Posted on May 10, 2018
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A recent survey we conducted revealed that among the issues capturing public attention in the UK is the challenge of development in poor nations of the world. The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs) are designed to tackle this issue. It is why some of our recent blogs have focused on the subject, exploring how ACT is implementing these ambitious but essential goals, including issues of gender inequality and lack of education (SDGs 4 and 5 respectively). The aim of SDG 1 is ‘No Poverty’.
Alleviating poverty in the world is the first of the 17 goals that are currently guiding UNDP policy. Poverty alleviation in Africa is central to the purpose of ACT’s existence. We are addressing through our three core programmes.
Educating disadvantaged children, mainly orphans and fatherless children, is the first of our core programmes. We commit to support each child to completion of secondary school, and up to tertiary education where possible. Education is one of the most effective tools for eliminating poverty. With education it is possible to reduce economic inequalities and promote economic growth. Children who have attended school gain the skills required for paid work, and as such, have a sure route out of poverty. Our work in eight African countries has exposed us to the vast numbers of vulnerable and disadvantaged children that do not have access to education, even at primary level. This lack of access is often due to the fact that parents cannot afford to pay school fees, and is even worse for children who have no parents and with no one to pay for them to go to school. This was the case for Faith Nabirye in Uganda, who by the age of 5 had lost both her parents to AIDS. She missed several years of school because
her guardian, a relative, did not have the means to pay her school fees, until she was relieved through the ACT child sponsorship programme. Our child sponsorship scheme enables disadvantaged children to go to school so that they can have the opportunity to achieve their full potential in life. Over the past twenty years several hundred African children have benefited from our child sponsorship programme…Read about some of our alumni here!
Empowering needy widows, guardians and carers through counselling, literacy and business skills training is our second core programme. In Africa, widows are among some of the most vulnerable groups within society and yet they often go unnoticed. Isolated and grieving, many widows are unable to find work as they did not have the benefit of education and therefore struggle to feed their children, let alone afford the cost of sending them to school. The ACT Widows programme provides counselling, training in entrepreneurial skills, and information on inheritance rights, healthcare and sanitation as well as HIV/Aids awareness. As a result many women in the 8 countries where we work are now able to generate income in a sustainable way and contribute to the local economy with their businesses.
Enriching the communities where we work is our third core programme. We provide technical and material support through health, sanitation and educational projects to local schools that benefit the entire community. For example, we have carried out a number of projects to ensure water security and laid pipelines to supply schools to improve health and sanitation for the children and staff and also for agricultural projects that benefit the entire community in Kenya. Read more about our water project in Kenya here.
At ACT, we are committed to turning these UN goals into a reality in Africa by taking practical and surefooted steps towards ending poverty.
Join us and help to alleviate poverty among disadvantaged children and poor widows in Africa. You can find out more about how to take action here.