Posted on October 20, 2017
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October 17th marked the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty. This observation can be tracked back to 17th October 1987 when over one hundred thousand people gathered at Trocadéro in Paris, where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was signed in 1948 to honour the victims of extreme poverty, violence and hunger. On 17th October 1993, the United Nations General Assembly designated this day to promote awareness of the need to eradicate poverty and destitution in all countries.
The theme of the 2017 International Day for Eradicating Poverty campaign is – Answering the Call of October 17 to end poverty: A path toward peaceful and inclusive societies. This emphasises the importance of public awareness, voice and the active participation of people living in extreme poverty with their concerns and priorities given full attention and heard.
According to the United Nations, 767 million people worldwide live below the international poverty line of $1.90 a day. The overwhelming majority are located in Sub-Saharan Africa where over 40 percent of the population lives in absolute poverty. People living in extreme poverty face daily challenges when it comes to necessities such as food, shelter, health, and services such as education.
In Tanzania, 67 percent of the population live below the poverty line. As poverty leads to hunger, around 42 percent of children under the age of five suffer from chronic malnutrition with 16 percent termed as underweight. It is also reported that poverty is highest among female-headed households particularly those that depend on livestock or food-crop production for their livelihood. More women live in poverty than men. The disparate burden women face is a direct result of ascribed gender roles and societal bias. The absence of education, employment, and economic opportunities force women to be stuck in the cycle of poverty. This is made worse when a married woman loses her husband, often the bread-winner and then must look after her children without any support. By detecting the systematic obstacles women face, programs and policies can be designed through a gendered perspective, further helping the goal of eradicating poverty for all.
The core aim of ACT is to alleviate poverty by educating and providing support for vulnerable and poverty-stricken women in Africa. We stand by the acronym SEED, assisting us to relieve poverty and further advance development in Africa. We Send skilled volunteers to support our projects and activities in the communities where we work. We Educate the fatherless children and orphans to completion of secondary school and up to university and tertiary level, where possible. We are Empowering widows, single mothers and guardians by providing them with services such as counselling, literacy and business skills training which in turn enable them to generate sustainable income to support their families. In the places where we work we support Development projects that benefit the entire community in the form of technical and material support for local schools and health services.
An example of a project where we apply all our core programmes is the Angel Orphanage in Ngara, Kagera, Tanzania. Kagera is one of the poorest regions in Tanzania and has the highest number of orphans in the country due to the HIV/AIDS pandemic. Bordering Burundi, Rwanda and Uganda, the region has over the years accommodated more than its fair share of refugees coming across it borders from various wars. Angel Orphanage was established to help with the high numbers of abandoned babies and children that were left in the bushes. The orphanage is very well managed, but it has reached its capacity of 66 children, however there are many more babies and children needing its services. There is also a need to separate younger kids from older ones for the welfare and safety of all the children. ACT is supporting an appeal to raise £5000 to build a new building block to help care for the needs of this poor community and provide the abandoned children the opportunity of care and education ensuring them a secure future free from poverty.
To support the Angels Orphanage Appeal, please click here