The person I feel most embodies humanity is my mother.
I’d like to thank her for raising me to be a compassionate and understanding person.
And more recently, pushing me toward goals I am sometimes unwilling to strive for.
For reminding me that love doesn’t come with hubris but with humility and the conviction to put others before yourself.
I’d like to thank her for showing me the world, and teaching me that it isn’t comprised of places, but people.
I’d like to thank her for teaching me to rise above.
Without her I would not have this opportunity to make a difference. I would not have this platform to create social change.
Throughout the world there are millions of mothers like mine working to make this world a better place for their children and others’ children. But for far too many young women, motherhood comes too early and is far too dangerous. The average age of motherhood in Uganda is 18 years old – with many, many becoming pregnant before that. Ugandan women on average have 6 children during their life - one of the highest rates in the world. When asked, Ugandan women report wanting fewer children but their lack of education, power, and access to contraception makes it difficult for them to control their reproductive health. Maternal mortality is also very high with only 42% of births taking place in the presence of a skilled birth attendant.
Many of the girls attending RUFC’s camp are around the age to become first time moms. Consequently, we talk to the campers about reproductive health and share information about family planning. This year we are also collecting information about the young women’s intentions – At what age do they think they would like to have children? How many children do they want to have? How can we help them achieve their reproductive goals?
I hope you will join us in this effort. You can donate to support next month’s camp at http://www.rayunitedfc.org/store/p39/Camp_Scholarship.html
Ray Wipfli, RUFC founder, shares his thoughts.