Voices heard! Now it's time to act!
If you asked me what I can remember from my college education I would have to be honest- not a lot. But, more than anything else, one lesson sticks out from a course I took regarding complicity in a globalized world. In this class, I became more aware of how my decisions and actions, or inactions, could be traced to issues on the other side of the globe. And, consequently, I became a firm believer in global citizenship, accountability, and responsibility.
However, here in the US, too many people feel disconnected to the government, and too many people feel their voices don’t matter. My trip to Washington, D.C. today proves that that couldn’t be further from the case.
Today, we proudly handed over a collection of petitions from 46,000 Global Citizens to Administrator Raj Shah of USAID. In these petitions, Global Citizens asked that a strong financial commitment be made to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, so that 300 million children can be immunized and lead healthy lives. Seeing this handover take place, after more than a year of campaigning, reaffirmed my belief in the power of the movement to end extreme poverty. And in one powerful statement, it demonstrated that our actions really do make a difference.
That said, voting, or signing a petition isn’t the end of the journey. To truly be Global Citizens, we can’t just pat ourselves on the back and forget about the issues we care about shortly afterwards. Instead, we need to keep pressure on our leaders, and let them know they have our continued support.
As thousands upon thousands of Global Citizens have already done, let’s take advantage of platforms like Global Citizen. And, whenever possible, let’s use our voices to impact change. Whether that’s attending a rally, or educating our peers, it’s on us to stand up for what we believe in.
With millions of children out of school around the world, too many families unable to provide for their kids, and children battling health complications that could have easily been prevented with vaccines, there’s no time to waste. The time to act is now.