Thursday 29 March 2012

I'm Just One Mum...

...or am I?

Yes, I am just one person and I am a mother so I suppose in a sense that statement is true but the crime is the word 'just'.  I am not 'just' anything and nor are you.

I do not live in a bubble; every day, every hour I am talking to people either face to face or online and I am sharing with them my opinions, my knowledge, my voice and that is where I become far, far more than just one Mum.  Us Mums do an awful lot of talking and sharing information and when we come together things start to happen.  Great things, people changing things, even world changing things. Let's make use of that influence - yes?

When I was a kid I would often hear the term 'people power' and I had no idea what it meant. You would see strikes or marches on the TV and I wondered why on earth people would do those things. I grew up with mentality that one person could not change the world and therefore why bother....  I am so pleased that I changed and learnt that if we all took that attitude nothing would ever change. Our world is unfair and the division of wealth is extremely unequal, we can all help to change that and that makes me smile and gives me hope...  hope for the future of my children, of your children, of all children.

Today I know the concept of synergy, the value of 2 or more people together is far more than those parts individually.  This is why I was so proud to come together with a number of other Mums today at the Soho office of ONE.Org to discuss how a group of us might join together to be #ONEMums and to do our part to raise awareness of the wonderful grassroots work that ONE does....  and to dare to hope that you (yes YOU) might want to join ONE too and add your voice.

Before this contact I had not heard of ONE and I am not really sure how I have missed them to be honest, I expect it is because they do not fund raise.  I'll let them explain who they are -
ONE is a grassroots advocacy and campaigning organisation that fights extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa, by raising public awareness and pressuring political leaders to support smart and effective policies and programs that are saving lives, helping to put kids in school and improving futures. Cofounded by Bono and other campaigners, ONE is nonpartisan and works closely with African activists and policy makers.
Backed by a movement of more than 2.5 million ONE members, ONE achieves change through advocacy. We hold world leaders to account for the commitments they've made to fight extreme poverty, and we campaign for better development policies, more effective aid and trade reform. We also support greater democracy, accountability and transparency to ensure policies to beat poverty are implemented effectively. ONE is not a grant-making organisation and we do not solicit funding from the general public. As we have always said, at ONE, 'we're not asking for your money, we're asking for your voice.'
Over the next months and years you'll see me blogging about ONE and more than that you'll see me blogging about fighting extreme poverty and working towards a better and more equal world for us all to live in.  Idealistic some might say....  yes that is fine. Far better than being defeated and insular.

If you are in the place at the moment where you wonder why you should bother and you believe that average people will never make a difference then do please take a look at this short videoclip and know that the work that ONE and all the other wonderful charities and NGO's do is making a difference.  There are success stories, we do not have to just sit down and cry as the problem is too big.  Yes, it is massive and there is always work to be done but when you hear that -

   * 46.5 million more children started going to school in Africa between 1999 - 2008 and that

   * child deaths have fallen from 10.5 million in 2004 to 7.6 million in 2010

then you know that any help we can give is really worthwhile.

Please go and check out, add your email address and lend them your voice.

It was a pleasure to spend the day with the other #ONEMums Jennifer from BritMums, Alex from Doing It All For Aleyna, Melitsa from Raising Playful Tots, Kate from Kate on Thin Ice, Michelle from The American Resident. and Laura at Chez Mummy