Just less than a month ago, we moved house from Edinburgh to the South East of England, so that my husband could start his new job with Save the Children. Ever since then our 2 and a half-year-old son Tom has been working really hard to understand what his dad's new job is all about.
He wombles up to me at least three or four times a day and asks 'What is Save the Children? What does Daddy do at Save the Children? Maybe sometime I could go to his office and meet all the children that he is helping?'
The best explanation we could come up with, that he seemed to grasp at least in part, was that his Dad spends all day raising money for food so that other children living around the world don't ever have to go hungry. 'We want every little boy and girl to be as happy and as healthy as you are,' we said to Tom. Obviously that is a massive simplification of the work that Save the Children do, but for now it seems to have satisfied his curiosity.
As it turns out, our basic explanation was a timely one, because one of Save the Children's big campaigns at the moment is calling on the UK Government to sign up to the Charter to End Extreme Hunger.
Up to 750,000 people in East Africa face death from hunger, with millions more at risk across the region. No one in the world should have to go hungry - even my toddler understands that - and with the right measures put in place, no-one will have to. Save the Children have set out five key steps to prevent future food crises. You can read the full details of the Charter here, but in summary it is calling for governments to address the following issues:
1. Fix the Flaws of the International System
2. Supporting local food production
3. Services and protection for the poorest
4. Food everyone can afford
5. Reducing armed violence and conflict
So far, over 6000 people have signed the Save the Children petition, calling on the Government to sign up to the charter, and 500 MPs have been contacted about the campaign. I'm just about to write my first ever letter to my new MP Peter Lilley. It's a great start, but we need many more people involved and talking about the campaign to make the UK Government sit up and take notice.
Save the Children are now looking to shift the campaign activity up a gear, with their #66 Cities project. They are looking for people willing to champion their cities, write to their MPs, and spread the word locally about the petition. The blogging community has shown amazing ability in the past to come together around an issue and make their voices heard - it would be so exciting and inspiring to see that happen with this campaign.
I know that it is an incredibly busy time in the run up to Christmas. But stop for a minute to think about those people who won't be tucking into turkey or mince pies. Please help Save the Children - and help the hundreds of thousands of people around the world who are needlessly going without food - by getting involved in the campaign.
You can sign the petition here.
You can write to your MP.
You can write to your local newspaper, or post about the campaign on a local website.
You can write a blog post just like this, and share it through all your networks - tweet about it using the #66Cities hashtag, post it on your Facebook page, email your friends and ask them all to sign the petition too.
It doesn't take long, and it could help save lives.
This post was originally published on 11/29/2011 and is being re-featured for HuffPost Global Motherhood.