The United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign is celebrating five years of Shot@Life Champions from February 29-March 2 in our nation’s capital. The Champion Summit is an opportunity for our volunteers to deepen their knowledge of global childhood immunizations as well as learn about the importance of engaging in U.S. advocacy to increase funding for global immunization programs.
We welcomed 50 volunteers to our first summit and this year we are expecting more than 160. These volunteers represent all different walks of life, but share a common passion for protecting children worldwide from vaccine-preventable diseases.
In five years of Summits I have learned so much from our speakers, our partners, and our Champions, including:
· No one makes for a better advocate than a passionate volunteer. No expert on immunizations can really take their place.
· Policymakers want to hear from their constituents, and Americans have the power to ensure that U.S. funding for global vaccines is strong and increases.
· Global childhood immunizations are a crucial component to reducing childhood mortality, and we need local voices to stand up for children around the world.
· Shot@Life Champions represent some of the most dedicated advocates. They will stop at nothing to get this issue in front of decision-makers, including phone calls, meetings, tweets, wearing bright green shirts to Capitol Hill, sharing their personal connection to the issue, and even getting their own kids involved.
· Our UN and vaccine partners around the world have an amazing commitment to reaching children in the most remote corners of the world. Every summit we hear stories from other parts of the globe and their impact inspires our campaign to do better and work harder to ensure that every child has a shot at life.
Follow @ShotatLife on Twitter from February 29-March 2 for live updates from the 2016 Shot@Life Champion Summit, and join the conversation using the hashtag #vaccineswork.