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Saving lives in Myanmar

“My mother-in-law told me what a great thing you’re doing — campaigning for people to donate baby blankets.  She told me to come and see your booth, and here I am!”

The owner of one of the booths exhibiting with us at the International Cultural Charity Group rushed to us with this news.  I don’t know what country she comes from,  certainly not from Myanmar, but it seems that in most cultures, mothers-in-law wield a strong influence on a married woman’s decisions, related to pregnancy, child rearing, and even in terms of which charity they support.

But I digress.  I wanted to share how happy we are with our first public EVERY ONE campaign: our “Donate a Baby Blanket Campaign”.

Each EVERY ONE blanket (or baby wrap, which has been used to swaddle babies through the ages) costs one dollar. In turn, we will take care of distributing it to poor pregnant mothers through our local NGO partners.

We exhibited at international fairs and bazaars to test the waters, where it generated attention from people of various ages,  including young children.  Our youngest donor is five years old, who signed up to donate a blanket when her mom explained the need to help newborn babies in Myanmar.  The Ambassador from Germany came and commended our effort. Most of those who came and donated said that they liked the idea of  doing something for newborn babies, and also that it was easy for them to give a donation for a dollar per blanket.

What we’re doing is more than just fund raising of course, although we  know that Myanmar needs all the financial help that it can get. The country receives one of the lowest amounts of official development aid per capita in the world: $2 compared to Cambodia’s $50 per year.

It’s also about raising people’s awareness so that they can do something to help the country achieve MDG 4.  Donating a baby blanket is just a start.

We’re also moving on to have our display basket and donation boxes in the biggest hotels in the capital city of Yangon — where most of society’s “movers and shakers”  congregate.  I’ll tell you more about that in my next blog.

This is the first time that an international NGO has launched a campaign of this kind in Myanmar.  We’re excited.  We know we’re starting small, but that’s where big things come from!

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