Combating Extreme Poverty: A Poor Inconvenience

Post contributed by Team Mentor Ashely Suarez 

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Why it’s an issue:


NGC’s logo for Extreme Hunger & Poverty

As part of the United Nation’s first Millennium Development Goals, extreme poverty is one of the world’s greatest problems, generating a multiplicity of other issues that further complicate the daily lives of individuals and families. According to the United Nations, it robs them of their basic human needs such as food, safe drinking water, sanitation facilities, health, shelter, education, and information. It is characterized by living on less than $2 a day and, for many people, this may sound farfetched and uncommon, but the sad truth is that half the planet lives with these conditions. Extreme poverty does not solely refer to income but to access to services as well. While it is extremely important to help ease some of the stemming issues of poverty such as hunger, we must come up with a way to combat the deep-rooted problem. It may seem almost impossible to eradicate extreme poverty, but with the help of optimistic NGC teams around the country and global organizations such as The Shelter of Friendship and A Ban Against Neglect, we can help make those basic human needs more accessible.


NGC teams can come up with various creative ideas on how to fundraise for their global projects. By hosting events such as Poetry Nights where students pay a small fee for entrance and spend the evening listening to great poetry and music, teams can easily raise more than $200. Rather than simply asking for donations, although that can also work, it would be more effective to communicate where the funds are going by having an event and spending some time explaining the project or hosting activities such as Awareness Weeks where they dedicate the week to community education and fundraising. It can often be difficult to come up with different ways to fundraise, but with a little inspiration and a lot of motivation, teams can virtually do anything to help raise money for their projects. When in doubt, hold a bake sale: no one can deny a delicious cookie to help those in need of shelter.


Our generation is one of the most passionate and reformist groups; we use our voices to bring light to issues that are important to each of us. Extreme poverty is one of those issues, and with their voices and actions, NGC teams can advocate for it by choosing a global project that helps to combat it. Advocacy can be done on a local and global scale, reaching out to community partners and businesses for support as well as senators and even the president. Partnering with local businesses or reaching out to state senators can make a huge difference on the impact that the team has on the community. This in turn will allow the team’s efforts to be seen by people across the country. Even if teams choose to keep things local, it still helps to reach out to others to help advocate for extreme poverty.

Community Education:

One of the biggest problems that is hindering progression in combating issues such as extreme poverty is a lack of knowledge. When people are unaware about what is going on around the globe, these issues are buried and continue to impede the lives of many people. NGC teams can use their voices and creative minds to help educate their schools and local communities about extreme poverty and its prevalence in society. By hosting documentary nights featuring films relevant to their global project or issue, teams can educate others on the importance of helping to end extreme poverty. Also, explaining the different problems that arise from poverty such as a lack of access to healthcare or education can further bring awareness to the topic. Once that is done, NGC teams can use their resources and ideas to work together with others to help end poverty through their global partner.


Extreme poverty is a widespread issue that has received attention but has yet to be eradicated. Through the F.A.C.E. goals, NGC teams can make ending it that much easier. Although it may seem that a group of high school students can only do so much, their efforts will go a long way.

The global partnership that the team supports will work to help make their efforts worthwhile and noticed. We are helping real people with real lives; we are making a difference. And while extreme poverty will not disappear in a day, our teams will be the drop in the water that causes a wave of progression.

Independent project shines light on poverty issues in Kenya

Oxford’s Academy Youth Philanthropy Worldwide team from Cypress, California has worked to support the Just One Lamp organization.

Team members work diligently to create materials for Oxford’s Awareness Week

Team members work diligently to create materials for Oxford’s Awareness Week

The organization finds low-income communities in Kenya and provide them with a free set of solar lanterns that were created with local materials. Through training the youth in manufacturing, Just One Lamp is able to promote the communities’ economic self-sufficiency, as they provide a source of income for the youth and insure that the use of local resources also circulates the profits. Just One Lamp also guides the communities as they decide which future economic ventures to support.

oxThe Oxford team understands that to start the cycle donations are necessary, so they have rallied for support from their peers. Through a week-long awareness week, they were able to educate their community on the need for efficient economic developing in multiple parts of the world—and the direct connection between their aid and the success of these communities.

Using education to escape substance abuse in Nicaragua


The Magnolia High School team from Anaheim, California has truly put forth a large effort to publicize the efforts of their members and club to their community. Through car washes, booths at school-wide events, and bake sales, among other activities, the team has focused on raising awareness about poverty in Nicaragua while generating funds for the Las Tias organization.mag2

Las Tias implements art, music, and dance into education programs that help young Nicaraguans find the empowerment they need to break substance abuse issues. By providing educational resources such as tutoring, the 130 children who benefit can also further their education and lower their risk of being forced into the drug market.

In their first year, the team has established their presence while building off of existing on-campus events. This has allowed the team to increase their membership while also developing camaraderie between such leaders!