Recently as part of my work as a Social Influencer for Social Good with Johnson & Johnson, I went to New York City to attend an event called MDG456Live, focusing on the Millennial Development Goals 4, 5, and 6, which are:
4. Reduce child mortality
5. Improve maternal health
6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
This event put on by Johnson & Johnson Global Health had three sessions focusing on these global health goals.
I was honored and overwhelmed to be invited, and please to be able to spend the day with J&J employee Gigi Ross and Dresden Shumaker, a fellow Social Influencer. I’ve been friends with both ladies almost since I started blogging, so having a friendly face or two helped put me at ease.
As part of my role as a Social Influencer or Social Good, J&J provided transportation, meals, and lodging for me.
I’ve had trouble writing about the event. I was so moved by the speakers and overwhelmed with the need in the world and my own tiny ability to help. After all, I’m just a housewife. Who am I to be there? What can someone like me do to help?
I met some truly remarkable people and learned about some organizations that are saving lives every day. Here’s a small sample.
Dominic Muasya of the Bridge To Employment program in Nairobi, Kenya.
BTE provides Kenyan teens with room and board at school, plus a mentoring program to help them through high school. The long-term goal is to help them find employment in the health care sector. More about this in the future.
Her Excellency, Mrs. Toyin Saraki of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa
Mrs. Saraki is the founder and president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa. The WFA works to create lasting change in Africa by improving the health of women and children. I’ll also write more about this in an upcoming post. When Mrs. Saraki started speaking of her personal experience that lead her into philanthropy, I was electrified. We shared a remarkably similar experience.
Founded by Aria Finger, DoSomething.org wants to activate young people for social good by connecting them with organizations and causes. Since most of the world population (and 2/3 of my own household) are young people under 30, this is a huge opportunity to create activists.
I have so much more to share, and hope to go in depth on BTE and WFA. In the meantime, please look into these organizations and see where you can help. A fraction of your time, a social share, your word of mouth—that’s how average people like you and me can help in this world.