By Marie Durling, Health Policy Officer, World Vision Geneva
Even the best-built chair will be useless if one leg is missing. In the same way, even though we have made significant progress to reduce child mortality globally, there is still a huge imbalance remaining with millions of the world’s most vulnerable children still dying needlessly each year, because of unequal access to quality healthcare, nutritious food, clean water and sanitation.
The Broken chair, located at Place des Nations, was originally built as a symbol for opposition to land mines and cluster bombs. With time, the chair has come to be known as an important landmark representing the United Nations in Geneva, often portrayed by tourists in their holiday photos.
On 4th September, at the start of the Close the Gap mobilisation, World Vision Geneva made the Broken Chair a symbol of the yet unfulfilled Millennium Development Goals on child and maternal health. The missing fourth leg being a symbol of the remaining Gap we need to close in order to reach these goals and the further steps world leaders need to take to ensure that no child dies from preventable causes.
As part of the global “Close the Gap” mobilisation, local street dancers were invited to join forces with World Vision staff by the Broken Chain to urge decision makers to keep their promises on MDGs 4 and 5 and to take urgent action to reduce global health inequity between and within countries.
Many people stopped by and had their picture taken demonstrating how they would close the gap by reaching out to the missing fourth leg of the chair, the street dancers showed that the gap can be closed in a number of creative ways – and that there are many avenues for raising your voice (or body) against global inequality and injustice.