giving back

Poverty: Rachel Fox is ONE Mom Making a Difference For Many

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Making a Difference—The story of how Rachel Fox became a Mom Making a Difference begins a little over a year ago. She was a stay-at-home mother with three kids. She had a thirst for knowledge and strong feelings about problems in the world. Her kids were getting old enough that she could think about getting a full-time job. She had stayed home with them for 12 years and enjoyed it, but was ready to learn new things. Even so, as she faced the prospect of going back to nursing, she decided that she felt so strongly about eradicating extreme poverty and other world problems that she decided to volunteer instead. So she, her husband, and family made the lifestyle adjustments necessary for her to continue to stay at home, and her Making a Difference time began.

Extreme poverty, particularly in Africa, was a problem that she felt "just shouldn't be there." She had followed ONE.org since before its inception, even when she didn't have a computer. She became one of its members in 2005, and last year got an email that ONE representatives were going to be in her community. She attended and soon after was asked to be a ONE Congressional District Leader for Wilmington, North Carolina. She wholeheartedly accepted. She is now a liaison between members of Congress and ONE, which was founded by rock star Bono and several other important people. It's big stuff, but it's just the beginning of what she's been doing.

Rachel, like our own Jyl, is part of #ONEmoms. Both of them traveled to Kenya two weeks ago with ONE to observe first-hand the problems and solutions in action over there. Jyl's experience, as much as can be put into words, is recorded in these recent posts. They both went as part of a group of socially-oriented mom bloggers involved with One. The group's experience is summarized in this ABC News post and attached videos. Rachel's experience is chronicled on her blog ComingAlive.blogspot.com, which she started after her involvement with ONE began.

"ONE focuses on sub-saharan Africa," she says, "because of the prevalence of poverty there. We are an advocacy organization for several international programs that supply money and on-the-ground necessities like immunizations. These programs include the Gavi Alliance, PEPFAR, and the Global Fund." ONE asks our government for its financial support of these programs; its operational costs are self-funded. Its approach is wide and deep because the problems they are addressing are so wide-spread and deep in their effects. In sub-saharan Africa, the root causes of poverty are so historical, so a part of their everyday lives, so complicated, so entrenched in governmental corruption, that the solutions are complicated as well.

The solutions do indeed daunt many. "But," says Rachel, "we got to meet both community and government leaders who are making a difference for good. We are working to address the problem of extreme poverty from the bottom up and the top down." ONE is indeed working to help build Kenya's economy, which is primarily agricultural, through encouragement of the African Growth and Opportunity Act. And, Rachel and the other mom bloggers got to meet women from all over eastern Africa who were working to transcend ethnic and cultural differences. "'Community' is an integral thing for them; helping each other is a natural part of what they do," says Rachel.

For Rachel, one mom making a difference, helping others is a natural part of what she does. Let it become a natural part of what we all do.

Why is community important to you? What steps do you take to help other moms who are in need?

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