK-YOU!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Happy Independence Day America (...From Mexico With Love)

What a beautiful morning!  I am feeling so lucky to be alive and to have the blessing of belonging to two countries.  I was born, raised and educated in Mexico where until today all of my family is still there.  I moved to the United States 4 months after I married my husband, Dan, in Mexico and my journey to become an American began. 
I decided that I would learn everything I could about my new country, starting with the language.  That was not easy - it did not matter that I took 3 years of English in college, when I came to this country I was tested to only a 2nd year level of functional English.  I knew a lot about the fight for American independence, the 13 colonies and the White House.  I still remember reading everything I could find about its government, history, etc. but I was in awe – there were no words to describe my amazement when I arrived here.  I had heard about ‘The Land of the Free’ and ‘The Land of Opportunities’ - but now it was all real!
26 years have passed now and I have been advocating, learning and making sure that I do this country proud.  Since my arrival I have always felt a responsibility to make sure that the people who came before me did not sacrifice their lives and efforts in vain.  I love this country very much and feel honored to represent it positively in any way possible.
 I know it is not perfect, but this country has made the dreams of thousands of people a reality.  We have the freedom to be ourselves, worship how we desire and travel any place we want - the list can go on and on.  However, this 4th of July remember that many brave and courageous soldiers have died defending this country for us to enjoy this freedom.  So when things are not going the way you want, don't nag, gossip, complain or get apathetic.  We all have the responsibility make a difference in this country and change it for the better.  Like I said before, you don't have to go far away to do it.  Start with your family by teaching them respect for this country.  Teach them family values and a good work ethic by your example.  Show them that you love them by actions - don't buy the all those expensive toys and technology devices… in the end they will not remember those material things.  They will remember the times you spent with them, working, playing, making memories and having quality time together.

The strength and the beauty of this country does not lay in Capitol Hill or anywhere else in Washington DC; or in state and local leaders who direct this country - but in the power and voices of the individuals that live in this country.  We, as a whole, have the responsibility to teach these values in our homes, schools and churches to the next generation of American children so they grow up knowing that they need to take an active part to make a difference.  We, as adults, need to be involved in community issues as active participants in our children's education and partners with our schools and communities to better our school systems.  

My new friend Lucero sell baskets to help her family.
Teach everyone about the needs of other countries and how children die every 20 minutes from diseases easily preventable by vaccines.  Teach compassion, empathy for others who are suffering from a lack of good nutrition and educational opportunities while appreciating their need to work to help sustain their families.  Most importantly: remember all children need a role model.   

I love our country and want to help do everything in my power to make it better!  God Bless America!  I am in Mexico this summer visiting the country where I was born, raised, studied and served when I lived here.  I love my heritage, my roots and I am and always proud to be a Mexican.  It was in Mexico where I became an advocate and learned that my voice had power and that it was my responsibility to make my community better.  In a sense I am very lucky because I can love 2 countries with the same passion and loyalty… but today I want to raise my hat to an amazing country, my country, The United States of America.  Happy Independence Day, America!  Happy Fourth of July!  I am very grateful and humbled to have this freedom and to live in this wonderful land where I can be the voice of many who cannot speak talk for themselves.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

No Parents Left Behind: Happy First Birthday Shot@Life!

No Parents Left Behind: Happy First Birthday Shot@Life!: It has been a very busy two weeks celebrating National Vaccination Week and preparing for various events for our Shot@Life first Birthday...

Monday, May 6, 2013

Happy First Birthday Shot@Life!

It has been a very busy two weeks celebrating National Vaccination Week and preparing for various events for our Shot@Life first Birthday here in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.

What an amazing year it has been for me as a Champion and Ambassador for Shot@life.   I can hardly believe that one year ago in April 26 Lyssa Sahadevan, Lori  Grise, LaShaum Martin  and I were at the Atlanta Aquarium in Georgia with the United Nations Foundations staff for the BIG National Launch of the SHOT@LIFE Campaign.  It was an incredible experience!  As I was sitting there listening to one of the speakers I knew it would became a National movement.  Who would not want to participate in a cause so noble and worthy?  I was amazed to see so many people committed and eager to support our cause.  My personal reflections in my notes of that day say: “I am feeling very humble now; I didn’t realize it would be so big …and with so many influential people like the former first lady Roselyn Carter; Ann Geddes; Noelle Howey, deputy editor of Simple Magazine; Kathy Calvin, CEO of UN Foundations; Dr. Anne Schuchat of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; Ambassador Andrew Young; John Rutherford, Officer of the UNF, and many more.  I can’t think of any reason for this campaign NOT to become a National Movement!  We, as mothers, educators, legislators, lawmakers and community leaders have the power to share this message.  Every child around the world deserves a ‘shot at life’ to live free of childhood diseases that can be easily prevented with vaccines.  Measles, polio, pneumonia and diarrhea are childhood diseases that can be eradicated from this earth if all of us work together”.

