I was just reading this week's issue of People magazine, and came across an article about the Millennium Promise project run by Dr. Jeffrey Sachs. The goal of the project, in conjunction with the UN, is to end worldwide poverty by 2025.
The program is trying to elminate poverty one village at a time. To some, this may be a lofty goal, but when you read about a 6 year old boy who died of a severe case of malaria for lack of a medicine that would cost only $1.20 per person, you may change your mind.
The plight of Africa is one that haunts me. In this world of prosperity for so many, it is an overwhelming tradgedy that Africans are dying by the thousands every day. Not only from the AIDS epidemic, but from the simplest of diseases, like malaria, and from lack of food and clean water-all things we take for granted every day. It breaks my heart to read these stories. I feel so helpless, yet there is something simple I, and you, can do. The Project is asking for a $50 annual donation to help reach its goal of $300,000 a year for the 5 years it will take to lift a village of 5,000 out of poverty. Now, I don't know about you, but I can blow $50 on one trip to Wal-Mart or Target, just on useless junk. $50 is not too much to ask to save the lives of thousands, in my opinion, and I will gladly give it. I know there are so many homeless and impoverished people here in America that we should all help as well, but at least here in the US we have social programs that (while terribly underfunded) are in place to begin the process of giving a hand up to those in need. I fully advocate helping the poor in America-I was once homeless in my childhood- and will definitely post more on that later, but this story struck a chord in me that I can't ignore.
I encourage all of you to pick up a copy of this week's People (with Sheryl Crow on the cover), and read the story for yourself. If you find yourself as moved as I was, please visit the Millennium Promise site here and contribute if you are able.
I leave you with my favorite quote: "Be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Ghandi, and a wish for a better tomorrow.