Last week, I had the privilege of visiting one of the most beautiful countries on earth, Rwanda. I was there with delegates from the U.S. Fund for UNICEFâ€™s longstanding partner, Zonta Internationalâ€”a global organization working to advance the status of women worldwide. Zonta has chosen to invest in the futures of women and children in Rwanda by supporting UNICEFâ€™s work to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV and prevent gender-based violence. Together, Zonta International, UNICEF and its many partners are working towardâ€”and are on track to reachingâ€”a generation in Rwanda born free from HIV by 2015.
This was not my first visit to witness UNICEFâ€™s lifesaving programs, but it was an experience that was truly unforgettable. We visited health clinics that are working to prevent mother to child transmission of HIV, One Stop Centers that are offering legal, social and health services to victims of violence, and income-generating programs that are helping women to garner job skills. At every stop I was astonished at the extent to which partners are working together with one voice and one goal: to save and protect the lives of women and children in Rwanda. Because of support from organizations like Zonta International, programs on the ground in Rwanda are working. Access to health and welfare services are increasing, leading to healthy mothers and babies. Progress is being made, and mothers have reason to hope and dream for a better future for their children and themselves.
The power of partnership cannot be emphasized enough, and I am extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to see the incredible impact that Zonta International, UNICEF, and its partners are making. The future is bright for the women and children of Rwanda, and we look forward to continuing and strengthening our partnership with Zonta to ensure that all children have a safe and healthy childhood.