Kristina Crawford, Ambassador for the Global Poverty Project met with Grassroots Intern, Tom Maguire, to discuss the work she has been doing over the last couple of years. Here’s what she had to say:
Can you tell me a bit about the Global Poverty Project and the work you have been doing with them?
The Global Poverty Project (GPP) is a campaigns and awareness-raising organisation that works to end extreme poverty across the world. The Global Poverty Project concept was formally launched in New York at the UN High Level Meeting on the Millennium Development Goals in September 2008, with the support of Salil Shetty (then Director of the UN Millennium Campaign); Stephen Smith MP (then Australian Foreign Minister); and Tim Costello (CEO of World Vision Australia). Over the following months, a research and production team worked with leading academics, communications experts, and aid and development organisations to develop the film 1.4 Billion Reasons.
Credit: Global Poverty Project
The GPP launched in the United Kingdom two years later, in 2010. In 2012, they set up their ambassador programme which trained and mobilised around 100 volunteers in the UK to deliver the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation about extreme poverty to local communities in the UK. The focus of the 1.4 Billion Reasons campaign is to educate audiences on what extreme poverty is, what we have done to tackle the issue so far and to discuss with audiences how we can take action to help end extreme poverty. I have been a GPP ambassador since the scheme was started in 2012.
On the Isle of Man specifically, where I am from, being a GPP ambassador has given me the opportunity to highlight the issue of extreme poverty to the Isle of Man Government (who are separate from the UK Government). Despite making a commitment to give 0.7% of GNI by 2015, the Isle of Man currently only gives 0.07% to overseas development aid! So as well as delivering presentations for 1.4 Billion Reasons, I have also had the privilege of fronting the campaign to pressure the Government to increase their overseas aid budget.
On 12th September, campaigners from RESULTS UK joined Paralympians Anne Wafula-Strike and Ade Adepitan, Baroness Anne Jenkin and Elisha London, Country Director of the Global Poverty Project UK to hand in a petition to new Secretary of State for International Development, Justine Greening, to call for the end of Polio.
The petition collected thousands of signatures from the UK and from around the world, calling on the government to support a push for the final elimination of polio. Huge strides have been made towards the elimination of the disease which has killed and disabled many millions of people, including Anne and Ade, who both suffered from polio as children.
Ade Adepitan and Anne Wafula Strike with Secretary of State for International Development Justine Greening behind
To read the full text of the petition or to sign it, click here.
The Paralympics are us, and with 2.2 million tickets sold out of the 2.5 million available and with 165 countries competing, 19 more than in Beijing, it is set to be the biggest and most successful Paralympics yet.
One of the athletes hoping to take part is Anne Wafula-Strike, a phenomenal wheelchair sprint athlete and former member of team GB. Anne was Born in Mihuu Kenya and came to the UK in April 2000, started racing in 2002 and in 2004 became the first ever Kenyan to represent her country in her chosen sport. Following a successful application for British citizenship in 2006, Anne became a member of Team GB.
Anne’s story is an incredible inspiration, and shows how her drive, focus, talent and belief have helped her to break records and live out her sporting dreams on the greatest possible stage. However, her life was irrevocably changed at the age of two when she contracted polio. This disability has not hindered her, and she has risen up to the challenge of paralysis to become an Olympic athlete. Unfortunately though, the same cannot be said for everyone who contracts this terrible disease.
Today’s blog comes from Nick Horslen, who took part in this year’s Live Below the Line challenge for RESULTS UK. Nick is also a Global Poverty Project Ambassador and social entrepreneur. He was invited to speak at a celebratory event at the House of Lords at the close of the campaign. Here is what he had to say about his experience.
“Good evening, my name is Nick Horslen. Let me start by first of all offering my thanks, support and applause to everyone involved with LBL and to the many organisations aiming to eradicate extreme poverty here tonight, and especially my friends as sponsors. Let me also stand here and humbly share my five day experience in three minutes as I’ve been invited to do.
I’m here because my mum Joan was born in extreme poverty here in the UK in 1936, she was dumped in a field at the age of two days old in the east end of London by her mother, that level of neglect is the depths of poverty for me, whatever the reasons that we never did find out. She went on to raise five kids, of whom I’m the middle one and my elder sister Tina born in 1956 died in extreme poverty in 2011 and is buried in a field on the boarder of Guyana and Brazil. She could not get back to Georgetown because of the lack of transport and healthcare on the border between Brazil and Guyana, something as simple as a tropical storm prevented her getting back to her loved ones. That lack of choice and control was what poverty does to people.
Today we bring you a post from two our 2011 ‘Live Below the Liners.’ Dan and Beth took the challenge on for RESULTS UK and they raised over £600. As we gear up for this year’s challenge, we wanted to take the time to thank Dan and Beth and give all of you thinking of taking it up the inspiration to do so.
Living below the line
First of all, we are both terribly sorry for being quite so awful at following up the final phase of us living on £1 a day. It has been playing on our conscience for a long time, made worse by all the media attention to the crisis in East Africa. We have no excuses, but at least finally, we’re doing it!
So, why did we live on £1 a day for 5 weeks?
