One by One … Brick by Brick

Apr 17, 2009

I just learned of a new program launching in Europe called the Brick by Brick campaign.

Europe has partnered with UNICEF for a long time now, since 2001, to raise money for immunizations. Now they are stepping up their engagement to take on projects that have a profound impact on an entire community.

A couple of years ago, we visited the Kilifi district, a poor rural area in Kenya where Amway was building a program with UNICEF that would address critical heath needs for the whole community. It focused on building the infrastructure to deliver essential health services for mothers and children.

This new partnership will target the Van region of eastern Turkey, a BEAUTIFUL area in a remote part of the country. Despite the grandeur, literacy rates are half those in the rest of the country and only 10% of children attend preschool.

The Brick by Brick campaign will raise money to build new preschools in the area. This can have a significant impact on the future of children in Turkey. It gives them a solid foundation for continuing education and potentially a path out of poverty.

They hope to raise $450,000 this year, which is the cost of one preschool for 200 children. Also important is that they will get one hot meal per day at the preschool. For many of these kids it is the only chance to get a hot meal at all.

We’ve been hearing a lot of people talking about the critical early childhood period between 0 and 5 years where so much brain development and learning take place. Amway President Doug DeVos is co-chair of an Early Childhood Commission in West Michigan that is taking a comprehensive approach to early childhood in our community by building programs that support new mothers and improving access to quality preschools.

What I think is great about this program is that our distributors in Europe are no longer content to just affiliate themselves with a cause and write the occasional check. They serve as ambassadors for UNICEF and the One by One campaign. And they seek out projects that have a profound impact on the future of children.

You can check out the program on Amway UK’s website here, or view a short (3:34) video here.

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