This week I joined the Board of Councilors for the Carter Center. The Carters have long been close friends of my family. It was a huge honor to be asked and I am really looking forward to my involvement with the Carter Center. They do amazing, amazing work worldwide! Their tagline is “Waging Peace. Fighting Disease. Building Hope.”. What an inspiring mission, and I think it is a natural fit for me. I have long been passionate about children’s health issues and some of the Carter Center’s programs have been incredibly successful in helping children through eradication of disease and meeting communities’ basic needs in areas of political unrest. A great example is the center’s international efforts to eradicate Guinea worm (my brother Rhett worked on the documentary). Through tireless efforts and educational empowerment, incidences of Guinea worm are dramatically decreased and only appear in select areas. What an accomplishment, but it doesn’t stop there, according to their website:
The Carter Center’s health programs enabled a record 35.8 million treatments in 2010 to protect against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) in thousands of communities in some of the most remote and forgotten places in Africa and the Americas.
Since 1986, The Carter Center has been a leader in the control, elimination, and eradication of neglected diseases, working at the grassroots in partnership with ministries of health and low-resource communities to conduct health education and mass drug administration, and to develop health service infrastructure. The Carter Center’s 10 health programs are data-driven and seek to help fill gaps in health care, looking for opportunities to eliminate or eradicate diseases wherever possible, and to control diseases that cannot be completely eliminated. Center disease interventions currently address Guinea worm, river blindness, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, and malaria.
Through my work with the Carter Center I hope to increase my international perspective on what’s going on around the world and the center’s programs. When we protect the natural systems that support all life, we can improve the quality of life, health and prosperity for all people around the world.