In one year we have grown from 45 champions to 415 champions and more signing up for the cause.  Last week every one of these champions, from around the country, spread the word about Shot@Life either through blogging or holding events and fundraisers. Their actions created more awareness and understanding of the importance of vaccines and how they save children’s lives.  I am so proud of them! Happy First Birthday Shot@Life!

Like I said before, I became a Champion for the Shot@Life Vaccines Campaign because I have seen what the lack of vaccinations does to people, especially to little children.   I saw the pain and agony in the eyes of the mothers and children in my native country, Mexico.  I had mental flashbacks to scenes deeply engraved upon my heart by experiences I had as a nurse.   We received children who had been dehydrated for days from uncontrolled diarrhea, while others showed the ravages of untreated diseases like chicken pox, measles and mumps.  Still more came to us with distended abdomens from malnutrition and the lifeless eyes of starvation.  Then there was the baby boy who came to us with tetanus and died several hours later in our facility.  Nothing can be more excruciating than watching a child die in your arms without being able to give the help or comfort needed to alleviate their suffering.

I am very passionate about children’s health issues here and around the globe.  My trip to Uganda last fall with the UNF team reminded me of how similar we are and of how rural areas health needs are the same throughout the world.  Mothers in Uganda have the same worries as we do or of any mother, anywhere.  Motherhood is truly universal.  As a mother, I would do anything in my power to protect my children and to make sure that they received the best education possible.  I would give everything to see that they grew up healthy and strong, performed concerts, danced, sang, and enjoyed every day’s sunrise, sunset and in-between.  All of these things are blessings that many of us forget sometimes or take for granted because we live in a country where childhood vaccines are easily available to us in our doctors’ offices.  But sadly, many other mothers will not have these privileges and opportunities.  Too many of them will not see some of their children live beyond toddlerhood to grow older.These experiences have expanded my understanding and have given me insight on how health issues, hunger, and poverty are global issues of great importance to all of us.  We are all connected and of equal worth, therefore we must do something to resolve these problems. 

 You and I can make a difference through advocating to our legislators and communicating the message to the public and in our communities.  We have to use every available resource to make sure that all children have a better future.  We need to protect them and to make sure their voices are heard.  They can’t protect themselves; they need us to fight for them and their rights.  We are their voice and their only hope!Happy birthday Shot@Life and thank you for saving lives and giving me the honor of being a part of this amazing campaign!

Monday, April 15, 2013

My personal Journey: Saving Lives - One Child at a Time

Becoming a champion and advocate for the United Nations Foundation Shot@Life campaign was easy.  As a former nurse from a developing country I saw the needless suffering of children from diseases like pneumonia, measles, and diarrhea - all of which are illnesses that could have easily been prevented through the administration of vaccines.  With this background, coming to join UNF Shot@Life was like going back home for me.  I am on a personal journey and going back to my first love: Global Health, Vaccines for Developing Countries.  I believe in the power that vaccines have in saving children’s lives. 

 The training and support from Shot@Life helped to give me a voice and has made me a more powerful and more successful advocate for children.  I've gone from being an advocate for equal education for minority groups, a Multicultural Diversity PTA Community President and founder, a community leader to a global vaccine advocate.  Last fall I accompanied the United Nations Foundation and eight amazing ladies on a trip to Uganda.  I had traveled abroad but this was my first trip to Uganda, Africa.  While in Uganda, I observed Family, Child Health Days and routine immunization at health clinics in churches and mosques.  I met many mothers and in each one of them I saw love and devotion for their children. They worry.  They sacrifice. They walk many miles to make sure their children get their vaccines and needed help to be healthy.        
Baby Taqia and Nakyanzi
I'd like you to meet Nakyanzi Saidah and her beautiful little girl Taqia.  Nakyanzi is 20 years old.  She and her husband came to the Ebri Celebration and Family Health Day hosted by her mosque in Mubende.  She and her 18 month old daughter were dressed beautifully and ready to give baby Taqia her first vaccines.  She told me that she wanted her daughter to grow up healthy and go to school.  Nakyanzi has so many hopes and dreams for her daughter.
Talking with doctors and country representatives I learned that 386 children in Uganda under the age of five will die in one day and that 141,000 children under five are lost annually.  Uganda is one of 30 countries in the world with the highest number of deaths of children in that age group. In response to this UNICEF and Shot@Life are connecting mothers to health care, giving prenatal care 4 times a year, providing iron tablets, immunizations, nutrition education, maternal and neonatal care, and preventive care from HIV and AIDS.  They hope to decrease the mortality rate of the Ugandan people through such efforts.

