As I reflect on 2020, I’m reminded of a post that was passed around social media a few months ago that really inspired me and caused me to reflect on what makes our work at Results so impactful. It stemmed from years ago, when the great anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered the first sign of civilization in a culture.
The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots – but she didn’t. Instead, Mead said that the first sign of civilization was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. She explained that in ancient times, no one survived a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal. You couldn’t run from danger or search for food and water. A healed broken femur was evidence that someone had stayed with the injured person, bound up their wound, and kept them safe through recovery. Helping someone through difficulty is where civilization starts. We are at our best when we serve others, Mead said.
That’s the heart of Results. And, most importantly, that’s why I’m so inspired by Results volunteers and allies – who have made the commitment to the better world we know is possible. In our ongoing advocacy, we acknowledge that we are at our best when we serve others.
This year, thanks to smart, strategic advocacy efforts and hundreds of actions, our collective commitment to serve others is delivering big impact. We’ve helped secure Canadian pledges of CAD$600M to Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (GAVI) and CAD$190M to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI). Canada’s investment in GAVI helps ensure 300 million children receive vaccinations and in turn helps save up to 8 million lives. Canada’s contribution to GPEI is a sign that the world won’t relent on polio eradication.
When COVID-19 struck, Results volunteers stepped into high-gear. As early as April, we were all demanding Canadian leadership to #EndCovidEverywhere and calling on the government to invest the equivalent of at least 1% of what we’d spent on our domestic pandemic response to the global effort, or CAD$2.3B in new international aid. This commitment would:
(1) support the vaccines, tests and treatment necessary for a globally equitable response; and,
(2) mitigate the collateral impacts of the virus through scaling up on issues like nutrition, food security, child health, and education.
So far our campaign has generated support across Canada, with close to 100 civil society organizations signing on, and has helped to generate over one billion dollars from Canada for the global response.
As we look ahead to 2021, many things in the world seem uncertain, but our mission remains clear. Together, we’ll continue to advocate in support of high-impact solutions where progress is measured in lives saved, in more children accessing education, and in greater economic inclusion for all. And, on a personal note, I will be fueled and inspired by our Results volunteers who are empowered and powerful. You inspire me by the difference you make in so many ways—with your time, your voice, your energy, your courage, and your continued commitment to advocate for a world free of poverty. Your work in 2020 has made a difference and I look forward to what we can accomplish in 2021.
Warm wishes for your holidays,