Stop poverty in 20 years!

Date: 29 June 2011

It is estimated that 35, 000 children across the world are dying every day as a result of poverty. Every human being has the right to life, and more importantly, a life without poverty. It is as a result of this realization that   Y Global from 23rd to 28rd June 2011 brought together almost 60 young people from 12 different countries representing the YMCA and YWCA in Africa, Asia, Europe and the Middle East. The annual youth leadership training event held under the theme “Global Citizenship”, has this year been co-facilitated by the Africa Alliance of YMCAs, drawing from their youth empowerment and leadership programme, “from Subject to Citizen” (S2C). 

The current Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Number 1 aims to reduce poverty by 50%. Y Global believes that we must eradicate poverty 100%, and that this is possible in 20 years!

“It’s a scandal that so many children are dying every day because of poverty. It shouldn’t be this way! We want to change this situation with action and not just words”, said Kristine Trogstad Johansen a young leader from Norway.

The young people gathered at Hedemark, Norway have re affirmed their collective commitment to taking action to stop poverty worldwide.

Fredrik Glad Gjernes, International Director at ‘Y Global’ said, “These guys are awesome! They will change the world! Together we will build the world’s largest social movement. Using the skills they have learnt over the past few days, these young people can help eradicate poverty”.

With a view to equipping the young leaders to effectively confront the identified crisis, skills building workshops were conducted. These included

•    Working with the Media
•    Advocacy Skills
•    Global Youth Work
•    Communicating for Influence
•    Working with the United Nations

Using the skills from the workshops, the young people went on to prepare their message to the forthcoming TT Festival and to the world at large in the form of drama, dance, songs, banners, videos and press releases.

“We, Generation Y, are the solution to global issues,” said Miriro Chakauya from Zimbabwe.

We need to stop local, national and international policies that create inequalities and poverty. We need people-friendly policies at all levels. Poverty is caused by people. Poverty can be stopped by people.

Written by Mutale Chanda and Stian Frydenlund