Today we’re announcing an exciting new collaboration with one of the world’s most celebrated children’s book illustrators. Sophie Blackall is jumping right into the partnership and is spending this week in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where she’s talking to families and health workers affected by measles. Last year families in DR Congo faced the world’s largest measles outbreak where 135,000 cases were recorded and more than 1500 kids died.
Sophie is already sending reports from the field and you can read them here on her blog. As she arrived in Kinshasa on Sunday she wrote about why she wanted to work on the project:
“I can hear all the news and all the statistics about measles, I can read that 380 children die a day, and yet, as I wave my own healthy children off to school in the morning, I can’t possibly imagine the truth of this until I see it,” she writes.
“I love my work. I love making pictures that encourage children to turn pages or that cheer up subway commuters, but I’ve never worked on pictures which might conceivably save lives.”
The partners in the Measles & Rubella Initiative are thrilled to be working with Ms. Blackall.
“Sophie Blackall is an artist who enthralls adults and children, brilliantly telling stories of daily life in her delicate and playful illustrations. She brings an extra dimension to illustrations through her unique insights into the human condition,” says David Meltzer, Senior Vice President of International Services at the American Red Cross in a news release issued by the the Initiative.
“Her images will illustrate how important it is to support measles elimination efforts in sub-Saharan Africa, and will enhance efforts of local health workers, Red Cross and other immunization volunteers to engage mothers to get their children vaccinated.”
Sophie Blackall is an award-winning Brooklyn-based Australian artist who has illustrated over twenty books for children including Ruby’s Wish, Big Red Lollipop and the best-selling Ivy and Bean series which has more than two million copies in print. Ms. Blackall has also captured imaginations with her blog and book Missed Connections, and a celebrated poster for the New York transit authority.
Sophie will be sending reports from DR Congo through her blog – be sure to keep up at https://www.sophieblackall.blogspot.com/.
You can always read more about the Measles & Rubella Initiative here. If you want to support measles vaccinations for children in countries like the DR Congo each shot costs only US $1.