Posted by: beyond5 February 2013

by Cat-Dan Lai-Smith, communications specialist, World Vision US

As part of World Vision’s global Child Health Now campaign, World Vision US (WVUS) has launched Beyond 5, a movement to highlight maternal and child health to US audiences.

Using an aspirational tone, the campaign seeks to unite and mobilize advocates, parents and churches that refuse to accept that five is a child’s lifetime.

Steve Reynolds, advocacy campaigns director at WVUS, said, “In most US homes, a child’s fifth birthday is very special—a time to celebrate an important milestone achieved.  Not everyone in the US realizes that, for many children in developing nations, this is a deadly barrier that they may never cross.”

Progress is possible

The Beyond 5 campaign focuses on a child’s fifth birthday and the good news that every year, more children are growing up healthy and well-nourished thanks to simple health interventions such as bed nets, vaccinations and clean water.

Twenty years ago, more than 12 million children under age five died from preventable causes. Now, that number has been reduced to 6.9 million. The campaign highlights this success through the nostalgic symbol of five birthday candles with a focus on the happy, healthy influences that lead to a fifth birthday.

In contrast, however, Beyond 5 recognizes the work that still needs to be done in parts of the world where children run a gauntlet of sickness and disease in their first years. The key message is that more work needs to be done to “reverse the trend” so that all children can celebrate their fifth birthdays and go on to enjoy healthy, happy lives.

Keeping the momentum

As part of the movement, supporters will receive regular updates filled with inspiring stories from the field, reflections from parents, church leaders, and health experts, as well as policy and legislative action alerts to keep the momentum going.

Five things you can do

  1. Sign up to join the Beyond 5 network. You’ll receive our blog updates and learn about new opportunities to speak out as they arise.
  2. Share the Beyond 5 video trailer with your social networks and invite others to join the Beyond 5 movement at www.worldvision.org/beyond5. More voices mean more impact!
  3. Pray for the health of babies and safe birthing for their mothers. Use the Beyond 5 Prayer Guide if you’d like some prayer points to get started.
  4. Send a message to your members of Congress. Ask them to pass key legislation and help save the programs that will provide babies, toddlers and their moms with the help they need to survive and live beyond 5!
  5. Check out the various ways you can donate to help a child get Beyond 5.