Sacred Sex Author Barbara Lee Coordinates The Shipment of 12,000 Condoms to Venezuela in Conjunction with The Center for Biological Diversity
More than 12,000 condoms will be making their way to Venezuela thanks to Barbara Lee, an advocate of healthy sexual education and author of Sacred Sex, in conjunction with The Center for Biological Diversity and its Endangered Species Condoms project. Due to a crash in oil prices and resulting import restrictions, condoms in the country are nearly impossible to come by – and are being sold online for as much as $755 U.S. Dollars.
Lee was alarmed at reports that she read about this crisis and decided that she would try to do something about it. For Lee, this was not a matter of economics or politics but an issue of human rights. “Is it a problem,” Lee asked “that should be viewed through the lens of profit and loss and our usual stance of pointing fingers of blame at what we cannot control? Or is it the kind of problem we would engage in if we chose to believe that every person has the right to protect themselves from sexually transmitted disease and unplanned pregnancy?”
Lee decided this was one time that one person was going to try to make a difference. In her research, she discovered the Center for Biological Diversity and their Endangered Species Condom program. Immediately, she reached out to the Center asking if there was any way they could help support efforts to get condoms to Venezuela. The response was everything Lee could have hoped for. The Center was willing to donate 12,000 condoms and asked Lee to coordinate the effort with clinics in Venezuela. “This may have started as an economic policy issue, but when contraception is unavailable, it becomes a threat to public health, reproductive rights, families and biodiversity,” said Stephanie Feldstein, population and sustainability director at the Center. “While 12,000 condoms won’t be able to meet the country’s need, we hope it will help draw attention to the urgency of the situation in Venezuela.”
Coordinating this donation with an agency that could help in the distribution was key. “Our foundation wants to express its word of recognition and appreciation for the donation of such a large amount of condoms for free distribution in our sex clinics and family planning facilities here in Venezuela, “Dr. Fernando Bianco of the Psiquiatria Clinica Asociacion Civil (Civil Association of Clinical Psychiatry) said. “We are in a desperate predicament now due to the deficit of birth control in our country, and we deeply appreciate this initiative and intervention.”
In sharing this message with C3 Exchange, an inclusive spiritual community in Grand Haven, Michigan, Lee was able to quickly get the financial support needed to ship the condoms to Venezuela and complete the final piece of the puzzle. “This whole process has provided proof, says Lee, “that one person can make a significant difference. All you have to do is decide you want to. Then it’s just about connecting the dots. Together we can change the world.”