Vulnerable communities are powerful agents for reshaping society and triggering sustainable development when mobilized from within. We can provide the resources, but we must trust the communities themselves to draw the blueprint.
President, American Jewish World Service
Climate change has the potential to massively increase global poverty and inequality, punishing first and most severely the people least responsible for greenhouse-gas emissions. Up to 250 million Africans could face severe water shortages by 2020. Building resilience and promoting adaptive strategies must be a critical component of a global solution to climate change, as well as integrated in our actions to fight global poverty.
Poverty will not end until and unless the girls and women of the developing world are empowered. We have no chance at ending poverty when half of the population that does the vast majority of the work continues to be marginalized, oppressed, and unsupported.
Nearly 20 years ago, I started to sponsor a 3-year-old-child, Wilson, in Guatemala. I chose educational help, rather than direct handouts, thinking it would lead to employment. Wilson graduated with a teaching certificate but there were not enough jobs. He is now helping his father sell vegetables in local markets, precisely what he would have done without his education. I then realized the need for well-intended efforts like mine to be coupled with a larger-scale effort to improve the local economy and create jobs.