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Advocacy Update: Girls Count Act reintroduced in the Senate!

Photo: ©2015 World Vision/Simon Peter Esaku

Photo: ©2015 World Vision/Simon Peter Esaku

Late last week, in an unexpected but welcomed act, Senators Rubio and Shaheen reintroduced the Girls Count Act. This bill focuses on the more than 500 million children who lack a simple piece of paper- a birth certificate. For those of us who have never had to think about it, a birth certificate may not seem like a big deal. For those without a birth certificate, not having this piece of paper means that may not be able to do things such as attend school, receive medical care, or even marry as an adult. Furthermore they are more vulnerable to trafficking and exploitation.

Ask your Senator to cosponsor the Girls Count Act.

Women of Vision Charlotte in Washington, D.C.

We had a fantastic time last month with Women of Vision Charlotte in Washington, D.C.! After a day of training, we then took to Capitol Hill on day two for three meetings with members from North Carolina, including an in person meeting with Congressman Pittenger. Women of Vision spoke about the importance of maternal and child health and the importance of U.S. funding for programs that support mothers and babies around the world. These were some tough conversations, but we found out this week that Congressman Pittenger signed his name to a letter in support of these programs. Congratulations WOV Charlotte!

Learn more about the trip here. Email if you, or your chapter may be interested in doing something similar. There may be more opportunities coming up this year.

Budget Asks

The President has proposed his budget for FY16. This is the first step in a long process of deciding how our Federal tax dollars are spent for the upcoming year. Often it is tempting to cut the programs that we do not feel or see here at home– such as foreign assistance– including programs for refugees, mothers and babies, and to protect children from trafficking. The thing is, these programs are such a small percentage of the U.S. budget (just about 0.7 percent in total) that we are not going to fix the deficit by making cuts to these areas. Furthermore, beyond caring for the least of these, foreign assistance provides incredible returns by increasing national security, building up partner economies, a decreasing future reliance on aid.

Follow Beyond 5 for specific budget asks. We are particularly concerned about proposed cuts to refugee and humanitarian accounts that would affect those caught in the Syrian crisis. Look for a call to action soon!

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