While toys and tech gadgets make their way onto holiday wish lists, Kiwanis volunteers are hoping for something quite different: to save children’s lives by eliminating maternal and neonatal tetanus (MNT).

MNT is a painful infection that claims the life of a child every 9 minutes in some of the most impoverished regions of the world. It's also entirely preventable.

Choosing to take up the fight here at home, passionate Kiwanis volunteers are raising funds to support global efforts to vaccinate and protect millions of women and children.

And the global vaccination campaign is working. In the past 13 years, MNT has been eliminated in 28 countries. In 2012 alone, tetanus was wiped out in Burkina Faso, China, Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Senegal, Tanzania and Timor Leste.

These are major achievements.

A nurse in Mali prepares a tetanus vaccine.  © UNICEF/MLIA2010-00589/Olivier Asselin

Every day, Kiwanis members work to change the world one child and one community at a time. They are proud partners with UNICEF Canada, knowing that the simple act of buying tetanus vaccines will not only save a child’s life, but protect future generations.

To help vaccinate 129 million mothers and their babies, Kiwanis International pledged to raise US $110 million by 2015 for the Eliminate Project, the largest single pledge ever for global MNT elimination efforts.

Canadians can support the Eliminate Project by giving UNICEF Survival Gifts, which are real lifesaving items delivered to children and families. A Mother and Baby Tetanus Pack ($15), purchased as a holiday gift for a loved one, will provide 250 tetanus vaccines.

“In my job I have seen first-hand the impact that a Survival Gift can have on a child’s life, and as a parent I’m adamant that no child should die from a preventable disease,” said David Morley, President and CEO of UNICEF Canada. “Canadians can recognize the true spirit of the holidays by giving a gift that can truly save lives.”

Survival Gifts

Mother and Baby Tetanus PackMother and Baby Tetanus Pack
This gift of 250 tetanus vaccines will immunize mothers, who pass immunity to their babies, protecting them against the devastating effects of the disease that kills one baby every nine minutes. When you purchase this gift, it will be matched through the Kiwanis Eliminate Project, doubling the impact. ($15)

About Kiwanis

Founded in 1915, Kiwanis International is a global organization of clubs and members dedicated to serving the children of the world. Kiwanis and its family of clubs dedicate annually more than 18 million service hours to strengthen communities and serve children.

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