This is a reminder and a gift. A message of hope.
As our TV’s sets and news feeds monotonously tune in to the steady screeching of political debate, party pundits and campaigning figureheads, I believe it is important to take a deep breath, and REMEMBER THE POOR. There is no doubt that any election is an important and historical event. We should care about elected leaders, their ideas and what they stand for. But let’s not lose sight of the most monumental opportunities of hope we may ever face. Here are a few causes not to lose sight of:
HIV/AIDS IS LOSING
Have you heard? We are at a point where we can earnestly say that an AIDS-Free Generation is possible! This is in large part because of the devotion and discipline of the faith community in supporting behavior-change methodologies. FH-US President Dave Evans, further declared this message of hope in a recent blog.
GLOBAL SOUTH ECONOMIES ON THE RISE
Many of the countries FH works in have experienced incredible economic growth. And while this is very exciting, this does NOT mean there is less need. The challenge for the world to take on is to ensure that all people have access to markets, and an opportunity to earn a fare wage. For the pastoralist in northern Kenya, this means learning how to properly market his livestock and know when it’s best to buy and sell. For the farmer in Guatemala, this means terracing his land and developing irrigation so that he can growing sustainable crops to help thwart the growing issue of malnutrition affecting children.
THE POWER OF WOMEN
The third of the Millennium Development Goals lists the desire to “promote gender equality and empower women.” FH has been a strong global leader in developing strategies to allow women around the world to flourish. Through savings groups in Bangladesh, women are now able to start their own businesses and help provide an income for their families so they can send their children to school. Women in Haiti are leading their communities to routinely wash their hands and practice good hygiene so that they are less susceptible to cholera and other diseases. And women’s groups in Mozambique are passing along life-saving truths about the causes of HIV/AIDS, and how to best nurse their babies. Women are the heart, the backbone and the inspiration of the communities FH works in.
At this point, the two presidential candidates and their respective parties have spent over $800 million in advertising (not including “Super Pacs”). That type of money has the potential to impact 35.7 million of the poorest people on the planet. To put that in perspective, that’s more than the entire population of Canada.
So with that said, I hope you feel hope and inspiration no matter what happens in November. Together, we are walking with the poor and making an evident difference. If we want our money to have a voice, let’s make it a voice that declares compassion and love for those in need.