On this International Day of the Girl, I’m reminded of one of the founding principles of Yekize: we believe that no one should be held back in life, because of access to medicine. Put simply, how many Frida Kahlo’s, Amelia Earhart’s, Marie Curie’s, Ada Lovelace’s, Mary Cassat’s and Heddy Lamarr’s are lost because they lack access to medicine? But of course for every girl with potential, there’s a boy and we can ask also why we must also lose the da Vinci’s, Mozart’s, Nelson Mandela’s, Alan Turing’s and Einstein’s to preventable & treatable diseases too?
Across the world we have a much larger population now, than we did when Mozart, Curie or Lovelace were flourishing. So where are the geniuses of today? And how much potential is lost through lacking of access to essential medication?
According to Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, Physiological needs come first. Therefore, the first step in helping everyone to reach their potential is health related. When access to medicine is achieved, we can work on the next steps to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to reach their potential.
We have seen what people can achieve with comparatively little. Malala Yousafzai was a young girl, who lived in the Swat Valley. When the Taliban moved in, so much was taken away from her. But Malala stood up for what she believed in. And now she is the youngest ever Nobel Laureate and she is just starting her studies in Oxford. She has achieved so much already, but we know she can achieve so much more.
By meeting the first of Maslow’s Needs – Physiological – how many more people can we help reach their potential?
Change a life, change the world.