This week I was so honoured to be flown to Washington D.C. as a guest of the nonprofit organization ONE, an astonishingly awesome grassroots and advocacy group co-founded by Bono (yes, that Bono). ONE's stated purpose is to fight poverty and preventable diseases, particularly in Africa. I've been a fan of this organization for some time, primarily because their work is advocacy and public awareness: they never ask for a dime of money, but instead, they use their completely nonpartisan influence to help persuade global leaders to focus on policies and programs designed to save lives, educate children, and generally improve futures -- all causes I can certainly get behind.
On this particular trip, several bloggers were flown in to participate in the launch of ONE's campaign to help promote the funding of childhood vaccinations again pneumonia and diarrhea -- two of the largest killers of children in poor and developing countries. The event was held at the National Press Club, and we heard from The Van Zandt family, who shared their daughter's story: she was adopted from Romania and has ongoing health issues that could have been completely prevented had her orphanage had the ability to give her a vaccine. In addition, Dr. Robert Block, the President-Elect of the American Academy of Pediatrics (shown in the image at the top of this post), spoke on how vaccines have saved countless lives, both in the United States and abroad.
ONE's hope for this campaign is to save the lives of 4 million children over the next 5 years. It is obviously a daunting task, but ONE feels that it's an achievable goal. And given the successes that ONE has been a part of, I've no doubt that they can make it happen.
After the press conference, I had the opportunity to walk around Washington and photograph a few of the landmarks. My, but DC is a venerable city:
It was truly an incredible trip, and I'm so grateful to ONE for letting me be a part of it. To learn more about ONE and their current vaccine campaign, you can click here, and also watch their brand new, criminally cute video, below. Then, if you're so moved, please consider becoming a member of ONE (and for those of you who are not in the United States, you can click here to join). It takes next to no time to do, and again, this costs nothing: as ONE is fond of saying, they're not asking for your money, just your voice.
Have a great weekend, everybody.
Images: All photographed with my Nikon D200, 50mm lens. FROM TOP TO BOTTOM -- The 3 photos from the press conference: aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/160, ISO 400; the street sign, the White House and the base of the Washington Monument: aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/8000, ISO 400; the World War II Memorial: aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/3200, ISO 200; the statue of the Vietnam soldiers: aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/1600, ISO 200; the Abraham Lincoln Memorial: aperture 1.4, shutter speed 1/2000, ISO 400.