We Wish Every Child Had a Family That Cares

By Melody Butler and Dennis Ogbe

May 6, 2016

Every time you ‘like’ and share this post, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per social action), up to $350,000, via the Global Moms Relay, to help improve the health and well-being of families worldwide in support of [email protected]Girl Up, Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, UNICEF USA and Nothing But Nets. More below!

Dennis Ogbe is a USA Paralympian originally from Nigeria, polio survivor and father. Melody Butler is a registered nurse and infection preventionist. They sat down to talk about their hopes and dreams for their families and the world in support of the Global Moms Relay and the [email protected] campaign.

What do you wish were true for every child, everywhere?

MDennis and kidselody Butler: I wish that every child, everywhere, felt and knew they were loved and cared for, and taught to how to work toward their dreams.

Dennis Ogbe: I want every child to have access to basic necessities such as vaccinations, medical care, clean water, healthy food, a decent roof over their heads and family that cares.

What did you experience in your childhood that you’d hope every child could experience? 

MB: My siblings were my best friends and the best play buddies I could ask for. We had so many adventures in our backyard and neighborhood, games that last for hours… every child is worthy of a childhood filled with play and friends. As an adult, satta king is a fun game to play.

DO: The unconditional love of my family and friends is something I had in my childhood – and I wish it for every child.  We didn’t have much growing up, but that love was enough.

What kind of world do you hope to see for your children? 

MB: I hope for a world that is accepting of all the wonderful differences and individual traits that make my four children unique and special. I hope for a world that cares for all children, and provides the same shelter, food, protection, medical care access to every single child.

DO: A world free of corruption. A world where adults stop to think of what will be best for children instead of what is best for themselves in that moment. A world where dreams are unlimited – I had polio as a child with a crippling outcome for my body – and yet I’ve successfully competed for my country as an USA Paralympian, because people believed in me.

How has the family you’ve come from shaped your worldview?

MB: My grandmother was a friend to everyone she met in her Brooklyn neighborhood. She greeted everyone with the same bright hello and went out of her way to connect to her neighbors. She was known as a giving person to the end of her life. Seeing the happiness she gave to others has stayed with me.

DO: My father who instilled in me that with education, I can do anything.  Even with my disability, I can stand tall and express myself anywhere on this planet and I will be heard. With the help of my education, I am now using my voice to advocate for this great cause of getting every child access to vaccinations, a privilege that I did not have.

What are you grateful your kids have access to?

Melody and her husband work as a team to help provide for their family.

Melody and her husband work as a team to help provide for their family.

MB: To know my children are able to grow up in a safe community, that meets their educational needs, surrounded by loving family and friends, is something I am so grateful for. Of course as a nurse, modern medicine too. I can’t prevent all my kids’ heartaches and difficulties, but at least diseases such as measles and polio can’t threaten them.

DO: I am grateful my children have access to a loving and caring home; not just a house, but a value system. I am also grateful that my children have access to many necessities that I did not have growing up including access to medical care, vaccinations and clean water.

How does your work and life relate to your hopes for the world? 

MB: As a nurse, caring for people is a skill and talent. As an advocate, I put my abilities to work to help improve the global community. It’s powerful to educate my legislators on the importance on working together to improve our interdependent world. My life-long calling of nursing is helping me to provide children around the world a safe, healthy childhood with the opportunity to play, and to achieve their dreams.

DO: When I moved to the United States I promised myself that I would give back to my hometown.  My hope when I left was that my family and friends would be able to accomplish all of their dreams.  My hope is now that everyone in the world has the health and wellbeing they need to pursue and accomplish their goals.  As a father I try to be a good role model for my children, and as a citizen of this world I advocate for the wellness of all children.

Melody 2

You share, they give: Each time you ‘like’ or share this post via the social media icons on this post or comment below, Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 (per action) up to $350,000 to [email protected]Girl Up, Peace Corps Let Girls Learn Fund, U.S. Fund for UNICEF and Nothing But Nets.

The Global Moms Relay was created by the United Nations Foundation and  Johnson & Johnson with support from BabyCenter, Global Citizen and Fatherly, to  help  improve the lives of families around the globe. Share this post with the hashtags #GlobalMom and #JNJ, and visit GlobalMomsRelay.org to learn more.

You can also use the Donate A Photo* app and Johnson & Johnson will donate $1 when you upload a photo for Girl Up, U.S. Fund for UNICEF or Nothing But Nets, up to $150,000. You can help make a difference in seconds with the click ofyour mouse or snap of your smart phone.

* via the Donate A Photo app for iOS and Android. Johnson & Johnson has curated a list of trusted causes, and you can donate a photo to one cause, once a day. Each cause will appear in the app until it reaches its goal, or the donation period ends. If the goal isn’t reached, the cause will still get a minimum donation.

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