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Activism for bloggers – the next steps

I thoroughly enjoyed Save the Children’s first blogging conference on Saturday and I want to thank everyone who came to listen, share and contribute.  As a newbie to blogging I found it very inspiring to be around so many social-media savvy people and over the weekend I got slightly addicted to following all the tweets and blogs generated by the day.

For me the key question was asked by one of the bloggers in the morning session – ‘What can I do?’.  This was in response to Emergencies Director Gareth Owen’s very inspiring talk about how Save the Children’s staff respond to an emergency as soon as it happens.

And of course there is the obvious answer for bloggers – do what you do best and write about it (and many of the bloggers who came to the conference already have). That ability to spread the word is invaluable and if it’s your first and last step it’s still a contribution not to be underestimated.

For those that want to take the next steps (and the next) – they can write to their MP (www.theyworkforyou.com), sign petitions (or set them up www.ipetitions.com), find like-minded individuals in their area and set up local groups. 

In terms of concrete actions right now many of our supporters have already emailed David Cameron urging him to take action on vaccines.  The next step is to email your MP. We know vaccines work – as just one example, a major measles vaccine push in Africa from 2000-2008 led to a 92% reduction in measles-related deaths.  In fact 2 million more children a year could be saved by 2015 through vaccines. 

Show your MP you care about the millions of children who don’t have access to such a basic service – and get them to take action.

What’s next?
Gareth Jenkins, who spoke at the conference, will also be blogging this week about the next step in our campaign to lift children in the UK out of severe poverty.

Fancy meeting your MP? On 6 June there’s going to be a mass lobby of Parliament called Teatime for Change.  Put the date in your diary and I’ll be in touch in the next couple of weeks with the details.

As part of our No Child Born To Die campaign we’ll also be working to make sure the world’s poorest mums and children have access to healthcare, with a focus on filling the gap in the number of trained healthcare workers. I’ll be in touch with actions and ways to get involved with that. In the meantime if you’re interested in the policy behind this, you can read the report Closing the Gap.

And if you have a specific question about any of our campaigns, a great idea, or a plan to change the world, don’t hesitate to get in touch: campaigns@savethechildren.org.uk

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