In truth, too much of contemporary development work relies on stereotypes. And while overly simplistic and ingrained ideas about men, women and the poor may be useful for fundraising purposes, when put into practice by organizations they contribute to ineffective development planning.
We are presented opportunities everyday to make a difference in the lives of those around us, near or far, through our actions, time, or money. Whether we embrace that opportunity is up to us and, evidently, even the smallest of gestures or actions can veritably snowball into lasting results.
As a teacher, my dad has worked hard to instill in me a love of language and learning. Now, as a writer and editor with World Vision, I get to hear lots of stories of dads who, like mine did, are building a foundation for their children's futures. The reality is though, that my father has had more opportunities in life than the dads we meet with World Vision. And there's no better time to highlight those dads than on Father's Day.
Will Antalya now stir our pro-poor Canadian government into moving from talk to walking via a new focus on aid for the LDCs/fragiles? The immediate option is easy and cheap -- but a real partnership requires more than funding.
One of the pre-eminent goals of economic sustainability is improving gender equality. In many developing nations, women are still underrepresented in positions of power. They continue to receive unequal pay for equal work and are quite often targets of sexual and physical abuse. Women-owned enterprises face economic and legal disadvantages and continue to struggle for opportunities.
When companies or wealthy individuals dodge taxes, governments either have to cut back on essential services, such as health care and education, or make up the shortfall by levying higher taxes on everyone else. Both options see the poorest people lose out and the inequality gap grow.
Agenda 2030's Universality principle requires all developed (and developing) countries to set published targets for the Sustainable Development Goals. But these are days of economic distress, both globally and in Canada. Can we any longer afford to increase our support for the poorest nations or even the catch-up bill for our indigenous population, long left behind?
For every tragic incident in the world today, there are countless more women and men humanitarians -- changemakers -- making the world a better place in their own respective capacities. Light is more potent and powerful in effacing darkness; let's each of us resolve to spread more light around us, in our communities, and throughout our world.
The problem is that the way we help the poor is, in a sense, wrong. If you sponsor a family, you're ensuring that they survive, but you do not secure a brighter future for them. We need to focus on skills that will help them in the long run, not just sponsoring their survival.
We need policies that enable the poorest to benefit most from economic growth. Of the 1.1 billion people living in extreme poverty in 2010, 200 million could have escaped extreme poverty if poor people had simply benefited equally from the proceeds of growth -- particularly women and youth, two groups being left behind.