It is surprisingly easier to find bad news than good news. However, through out all of my research, I began to compile different stories of hope that I came upon. Whether it be wind turbines that produce energy which sends more opportunities to the Jepirachi or government programs that help eradicate extreme poverty, it is extremely important to keep in mind that a drop in a bucket still adds to the weight of change. Hopefully one by one, these changes will add something more substantive and hep reach the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (UN MDG).
No excuse 2015, Colombia without poverty:
In September 2000, world leaders came together in the UN headquarters in New York City and decided to adopt the 8 Millennium Development Goals:
- End poverty and hunger
- Universal education
- Gender equality
- Child health
- Maternal health
- Combat HIV/AIDS
- Environmental Sustainability
- Global Partnership
The first goal was to halve the number of people who live on less than $1 a day by 2015. Countries around the world have been working to achieve this goal, but the efforts have slowed considerably. In Colombia, people banded together to revive the effort in a rally titled "Levantate y Actua" or "Stand Up and Take Action". Over 60 public schools and more than 35,000 participants urged the world to get back on track to eradicate poverty(1).
How the government is helping:
In 2009, according to the Colombian government, half a million Colombians were able to get out of extreme poverty. Since the poverty rates somewhat decreased, the rich vs poor gap narrowed as well. In order to help the number of people coming our of poverty increase, in February, there was an announcement about a state-funded program, called Juntos, that has the goal of helping 1.5 millions get out of extreme poverty(2). The program, devised by the Social Protection Network for Overcoming Extreme Poverty, works with target families and helps them reach the 45 basic goals that have been set up, these goals include education, income and health. Juntos has even been working with the private sector in Colombia in order to help improve employment opportunities(3).
But there is still much to be done
There is no question that the present actions that having been (and are being) taken have made a difference. However, with so many people still suffering in extreme poverty, it is evident that not enough has been done in order to wipe out this problem completely. People like Shakira, Juanes and Ricky Martin have all joined together to fight poverty(4) and urge everyone else to do their own part in helping this critical world issue.