Saturday, January 31, 2009

Joe Mettimano, World Vision's Vice President of Advocacy, sent a note of thanks to supporters campaigning for the fight against poverty, child abuse and aids. He enumerated what advocates helped accomplish together last year. Sharing this piece with you.... Be a voice for those who don't...

Dear Friend,

Thank you! Advocates like you made an enormous impact this year to positively change the lives of vulnerable children around the world. We have witnessed several advocacy successes this year for which we can thank God.

Here are just a few successes and highlights for 2008:

Protecting children: The passage of the Child Soldier Prevention Act

Years of persistent advocacy paid off as Congress passed and President Bush signed into law the Child Soldier Prevention Act on Dec 23. Some 12,000 citizen advocates contributed to this success by contacting their members of Congress to express support for this bill. World Vision was a leader in initiating, drafting, and gaining passage of this law.
Joseph Mettimano, World Vision's vice president for advocacy, thanks you for contributing to the passage of the Child Soldier Prevention Act.

The law ensures that U.S. taxpayer money will never fund the use of child soldiers abroad.

Here is why this bill is so critical: Some 250,000 children are fighting in about 20 conflicts around the world today. In most cases, it is rebel or guerilla groups that abduct or coerce these children into conflict. However, the national governments in eight countries also use children as soldiers in war. The U.S. government currently provides military assistance to six of eight of these governments. This military assistance is highly coveted.

This new law will restrict all forms of U.S. military assistance to these governments — and any governments in the future — that use child soldiers. To receive any funding, the children must be removed from conflict and demobilized, and the government policies must change. These restrictions will compel culpable governments to stop using children in conflict, thereby saving the lives and childhoods of countless children.

Thank you for your support on this issue! By speaking out, you are truly saving lives.

Fighting poverty and disease

This year — with your help, and by God's grace — our advocacy contributed to an increase in U.S. government resources that will improve the lives of the poor, especially orphans and vulnerable children.

AIDS and malaria: A new five-year reauthorization of the Global AIDS, TB, and Malaria bill was signed into law, providing $48 billion with 10 percent of all global AIDS money going to care for orphans and vulnerable children. Resources for malaria were drastically increased in this bill as well ($1 billion each year, over 5 years).

The global food crisis: A new Farm Bill signed into law provides funding for more effective hunger relief programs, including sustainable, long-term development programs. A supplemental spending bill that also passed includes an additional $1.7 billion to respond to the global food crisis.

These resources, which you helped secure, will help prevent children from suffering from hunger, malnutrition, and possibly death.

Working together

This year, World Vision partnered with folks like you to host four different advocacy events in Washington, D.C.

The second annual Youth Empowerment Summit: In July, some 70 young people from at-risk communities across the nation gathered in Washington, D.C., to discuss their solutions to youth-related poverty and violence in the United States. The students also met with their congressional leaders to explain how gang violence has affected them and urge their lawmakers to address these issues that negatively impact youth in some of the nation's most distressed communities.

Acting on AIDS Summit on the Hill: In May, World Vision's advocacy program for college students hosted its first-ever lobby day event in Washington, D.C. An estimated 100 participants visited Capitol Hill to push for the passage of a new bipartisan global AIDS bill.

The Northern Uganda Lobby Day: In February, an estimated 800 concerned advocates from some 40 states came to D.C. to seek congressional support for peace in Uganda, where a two-decade war has turned thousands of children into soldiers and sex slaves.

Democratic Republic of Congo Lobby Day: In April, nearly 250 people from 30 states came together to press Congress and the Bush administration to do more to end the humanitarian crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) — a crisis that causes some 1,200 deaths a day.
Again, thank you for being a voice for impoverished children and families around the world. We look forward to your continued partnership as we speak out against poverty, injustice, and human suffering in the coming year.

God bless,

Joe Mettimano
Vice President of Advocacy, World Vision

Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.

— Proverbs 31:8-9 (NIV)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bono's Message at "The Obama Inaugural Celebration”

Sharing this video of Bono's message to ONE members recorded backstage when U2 performed in front of hundreds of thousands of people at “We Are One: The Obama Inaugural Celebration” concert at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Bono is a co-founder of ONE...

Visit their ONE website at and ONE's Youtube channel at