We have both, at numerous times, met people who are forced to live below the poverty line and it never gets easier to see. It is bandied around the news and media, but the reality of experiencing it is so far removed that it is impossible for any of us to really appreciate what it is like to be chronically hungry or starving. When we saw the campaign for people to live on £1 a day for 5 days we wanted to do it, but felt that 5 days was no where near enough to really even begin to experience the challenge – physically, emotionally or practically.
So we said we’d do it for a month – of course not realising that the month we’d chosen was actually 5 weeks! We wanted to do it for numerous reasons. Not just to experience it and make it more personal, but to raise awareness of what it’s like (relatively) through telling people about it and to raise money for an organisation who strives to educate people in issues of poverty and development all the time.
Earlier this week, the Global Poverty Project launched a new campaign, The End of Polio, with a cute and creative clip with a difference.
Focused on building public support for polio eradication, Global Poverty Project are matching every signature on their petition with the donation of a polio vaccine thanks to the Rotary Club of Crawley.
Polio is a disease which has disabled millions and pulled people further into poverty. It has been reduced by 99% over the past 30 years, thanks to global efforts that have immunised more than 2 billion children against polio, and saved more than 5 million children from life-long paralysis or death. But right now polio eradication work is limited by a US$590 million funding gap.
That’s why, together with the WHO, Rotary and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Poverty Project is calling on World Leaders to commit to fully fund the work of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Such investment in polio eradication is crucial not only because it removes a significant threat to the future of vulnerable children, but also because it can write a story of success that will reinvigorate public support for the life-changing impact of foreign aid programs. In tough economic times, there’s no better way to demonstrate the importance of aid budgets than supporting a tangible and measurable goal like polio eradication.
Join the call for world leaders to commit to polio eradication at www.theendofpolio.com, and for each petition signature a child will be vaccinated through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative.
Michael Sheldrick is the Manager of The End of Polio campaign at the Global Poverty Project.
We are delighted to announce that, after much careful counting, recounting and re-recounting we have finally worked out the total and final amount of money we raised during this year’s Live Below The Line campaign.
After the dust had settled and all the offline donations were totted up we raised a grand total of…..£21,131.62p We are absolutely delighted to have raised such a stunning amount and would just like to say another gigantic thank you to everyone who took part. People from all over the UK came together to help us raise money to continue doing our vital, life changing advocacy work.
All we can do is express our immense gratitude for all the hard work everyone put in who was involved with the campaign. So thank you! Such a fantastic amount of money makes an enormous difference to an organisation like RESULTS and e’ll be sure to keep you all updated on the great work we continue to do with the money.
As I write this I am preparing the final lunch of my two weeks below the international poverty line. I must confess that I’m not actually that hungry today, not necessarily because of the nutritional input of the stuff I’ve been consuming, but rather because of the sheer volume of it. I simply cannot bring myself to eat another plate of rice, despite how lethargic I’m feeling, because there just doesn’t seem to be room for it down there. It would be fair to say that my digestive system has worked hard this week.
I won’t lie though. As this challenge finally comes to an end (for me it started on the 4th April, with a few weeks intermission, and then commenced again this week) I am definitely looking forward to not have to live below the line again in the near future. However, to say that I shall never live on just £1 per day again is also, I think, a lie.
Today is day 2 of this year’s ‘Live Below The Line’ campaign. We currently have over 150 participants taking part for RESULTS UK and we have already raised over £10,000! This is an amazing achievement and we would like to encourage all of our fundraisers to continue theirefforts.
We are pleased to announce that Alison Cork has signed up to take the challenge on behalf of RESULTS UK.
Alison has been described as ‘Britain’s savviest home expert.’ Through her work as TV presenter, journalist and all round inspirationalist, she is an authority on quality, style and value when it comes to home improvement.
Best known as ITV This Morning’s Homes and Gardens expert, and presenter of ITV1 property shows Don’t Move, Improve, 60 Minute Makeover and This Morning’s Help! I Hate My House!, Alison also reaches an audience of some 12 million people weekly with her Bargain Hunter columns in the Daily Telegraph, Evening Standard, Daily Express, Mail on Sunday, Independent and Sunday Mirror. She also writes a monthly column for Home magazine.
Today we have a guest blog. It comes from Camilla Higgins, a RESULTS activist from Oxford.
I lived below the line on the week of my birthday, and never before then had I realised how much food can affect your mood! For me, a birthday without cake is – was – beyond imagining. We really take for granted our ability to celebrate even the smallest things in life with little luxuries, but for someone living below the poverty line, even a simple birthday card is above and beyond their budget for a whole day.
I was really surprised by how challenging it was to live on less than £1. I don’t tend to go out for meals much so I do a lot of my own cooking and usually bring my own lunch, so I thought all I would need is a bit of budgeting. And to be honest, I had it easy – I am a small person and a student so don’t expend a huge amount of energy and so could deal with the small portions – for a time. It was the monotony that got to me! Trust me, eating nothing but rice and lentils day after day does not leave you feeling satisfied, and certainly doesn’t provide you with all the nutrients you need. By the end of the challenge I was definitely noticing my concentration span taking a nosedive, not to mention my mood.