We're excited to share this post from our partners at BabyCenter! Every week, we will be bringing you the best parenting and lifestyle stories from the experts at BabyCenter, including this post from Amy Graff about how moms can combat the famine in Africa.
A debate recently erupted on the BabyCenter Facebook page over whether the United States government should provide education, food, clean water, vaccinations, and other health services to those living in poverty-stricken Africa. Many Facebook fans sympathized with moms and children suffering in under-resourced areas while others felt that we should turn our back to the famine in Africa and focus on those who are struggling in our own country.
And then the discussion spiraled into a heated political discussion.
Honestly, I don’t think this should be about politics. Yes, it’s about government, but it’s not about left and right. It’s about right and wrong. It’s about whether you value a child’s life or not.
Related: Did I Overreact?
This discussion was sparked by a Facebook post about my visit to the White House. On Tuesday I stepped inside the West Wing with a group of 10 other moms to meet with Second Lady Dr. Jill Biden, USAID Administrator Raj Shah, and National Security Council Senior Director Gayle Smith.
We were invited to the White House because over the Summer we traveled to Kenya on a trip organized by ONE, a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to fighting poverty and preventable disease in Africa (join ONE Moms). You might remember some of my Momformation blog posts about visiting a hospital where doctors treat kids with malaria and watching a health-care worker test a family for HIV. We observed US investments savings lives, and now we were bringing our experience back to Washington DC to let lawmakers know that these programs are effective and working.
Dr. Biden chimed in with stories about her recent visit to a Somalia refugee camps in eastern Africa, a part of the continent that’s experiencing the worst drought in 60 years, the worst famine in 20 years, and ongoing violence. She consoled women and children trying to survive in the largest camp in the world. It was originally built to accommodate 90,000 people and is now overflowing with nearly a half-million impoverished people. In Somalia, a child is dying every six minutes.
“It’s so bad,” Dr. Biden said. “It’s worse than you can ever imagine.”
Keep reading to learn what we can do to help save a child in Africa.