This is me, this is my future Save the Children #passiton

Josie at Sleep is for the Weak has asked us to take part in a meme to promote the Save the Children Campaign to bring vaccinations to developing countries as part of the No Child Born to Die initiative. 8 million children a year still die from preventable diseases such as pneumonia and diarrhoea. I would encourage you to read her post, as she speaks very passionately about the cause and is closely involved with Save the Children, following her trip with them as part of Blogladesh.

The campaign aims to raise the profile of the vaccination programme in advance of David Cameron taking part in a meeting in June to ensure there is funding for the programme to go ahead. Save the Children will be sending a party of bloggers to Mozambique to follow the journey of some vaccine from the city out into the remote villages.

Many years ago now, when Amelie had just turned one, she caught chicken pox and unlike most children, for her it was a terrible experience. She was rushed to hospital, given antibiotics and anti-virals and for one terrifying night, no one would tell me if she would live. These pictures, taken around 10 days later and long after the worst was over, show you just how ill she had been. When she was in hospital, a nurse and I counted 200 spots just between one ankle and knee with septicaemia setting in behind them. All I could think at the time, sitting by her bed, was that at least she wasn??t sick because of something I could have prevented with a jab. And now, with the death of Freddie still holding unanswerable questions over my head forever, I would not wish any mother to lose their child knowing that maybe it could have been prevented, should have been prevented. I would not choose to have any mother in the world watch her child die of pneumonia, as I did.

The girls have met ??Bigger Josie?? and really rather loved her; we had quite a talk about this campaign and they know in ways so many children luckily don??t, that not every child gets to have a future. Their future and the rights of children to get that far, are precious to them in a very tangible way. To do something which gives children without all the health benefits they have a chance to live, seems to them a good thing.

These are the pictures they drew of themselves as they imagine themselves in the future.
Fran in the FutureMaddy in the FutureJosie in the FutureAmelie in the Future

Fran is working at a zoo, Maddy at an animal shelter, Josie has a farm and Amelie is in the countryside being sporty. I appear to have raised very animal focused, outdoorsy children!

It??s great that they have these things to look forward to, to aspire to and to have realistic expectations of experiencing. It??s great they can have the belief that the future is there to be grabbed and lived.

The Challenge and the Meme

Our challenge back home is to help support this amazing trip but spreading word of the campaign and getting people to SIGN THE PETITION to put pressure on the government leaders to meet the funding shortfall for vaccines at the conference in June.

We thought a fun way to do this would be to get bloggers involved in a crafty meme that celebrates the increased chance our children have of a healthy life thanks to readily available vaccines.

Here??s how it works??

1) Get your child to either draw or craft a self portrait of themselves now or in the future, perhaps imagining what they will look like or what they might do. Check out Red Ted Art??s?self portrait post on some tips to get started!

2) Sign the?Save the Children petition and share news of it with your friends.

3) Write a blog post about it as soon as possible, featuring your children??s pictures and perhaps how you made them together, and including info about Save the Children and the petition. We want as many people linked up AND signed up the petition by?Sunday 29th May 2011

5) Tag 8 blogging friends to do the same ? #passiton!

6) Come back and link up your posts, either at Sleep is for the Weakor over at Red Ted Art, so we can all see each other??s posts and if you have time, go and leave some comment love on each others posts! It??s a blog-hop link-up so you can even publish the list of entries on your blog too.

I need to tag 8 people but I know that in the circles I move in, vaccines are often a rather moot point. I??d be really grateful to get some volunteers to take up the baton and move this meme along to 8 new blogs to save me accidentally offending someone. I??d also be really grateful if this didn??t become subject to a vaccines in the developed world debate, as I know many of my readers will have strong views on that.

Will you do some self-portraits with your kids for this cause and blog them? Please will you give this meme a home?

(This post was recreated from a back up following a server crash. As such, it is missing comments and hits and would love to get some back!)