I write this post as part of the #GlobalMoms relay. Earlier this month I went to the Moms + Social Good event as the guest of Johnson and Johnson. Thanks to J&J for covering the expenses of my trip.
When I was sixteen or seventeen I won a writing contest at school. I was supposed to meet Alec Hailey, but that’s another story. The prize I did get was a savings bond or a gift certificate to the Cracker Barrel or something Tennessee like that. The topic of my essay was imagining life in my small town in the Year Two Thousand. At that time, Y2K was more than a decade away.
I don’t remember too much of what I wrote: smaller computers blah blah, greater connectivity through our phone watches blah blah. Real futurist stuff.
Obviously I am a psychic, so let me imagine the world fifteen years from now.
Who Runs the World?
In the year 2030, all girls everywhere in the world from Arkansas to Zaire will finish school through the end of a secondary education.
At the recent Moms + Social Good event sponsored by Johnson and Johnson, leading economist Jeffery Sachs suggested that to change the future of the world for the better one thing needed to happen. That one thing is educating girls.
An educated girl has freedom and options for herself and her future children. An educated girl has a greater chance to rise out of poverty. An educated girl improves her neighborhood, her town, and her country. The whole world benefits.
As unlikely as world peace seems today, the best thing we can do to ensure peace around the world in 2030 is to educate our girls. And all girls are our girls.
The First Day Will Be the Happiest Day
Toyin Saraki, who I met last year at another event, spoke of the three most dangerous days in a girl’s life. These are the day she is born, the day she is married, and the day she has her first child.
Every year millions of babies die the day they are born from complications of premature birth, complications from poor or no delivery care, or—most shockingly—murder due to boy-child preference.
In the year 2030, every baby will have a safe, attended, full-term birth. Pregnant mothers and the fathers who love them will have the opportunity and access to care they need so the first day is not also the last day.
Through the work of the March of Dimes, research is happening right now to learn how to prevent the one in nine premature births that happen in the US annually, and the 15 million that occur around the world. Premature birth can be a mystery we solve in the next fifteen years.
The More Things Change
In that essay contest, a lot of us wrote about future gadgetry. Back to the Future was a popular movie and we all wanted a hoverboard. But, teen me suggested while we would be hip deep in these future gadgets, what we considered to have real value would not change one bit.
In my high school essay, I knew that in 2000 or in 2030, what you want for your family is what I want for my family. We want our children to be born, safe and healthy. We want to protect our children and watch them grow. We want our children to live in a peaceful world with every opportunity for meaningful success is possible for them.
Learn more about the organizations involved in the Moms +Social Good event and how you can join them on the mission to make 2030 the future we want for children everywhere.