A Path Appears: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty (Part II) Review

Photo: http://apathappears.org/

Photo: Madame Rea (http://apathappears.org/)

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

“Talent is universal, opportunity is not.”

Who should watch: High school students (with parental consent) and adults

Why it’s important: The second installment of the A Path Appears series explores the connections between poverty and other barriers (education, healthcare, etc.) that are faced by countless across the globe.

What Maggie thought: A Path Appears: Breaking the Cycle of Poverty is a must-see and worthy follow-up to WuDunn and Kristof’s Half the Sky (documentary and film). This episode sheds light on the challenges faced by individuals living in extreme poverty in the U.S. (specifically West Virginia), Haiti, and Colombia.

The first location for this installment is in West Virginia, which is one of the poorest regions of the United States because of coal mines closing, manufacturing plants moving, and an overall lack of available jobs. As Jennifer Garner (native to the area) explains, “Poverty is not about not having money, but it’s about not having hope.” Kristof and Garner introduce us to Lynn, a young mother who is doing all she can to stop the cycle of poverty with her daughter by making education a priority. This part of the episode will be eyeopening for most who have not seen such extreme poverty in the United States.

Next, Kristof is off to Haiti to explore the history of aid and its impact on the country’s economic opportunities. Haiti is the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, but the presence of countless development organizations has not changed its course. Kristof meets Madame Rea, a woman who runs a school for every child, no matter their financial situation. (In Haiti there is no public school system.) Madame Rea is an advocate for her students, which viewers see when she fights for the safety of a student who is a restavek (child slave). Madame Rea and her fellow Haitians prove that locally-led solutions are the best solutions.

Kristof wraps up this episode in Colombia to share how the Fundación Juan Felipe Gomez Escobar is providing opportunities for teen mothers. Young women in the program have access to job training, counseling, healthcare, and more. Fundación Juanfe is working to empower young women with children while also educating girls on how to stop the cycle of teenage pregnancy (and extreme poverty) in their community. This organization is a great example of a holistic approach to tackling a complicated problem.

Did you get the chance to see this episode? If so, what did you think?

Maggie Broderick, NGC Development & Operations Manager, reviewed A Path Appears to learn more about her click here.

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A Path Appears: Sex Trafficking in the USA (Part I) Review

Photo: http://apathappears.org/film/

Photo: Shana a.k.a Shelley Money (http://apathappears.org/film/)

The NGC staff started the Documentary/Book Club to review resources we utilize in our programs and to find new ways to learn more about global issues. Feel free to email the reviewer (contact info below) if you have any follow-up questions!

“If that (prostitution) is your choice, then what are your options?”

Who should watch: High school students (with parental consent) and adults

Why it’s important: The first installment of the A Path Appears series explains the landscape of sex trafficking in the United States by sharing stories of survivors, government officials, and nonprofit organizations.

What Maggie thought: A Path Appears: Sex Trafficking in the USA is a must-see and worthy follow-up to WuDunn and Kristof’s Half the Sky (documentary and film). As in the previous documentary, A Path Appears highlights gender equality issues around the world, but in this episode, Kristof and WuDunn shed light on a prevalent problem in many viewers’ backyards: sex trafficking in the United States.

As discussed in the film, Westerners often assume that this crime is not committed in their own country. Nevertheless, Sex Trafficking in the USA shares facts that directly disprove that belief. For example, it is stated that an estimated 300,000 individuals are trafficked within the United States every year. An interviewee and survivor, Shana (formerly “Shelley Money”), is the ideal person to teach viewers. She succinctly explains the complexity of the problem by describing how her experience was connected to child abuse, addiction, and poverty. Through these personal accounts, it is easier to identify with the survivors rather than view them as part of a large problem that cannot and/or should not be solved.

The facts and stories shared in this film can be overwhelming, but watching Sex Trafficking in the USA is the first step in understanding the issue and identifying how each person can support its eradication.

Did you get the chance to see this episode? If so, what did you think?

Maggie Broderick, NGC Development & Operations Manager, reviewed A Path Appears to learn more about her click here.

A Critical Issue: Gender Inequality Across the World

One of the most pressing issues of today is gender inequality. Across the world, women have far fewer economic opportunities than men, less access to education, greater health and safety risks, and significantly less political representation. This presents an immense issue that needs to be addressed. As a result of this inequality, two thirds of the world’s illiterate are women, women’s participation in the labor market falls far behind men regardless of education and skills, and one in three women worldwide will experience sexual assault in her lifetime.

Achieving gender equality is crucial to creating a better functioning world. Ideally, achieving gender equality would mean that men and women have equal power and opportunities, and are equally capable of achieving financial independence, personal development, and attaining a quality education. This goal necessitates empowering and guaranteeing basic rights for women worldwide.

