“Mothers and their children are in a category all their own. There is no bond so strong in the entire world. No love so instantaneous and forgiving”. This is a quote from Gail Tsukiyama’s book Dreaming Water and it clearly puts into words the connection between a mother and her child. If you ask a mother who is the most important person in her life, she would probably say it is her child. Just imagine what she would feel when he dies unexpectedly and at such a young age. It probably feels like she died herself and this feeling she would carry with her for the rest of her life. She probably feels responsible about it.
Sadly, child deaths are common in many parts of the world especially in third world countries. Here, children are ten times more likely to die before they reach the age of five. The United Nations has done extensive research on child mortality and based on 2007 figures, nearly 9 million children under the age of five die every year. In sub-Saharan Africa alone, approximately eight children under five die every minute. In most cases the causes of death are diarrhoea, malnutrition, and pneumonia – diseases that are avoidable and can be easily cured if given the right medication at the right time.
A video shows a young mother in a small Indonesian village visiting and watering a tree. In her village, a tree is planted every time a child is born. The mother’s name is Utari and it turns out that her son died before he turned five. She sits and stares at the tree which is all that remains of the memory of her son. Utari is not alone, because many children in other rural villages also suffer the same fate. In most cases, the cause of death is diarrhoea and is brought about by poor hygiene.
The good thing is this can be totally stopped through hand washing. It is Lifebuoy’s mission to help celebrate every child’s fifth birthday and this is by preventing the spread of avoidable diseases which causes 5,000 children under five to die every day. Lifebuoy adopted Thesgora, India last year and taught healthy hand washing habits which resulted in the incidence of diarrhoea being reduced from 36% to 5%. This year, they will bring their campaign to Bitobe, Indonesia. What Lifebuoy wants each of us to do is to do our part in helping these children and this is by sharing this video on our social networking sites with the hashtag #helpachildreach5. You can either support Lifebuoy campaign by following them on their Facebook,Twitter and YouTube. Also, you can check Lifebuoy website for further details.
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