By Amelia Old
Every time you ‘like’ and share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000, via the Global Moms Relay to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets.
I traveled to Zambia with the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life team with a goal: to see the work being done to provide locals with immunizations and other healthcare. The results were clear – mothers of the community are the driving force. Over the course of my trip I had the opportunity to speak to some of the incredible moms that benefit from services at local health clinics. These conversations reminded me of the relentless and universal power that is a mother’s drive to give her child a full and prosperous life.
The Simonga Clinic outside of Livingstone, Zambia serves over 5,000 people within four zones. Made of cement, the clinic with three to four rooms has basic electricity and little equipment. They do however have a vaccine fridge. While they provide wellness checkups and even deliver babies, immunizations are very important here.
A mother and her child wait outside the Simonga Clinic (Zambia)
Many women living in the Maululu Clinic area in Simonga, Zambia are taught to be seen and not heard. However, the message they send when they walk hours to get their children immunized speaks volumes. These mothers are focused on how they can change and save their children’s lives.
Jelina (23) and her eldest daughter Maria (3)
Jelina makes sure her child receives all immunizations as she wants to protect their future. Her hopes for her children are that they will become educated and maybe become nurses.
Prisca (Mother of 7) only became educated about family planning after the first four children were born
“My dream for my children is that they become educated – it is as a real opportunity for success.” Prisca sees immunizing her children as opening the door to this possibility: “when your children are immunized they are healthy and free from disease.”
Helen with her 8 month old daughter, Albertina
Helen is 25 years old and has two girls named Lucky and Albertina. Living 18km away Helen must come early in the morning to avoid the elephants which aside from transportation is one of the biggest challenges in Zambia. Helen brought both of her girls to the Simonga Clinic for their immunizations. She told us “it is an important way for me to protect my children.”
Petronella with her 3 year old daughter Victoria
Petronella dreams of a future for her children which includes medicine, law, and education. This is why Petronella makes sure all of her children have been immunized.
A Simonga Clinic (Zambia) nurse provides check-ups and immunizations to a group of mothers and their children
All photos courtesy of Amelia Old
You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post, or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $500,000 divided equally between Shot@Life, UNFPA, Girl Up, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets. The Global Moms Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation and Johnson & Johnson with support from BabyCenter, Fatherly, Global Citizen and Charity Miles to help improve the lives of families around the globe. Share this post with the hashtags #GlobalMoms and #JNJ, and visit GlobalMomsRelay.org to learn more.
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Amelia Old is an award-winning former international talent agent. She is the owner of Passports from the Heart where she shares her love for travel and philanthropy. She hopes to encourage individuals and families to not only travel, but to immerse themselves in the cultures of the places they are visiting and to open their arms to the communities by making a lasting impact while there.
Amelia was recently named one of the 2017 50 Most Influential Women by the Mecklenburg Times. She serves as Shot@Life Champion, a Visit.org Ambassador, a ONE Volunteer, and is a strong supporter of Cancer for College. She is currently a member of the International Food Wine and Travel Writers Association, Travel Bloggers Influencer Network, and the International Travel Writers Alliance.