UNFPA is the United Nations agency that deals with providing much needed family planning and reproductive health services in the developing world. In 2002, the American government decided not to give a promised 34 million dollars to UNFPA.
In different parts of the country and without ever having met, two ordinary American women, Jane Roberts and Lois Abraham, asked the women of America to send $1 dollar each to UNFPA.
Nobody – not even UNFPA – thought it would work. But it did. Soon a deluge of envelopes with single dollar bills began arriving at the UNFPA offices from women – and men – all over the United States.
From this an organisation called 34 Million Friends of UNFPA (www.34millionfriends.org) was formed and millions of dollars were raised to help families all over the world.
In 2009, the U.S. administration restored the funding to UNFPA but 34 Million Friends still continues to work to support this vital service.
And all from the efforts of two ordinary women – a social action butterfly effect if ever there was one.