— Delegates to the Democratic National Convention are sending a message to people suffering from HIV and AIDS around the world: "We want to help."
Doing something unconventional at the party’s presidential nominating convention, World Vision, a Christian relief and development organization, and the ONE Campaign, a global anti-poverty advocacy group, partnered to give delegates an opportunity to ease suffering and help prevent infection from entirely preventable diseases. Thousands of kits are headed from Denver to vulnerable communities in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
“This Caregiver Kit Build is a perfect fit for this historic event, because it demonstrates the power in the individual’s hands to effect change and improve lives,” said Richard Stearns, president of World Vision. “We’re grateful to the ONE Campaign for their partnership and to the delegates for their participation.”
“We’re all in this together. Ending extreme poverty and preventable global disease requires all of us to come together and do what we can to change the world. That can mean uniting our voices as one to call for change, or rolling up our sleeves as one to help those in need,” explained former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who co-chairs ONE’s presidential campaign initiative, ONE Vote ’08.
In part because ONE members have raised their voices in hundreds of town hall meetings, community gatherings and direct meetings with the candidates, both Barack Obama and John McCain have committed to policies that will empower people struggling with global poverty and disease to lift themselves up and gain access to the care they need.
Senator Obama has committed to doubling U.S. foreign assistance — to $50 billion by 2012. He would build on proven, successful foreign policy programs, such as America’s global AIDS strategy to which he has pledged a stronger commitment than in current law.
Senator McCain has pledged to eradicate malaria. He also has spoken at length about America’s role in combating global HIV and AIDS and the benefits of such U.S. initiatives as the Millennium Challenge Corporation.
The Caregiver Kit is a simple way that convention goers, as individuals and representatives of their political parties, can demonstrate their commitment to change the world through action and advocacy.
Family caregivers and community-based volunteers are helping people living with AIDS around the globe, but, too often, poverty denies them the supplies they need to prolong lives, comfort the sick and protect themselves from infection. These unique kits are instrumental in providing otherwise inaccessible, basic supplies like antibacterial soap, antifungal cream, disposable latex gloves, cotton balls, petroleum jelly, acetaminophen and more.
World Vision’s Caregiver Kit program was launched in 2006 to give the public a way to offer tangible support to those serving on the front lines of the AIDS pandemic throughout Africa, Asia and Latin America. Since the program’s start, more than 143,000 kits have been assembled around the United States as churches, community groups, schools and businesses have been inspired to take action.
“Assembling these kits at the Democratic convention sends a symbolic message that fighting extreme poverty is an important issue in this election. Voters, delegates and the candidates themselves are demonstrating their commitment to doing more for the world’s poorest people,” said ONE President and CEO David Lane. “We’re very excited about this partnership with World Vision. Working together at the political conventions, we can help to show more people what their individual efforts can do to save lives around the world. Whether through advocacy or on-the-ground action, Americans can bring hope and opportunity to people in developing nations around the world.”
In sub-Saharan Africa alone, World Vision has trained more than 59,000 home visitors who provide care for over 900,000 orphans and vulnerable children, as well as chronically ill adults. In 2008, World Vision aims to assemble at least 125,000 kits. Caregiver Kits provide basic supplies for as many as three months.
When purchased in bulk, each kit costs $28, including shipping and handling. World Vision coordinates the bulk purchase of kit contents through its partnership with McKesson Corporation, world’s leading healthcare services company. To learn more, visit the World Vision Web site at www.worldvision.org/wvcarekits
.About World Vision
World Vision is a Christian relief and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty. World Vision serves the world’s poor regardless of a person’s religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, visit www.worldvision.org
. About ONE
ONE is uniting millions of people to solve the world’s most urgent problems and help people in the world’s poorest regions to help themselves out of extreme poverty. Through ONE Vote ’08, a project of ONE Action, ONE is not endorsing any candidate, but pressing the candidates to support policies that build on demonstrated successes to address extreme global poverty and disease. For more information, visit www.ONE.org
.END:: More about World Vison at the national conventions