For the last 2.5 weeks I have been lying flat on my back in my lounge.
For the last 2 of those 2.5 weeks I have been a disobedient patient and, instead of doing “nothing,” I set up a makeshift table on a cushion and, laptop on cushion, I immersed myself in following and (hopefully) supporting the Save the Children “No Child Born to Die” campaign for more health workers – project devised and executed by Liz Scarff with a number of solid ambassadors at her side, including a blogging community icon Christine Mosler. (You can see updated progress of this campaign here – it is not too late to get involved!)
I may be sore as hell for not lying flat as ordered but I’ve not felt this alive since the day my child was born. My heart is on fire and last night I lay awake until dawn, my mind racing after following the UN General Assembly proceedings for over 13 hours on the livestream.
Even just participating as an observer/commentator in such a miniscule way this year has been enough to rekindle a fire in my gut which, through all the ups and downs of the last two decades, never ever went out. I know that what I am currently doing with my life is simply a stepping stone to something else, a bridge to the day when I can combine providing for my son with using the skills I have to truly make a difference. Ultimately, I’m a sleeves-rolled-up type o’ gal: tweeting from the sidelines is fine, but it makes me restless as hell. There is so much out there to be done and I want to be doing more. I need to be in it up to my ears. Full on.
Even as a teenager I knew I had to find a vocation that ‘made sense’, that meant something in the larger scheme of things – that my life would never be just about making money for myself, but that it would ultimately be dedicated to serving a cause which could make a difference somewhere. It all seemed so easy back then – I would go to university, study languages and culture and would come out with the world as my oyster… I was passionate, I had a dream, I was determined … I never doubted for a minute that I could just walk out onto the front line and DO something useful.
How wrong I was.
I had all the wrong qualifications and no experience. I went out, I got experience, I came back … I had the wrong experience …
They barricaded all main routes in. So I headed for the back-roads.
My life has taken some very odd twists and turns since then – rat runs at rush-hour are as full as the motorways these days and I have lost myself a number of times trying to hack my way around. But.
I have not stopped believing that I can do this. I will do this. Getting involved, even as a millionth-order pawn, in such a majestic effort, to such an incredible cause as the Every Woman Every Child / No Child Born to Die campaign has, once again, reminded me that I have to get out there and do something more. Whatever it takes. However long the journey.
It’s what I believe in.
If you would like more details on the call to action at the 2011 UN General Assembly, the following sites contain reports, updates and general background information:
PMNCH (Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health) contains a detailed summary of the EWEC high-level meeting and outlines the Global Strategy for women’s and children’s health
The online brochure: Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health, written by the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon
The Save the Children UK web-blog updates hourly on global events and is currently issuing details of the commitments and progress of the UN Assembly meeting as they are being officially communicated.
The Save the Children “No Child out of Reach” report can be downloaded here
healthworkerscount.org displays a visual count of the number of actions taken in favour of more health workers. It outlines global events and statistics and calls for a sustained commitment in increasing the number of health workers to ensure fulfilment of the targets set by leaders as part of the Global Strategy.