Amanda Peet, actress and activist
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The year 2030 conjures up bittersweet thoughts since my children will be on the verge of adulthood. What will they be like? What will the world look like for them? Have I prepared them for all the challenges they will face?
I also think about the young children I’ve met as a Global Advocate for the United Nations Foundation’s Shot@Life campaign. They will also be young adults by then and I hope their childhoods were filled with laughter, play and access to the education and healthcare they deserve. I hope that by 2030 no child will die from a vaccine-preventable disease and that the debilitating effects of polio are a thing of the past.
We are on a trajectory of progress, reducing the number of children dying under the age of five, but globally, 21.8 million infants still lack access to basic vaccinations. And every year polio continues to rob our world’s children of their childhoods by inflicting irreversible paralysis.
My time in Kenya was filled with children’s laughter and play and I hoped, if nothing else, we made a tiny difference in inching us towards a polio-free world; a world in which all kids are kicking soccer balls, dancing and running, and none have to wear leg braces or use crutches to walk. When I look at my own children I wish that for them – the ability to play and do whatever makes them happy.
The world is 99 percent polio-free, but this last 1 percent is so challenging. In 2030, I hope that polio is a distant memory and all children have the opportunity to live like children.
Photo credits: all images courtesy United Nations Foundation
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