Engaging in advocacy isn’t always easy. It takes persistence and patience. New laws and policies can sometimes take years to get passed, which is why we need to celebrate when we have successes in our journey along the way.

A lot of you have been raising your voice for the Reach Every Mother and Child Act through meetings, emails and phone calls. This outreach to your members of Congress has been incredible and it’s working! You have made an impact and we want to celebrate it, and celebrate you for all you have done in support of mothers and children.

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act was introduced in the House of Representatives last October. Since then, in large part because of you, we now have 109 cosponsors on the bill, with more waiting to be added once Congress is back in session next week. Not only is this number incredible overall, what is more amazing is that we’ve been able to get strong support from both Republicans and Democrats on the bill. For the first quarter of 2016, we set a goal of 20 new Republicans adding their names as cosponsors and we’ve done it! Many of these members of Congress have never supported a maternal and child health issue before, but because they know that YOU care about these issues, they have made the decision to support this important legislation.

Many of you also asked your members of Congress a few weeks ago to sign on to an important letter asking for strong funding for maternal and child health and nutrition programs in this year’s budget. The response to your advocacy was amazing! Last year we had 128 Members of Congress sign a similar letter, 14 of those being Republicans. This year, 146 Members of Congress signed on including 23 Republicans!

All of this work is so important as we seek to build new champions for issues that impact the health of mothers and children. I hope you are all as encouraged by our progress over the last three months as I am and just know that we are so grateful for all of you and for your advocacy. Keep up the great work!

Photo: Happiness, 28-year-old mother of six, stands with her youngest child in the maternity ward at Chapusha Rural Health Post in central Zambia. “The building is good, and when there is a problem the health staff are quick to help.” After World Vision helped provide improvements to the health post, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of mothers seeking child delivery services, thereby curbing the risks related with pregnancy. © 2015 World Vision

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