"Recently, I was reminded of one of the most significant untold stories of our generation, and it happens to center on our outgoing president. It's a story so important that I contend a hundred years from now, it will actually be the primary thing history uses to define President George W. Bush's administration. And it has gone virtually unreported by the media.
...It was at the 2003 State of the Union address that Bush announced the formation of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). At the time, only 50,000 people living with AIDS in Africa were able to receive anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs. PEPFAR's ambitious goal was to increase that number to 2 million in five years--a milestone they've actually now surpassed.
Those people getting treatment and education have actually led to another 8 million people not contracting the disease who otherwise would have. Ten million lives saved. And of those, 4 million are orphans, the majority of whom were orphaned because both parents died of AIDS.
PEPFAR is touching every aspect of African society, providing hope to a generation that has been dying off at an alarming rate.
So why has PEPFAR worked where other efforts failed? President Bush insisted on collaboration with African leaders--partnering with them instead of merely pushing our strategies--and then holding those partners accountable for results.
...As we look at these closing weeks of the Bush administration, it's easy to see the challenges our country is facing and forget monumental, positive initiatives like PERFAR. I want to publicly applaud President Bush for taking a stand when others hadn't, and doing so without the motive of political benefit. He has stood up for those who have no voice, and he did so because it was the right thing to do."
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
He stood up for those who have no voice
I came across another article recently in Relevant Magazine written by the founder Cameron Strang. In the article, he talks about his desire to communicate untold stories through the magazine. And he goes on to describe one such story about the creation and impact of PEPFAR by George W. Bush. Here are a few key paragraphs: