How WE Give Health sets in motion global health efforts.

BY AMY VAN ES

 

health plus movement.
How far do you suppose you are from a hospital right now?

I can think of three within an hour of my house where, if something happened, I could see a doctor immediately. But for about 400 million people worldwide, some of which are right here in North America, health care isn’t so certain.

The issue hasn’t gone unaddressed, though. Groups of dedicated countries, communities, and individuals have spent the last couple of decades contributing to a groundswell of support for accessible health services. Take the United Nations support; did you know that every Member State in the UN has agreed to try to achieve universal health coverage by 2030?

While goals like this are promising, there is still a lot to be done. The good news is you don’t have to be in the UN to move the dial. You can help raise awareness around health issues in your local and global community from anywhere, at any age.

WE Schools’ newest action campaign, WE Give Health, invites you to do just that through helpful online resources including research information and activity ideas to get others pumped up about the cause. With the help of these starter tools, you can organize a healthy-living event in your local community to raise funds in support of WE Villages efforts to help youth in developing communities gain access to health care.

Imagine combining your love of sports—basketball anyone?—with an important social cause, what could be more inspiring?

 

Movement at Home

Hosting an event geared towards physical wellness is a great way to spark conversation about health education in your own community. The idea is to get people out and moving in the name of a good cause!

Encouraging physical activity at home is critical with worldwide obesity rates having more than doubled since 1980. Fundamentally caused by an energy imbalance between calories consumed and calories expended, obesity can be combated through regular physical activity, combined with a healthy diet.

To inspire healthy living, we need to create supportive environments that arm people with the knowledge to make smart choices. With that said, be sure to combine a good bout of activity with a generous dose of information sharing when organizing your event. (You’ll find useful infographics in the downloadable campaign guide.) After all, being a change-maker isn’t just about how much money you can fundraise, it’s about educating others on important social issues and enabling them to make their own impact, as well.

As for planning the event itself, get working on an action plan and really hone in on the impact you want to make. You can focus on a single sport (why not recruit players from a school team to join the initiative?) or you could take your cue from one WE Schools group that hosted an event (or more, a festival!) with everything from salsa dancing to water balloon fights to a ping pong tournament!

There are many steps involved with getting an event off the ground (see our fancy chart below!), but with a team—anything is possible!

 

One, learn about the cause. Two, choose activity and date. Three, find participants. Four, track down needed supplies. Five, get moving.

Health + Movement = Change Abroad

Let’s get real for a sec: Health care can literally change the world. We see it overseas every day. Think about it, if a child is sick or if their parents are sick, how can they attend school? The answer is they can’t. This is why health is one of five pillars within the WE Villages development model. By partnering with communities to provide clinics, vaccination programs, as well as teach disease prevention and healthy living, WE is working to break the cycle of poverty via holistic and sustainable solutions that help transform communities.

When a community has access to doctors and medication—on top of health education—everyone benefits. Families can find the stability to grow and prosper; students have the energy to focus in class, allowing them to learn valuable skills that will help them forge opportunities; and women can bring children into the world with the promise of a bright future.

Health care is about more than handing out medicine—it’s about building sustainable communities and opening opportunity up to everyone in the world. So remember, while you keep active with games and sports at your WE Give Health event, every kick of the ball is going towards ensuring families around the world have access to health care. Translation: parents can work, feed their families and keep their children in school—all because they’re healthy.

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