Gender Inequality c/o www.hertalk.com

Gender Inequality
                c/o http://www.hertalk.com

Across the world, countless women are incapable of reaching their full potential because of obstacles created by the prejudices of gender inequalities. This starts from the moment they are born, keeping them at a disadvantage consistently throughout their lives. Empowering women and breaking down these obstacles has a beneficial ripple effect that ultimately benefits the world as a whole. Once empowered, women and girls positively contribute to the well-being of their families, communities, countries, and so on.

The most effective way for students to combat this issue is simply advocacy and education. Raising awareness amongst peers and communities about the issue of gender equality is a great start. As citizens of the United States, we are at a great advantage that few others in the world have. We have a much wider range of resources at our disposal; thus, we have a responsibility to take advantage of our privileged standpoint to advocate for and raise awareness about pressing global issues such as gender inequalities. The inequalities experienced globally tower in size compared to those faced in the U.S., which needs to be brought to light. Advocating, educating, and motivating people to make a change is an extremely effective and easy way to work towards solving pressing global issues such as gender inequality.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Kirstyn Rowen.

Why NGC Team Mentor Kamrie Supports NGC

Campain pic 5

“I Support New Global Citizens because NGC teaches young adults to be globally aware and gives them tools that can be applied to everyday life. It gives its members experience, confidence, leadership, and passion unlike any from other organizations.” -Kamrie Yeung, NGC Team Mentor

Why NGC Board Member Sakena Yacoobi Supports NGC

Sakena

“I support New Global Citizens because they are working with young people. Young people are a good investment for the future because they are the light which shines in every nation which leads in good governance, good citizenship, good rule of law and is pro-democracy. The active young people that I have worked with are so honest, so trustworthy. They want to see positive change, and organizations like NGC can help them. When the youth are involved, people in society will enjoy a good life. If we were to follow the brightest of the young people, there would not be any war like what we see today.” – Sakena Yacoobi, NGC Board Member and Founder of Afghan Institute of Learning (an NGC Global Project)

Merry’s Holiday Reflection

Nu3 niño galapa1

As I head home for the holidays this year, I’m eager for some amazing home cooking as part of my family’s holiday traditions.  I love food – it’s a part of my culture, and always the center of celebrations that bring my family together.  But as I continue through this season of celebration and abundance, it is important for me to remember and reflect on the fact that in the current state of our world, food is a privilege.

Food security happens when a household has access at all times to an adequate amount of nutritious food, or food that will allow them to live a full and healthy life.  For about one seventh of the world’s population, fear of hunger, starvation, or threat of malnutrition is an ongoing reality.  These people, an estimated 1 billion worldwide, are food-insecure.

Because children, especially young children, are at vital stages of growth and development, they are at higher risk of negative effects from hunger.  Children, who are malnourished, malnutrition meaning they do not get enough of the essential nutritional elements necessary for human health, are not able to develop and are more susceptible to diseases.  Each year, 2.6 million children die as a result of hunger-related causes.  Although overall the amount of people who are affected by hunger has gone down in the world, in certain regions including Africa, hunger has become more rampant.

There are many factors that allow hunger and malnutrition to persist in out world, but improved access to critical public services such as health clinics, and water and sanitation facilities, as well as increased support care for women and children would be a big step.  The United States also still has a huge population that is affected by hunger, about 14.5 percent of households, so remembering that this problem affects our local and international communities is also important.  There are many organizations, including some of NGC’s incredible partners, who fight hunger nation and worldwide as members of a global community working towards food security for all.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Merry Farrier.

Why Lucy (NGC Alumna & Former Board Member) Supports NGC

Lucy tabling to raise awareness about global issues in high school.

Lucy tabling to raise awareness about global issues in high school.

“I support New Global Citizens, because as a youth, NGC taught me that no matter what I go on to do, whatever I put my passion behind, I have a responsibility to use it for the greater good of society. I am pursuing a master’s in speech-language pathology, and my passions include caring for individuals who have been born with severe disabilities or who have gone through physical trauma that has rendered them unable to effectively communicate. I am working to turn this passion into a skill. I plan to work with and advocate for underserved populations in my own country, as well as in countries abroad.

My goals and dreams have been very much shaped by what NGC taught me so many years ago. They changed what I would have done anyways—found what we love—and ensured that I went on to use those skills and passions to solve the world’s greatest challenges. To me, this is the most incredible piece of NGC. New Global Citizens takes the new generation, and turns their minds and their eyes to the pressing issues of their world. They raise awareness, they instill passion, then they release mobilized, equipped, and influential young leaders into the world. How fantastic is that?” – Lucy Hardy

Why do you support NGC? Send your response to Maggie@newglobalcitizens.org.