Mothers all around the world have the same dreams and hopes for their children.  We want our children to be healthy and protected from harm, especially bodily harm. We want them to live to have many birthdays, to graduate from high school and to watch them become whatever they want to be.  
My beautiful daughters Xochitl and Citlali 
 I can’t imagine not having my children in my life. The pain these mothers go through when they lose their children is heart-wrenching and would be no less than my own sorrow in the same situation. Every 20 seconds a child dies in a developing country.  For only $20.00, a child can receive protection from measles, polio, pneumonia and diarrhea for life.

I know you share my passion for ending childhood diseases that are preventable with vaccines. You can invest in children like baby Taqia by joining me in making a stand for motherhood throughout the world by donating to provide more shots for a healthy childhood!  Please go to my fundraiser link below and donate. Together we can vaccinate 100 children by Mothers Day and give mothers like Nakyanzi the best Mothers Day present!
Shot@Life | Felisa Hilbert's Fundraiser on CrowdRise

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

UNICEF Family Health day in Fort portal, Uganda

One of the rewarding experiences of our Uganda trip was to meet with the families in rural areas that were so similar to my own country of Mexico.  Practicing nursing here and in Mexico is incredibly alike.   My favorite memories were the visits to the Family Health days in Mumbende, Karabole and Fort Portal.
I felt like I went back in time; Different country, same images. I was delighted to have the opportunity to talk with families and patients when they were waiting in line.  I enjoyed talking and reminiscing about my nursing time with Sheila Tumuhairkie, a nursing student in charge of taking the blood pressure in Fort Portal.   I was ecstatic when she asked if I wanted to help. Oh how I had been secretly wishing for this!  We had a long line before us and only one person to do the job, but now with two, we divided the job to finish the task:  she would ask the patients for their personal information in their native language and write it down in the log and I would take the blood pressure of each patient and give the numbers to Sheila to write.   I was pleasantly surprised when some of the patients spoke English and as soon I started to put the cuffs in their arms I would say “thank you for coming today” and ask if they have had any health concerns.  I received many smiles and even more stories. 
Sheila Tumuhairkie and I at blood pressure station
An old grandma told me about her feet and hands swelling every day and how painful it was for her to move.  A quick glance towards her hands and I could see the signs of arthritis.   So I told Sheila and she made her a referral to the clinic.  Next I met George Sabiiti, a 74 years old sweet man with a big smile.  I started talking to him and I found out that he had been coughing blood for the last 2 months, when I asked if he went to the clinic, he said yes and that they told him he had bronchitis. The cough with blood never went away and this morning he was coughing blood again.  I saw many cases of TB in my own country and I know that you don’t want take any chances. I talked to the nurse and they immediately referred him to the doctor.   Jocinta Limbigamba, a 40 year old female was feeling dizzy and had a big headache which we learned was because she was diabetic and had not been taking any medication.  Face after face was another story of struggles with illness that are very easy to prevent with vaccines or even more basic services like doctors’ visits.

Photo credit: Stephanie Geddes
In Mexico we called it Preventive Medicine; here we called it Family Health Days.  Time is a precious resource for Ugandans so UNICEF created Family Health Days to provide the basic services to the underserved districts of Uganda four times at year (January, April, July and October) with the hope to reach 80% off the people.  So far in my eyes they have been very successful.

I always have been a huge advocate for education, diversity and inclusion for minority groups, a sympathizer for those in poverty or with health issues, and a woman of action in addressing the needs of others. I can’t help but look back on the days I spent in Uganda with such feelings of warmth. ­­­The Ugandan people’s courage and resilience and the children’s smiles and gratitude taught me greatly of the human triumphant and the power of kindness; a little charity can yield such progress and beneficence. Shot@life and UNICEF are raising awareness and increasing the resources available to people everywhere in order to help immunize children in Uganda and other developing countries, to fight against vaccines preventable diseases (measles, polio, pneumonia and rotavirus). They are the causes I believe most in and pride myself in saying I am a part of.

Shot@life resonates with me and should resonate with everybody; especially, for those who care about human life.  I have been supporting, advocating and championing United Nation Foundation Shot@life vaccination campaign because I believe in their mission and goals and have firsthand the vaccines saves lives.

Baby Taqia with me and Mom, Nakyanzy Saidah
 It is incredible how just a few dollars can make the difference between life and death.
  •   $5.00 Protect a child from polio and measles for his lifetime.
  • $15.00 Pay for vaccines to protect a child from the two most deadly diseases –       pneumonia and diarrhea.
  • $20.00 Give a child a lifetime of immunity to protect her from pneumonia, diarrhea, polio and measles.
Every year 8 million children under five years of years die from common diseases.  Together we can change the statistics and make sure no more children die every 20 seconds!