Living On a Dollar Review

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!

Living_on_One_Dollar_Cover_Photo

“Small changes make big impacts.”

Who should watch: There topics covered are appropriate for audiences in middle school and up. If elementary-aged students were to watch, it’s important to preface the viewing with a brief overview of poverty around the world. We also suggest following up with ways for students to make an impact and support locally-led solutions.

Why it’s important: This gives viewers from the developed world a great perspective of what it’s like for a peer to go to a country where locals deal with issues like extreme poverty and economic sustainability every day.

What Maggie thought: I think this is a great conversation starter regarding what poverty looks like locally and globally, as well as how it is directly connected to other issues like healthcare and education. The documentary follows four college-aged males as they live on $1 a day for 56 days in a rural mountain village of Peña Blanca, Guatemala. In a short time period they connect with the local community and experience their undeniable generosity and challenging financial situations. The four students are welcomed with open arms, and learn from their neighbors about the struggle to provide basic necessities for their families (food, shelter, healthcare, education, etc.).

We learn that the locals are hardworking, supportive, and creative individuals who with small changes (like microfinance loans) are able to slow the cycle of poverty and perhaps even change the course of the younger generation’s lives. My own experience traveling in El Salvador mirrored that of Living On a Dollar, which is why I would recommend it. The one hour film gives insight to the struggles and resilience of other global citizens living on one dollar a day. Next step: take action! Learn more about NGC’s partnerships with 45 grassroots partners around the world here.

Maggie Broderick, NGC Development & Operations Manager, reviewed Living On a Dollar. To learn more about her, click here.

Advertisements

Opportunity in Education

World and Book

Image Source: Villanova University Office of Education Abroad

As a student who has loved school and learning from a very young age, it was always difficult for me to fathom why someone would hate school. It seemed so sad to me – school is the best! However, starting in high school and continuing through college, I began to gain awareness of the challenges that face students and schools within many, many communities across the United States and the world. I began to find out the reasons why someone might not like school, and why some schools are not always able to provide the quality of education that all students deserve.

The United Nations Declaration of Human Rights includes access to education as a listed human right. Although students in the United States do have access to public education, not all students have access to the same quality of education. Many districts lack funding for the support that students need to achieve at their highest level, not to mention other challenges many students face outside the classroom. My hope is to help recognize and take down some of the barriers that inhibit children in our country from accessing quality education, a fundamental human right.

In preparation for graduate work in education policy, working with New Global Citizens has helped me expand my understanding of how we can best serve our students. I hope that all students will someday be able to connect with people and cultures throughout the world, and work together towards solutions to improve our world. Empowering them to do that is my goal and path.

This post was written by NGC Team Mentor Merry Farrier.

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.

GC Hangout: Huma Zafar

SOURCE: One World Children's Fund

SOURCE: One World Children’s Fund

This post was written by NGC Program Coordinator, Maggie Broderick.

After weeks of tech run-throughs, last week I successfully held our first Global Citizen Hangout on Skype with Huma Zafar, a Champion for NGC Global Project Mubarika Campus in Pakistan. Due to some unforeseen technology problems, our conversation was not recorded. Thankfully, Huma generously agreed to participate in another GC Hangout in a few weeks, which will soon thereafter be posted to NGC’s YouTube Channel. Stay tuned.

For now, I want to share some of what I learned with the NGC Community. Huma returned to her native Pakistan after a decade of attending university and working in the United States. Huma was drawn to Mubarika Campus’ work because of its innovative approach to universal education in her native country. Mubarika Campus is a sustainable, impactful organization that now educates 1400-1500 children in rural Pakistan every year.

The Mubarika Campus staff has proven successful because of their ability to identify and overcome barriers to education in this area. For example, students initially did not have access to water on Campus, which meant that they would have to either purchase water before school or go without water completely when temps exceeded 100° F. (Can you imagine focusing on a lesson in such conditions, with no air conditioning and without water?) After discovering this problem, staff raised funds and installed a water pump. The Mubarika Campus staff aims to have no reason that students could not excel at their schools.

Huma and her colleagues at Mubarika Campus believe that “poor children should get a rich [in quality] education”. All teachers at Mubarika Campus have at least a Bachelor’s education degree, which is different from other schools in Pakistan where anyone can hold a teaching position. By speaking with Huma for a short time, it was clear to me that Mubarika Campus will continue to educate thousands of youth for years to come. Mubarika Campus is a phenomenal example of locally-led solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

To stay up to date on Mubarika Campus’ work, like their Facebook Page. If you are interested in watching Global Citizen Hangouts with experts from around the world, subscribe to NGC’s YouTube Channel.

Youth in the Valley Take Action for Global Cause

This post was created by Team Mentor Ahmad Abujbarah, a Phoenix-based NGC alum and student

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

New Global Citizens continues to grow year-by-year as students and teachers in schools all over the country become motivated to make a difference in the lives of others all over the world. Certainly, being a Team Mentor, I enjoy seeing what these high school students create in order to raise awareness and funds for their project. Their creativity and passion always inspires me to think outside the box with every one of my endeavors. To highlight some of the team’s accomplishments, three Arizona high schools, Westwood High School, Tolleson Union High School, and Franklin Police and Fire High School, show that they are dedicated to educating and transforming their communities and the world.

Westwood High School in Mesa, Arizona was invested in educating the student body for their project, The Foundation for People with Disabilities in Ecuador. The team focused on educating themselves and informing their peers on the importance of supporting this project, so children with disabilities can obtain professional care, such as therapies, medical care, and language therapy. While doing this, the team also began raising funds for the organization by asking for donations and even having a donut sale at their school, helping them raise over $300. The motivation found in this team has made it an excellent example for how hard work matched with enthusiasm can create a lasting change.

Tolleson Union High School in Tolleson, Arizona is ending its first semester for its fourth year, and the team continues to raise awareness on its own project as well as educating about issues in other parts of the world. The dedicated team members, team leaders, and team sponsor all work together to create one of the largest and most successful clubs on Tolleson’s campus. The team has hosted an Awareness Week to educate the students and teachers on the Nirvanavan Project as well as the issues of Extreme Poverty and Hunger, Universal Education, Gender Equality, Environmental Sustainability, among the list of MDGs. They also managed to raise about $100 from donations alone in that week. In November, the team hosted Documentary Night, showing the documentary Born to Brothels to highlight the issues of gender inequality as well as lack of opportunities for children in certain parts of India. Inviting New Global Citizen’s Executive Director Jennifer Vollman, the team had a large turn-out and proved that teenagers are more interested in making a positive change than many would believe. To end the semester, Tolleson NGC hosted its most popular event, Poetry Night. While allowing students to recite poetry and perform, the team has found a way to make educating and raising funds for their projects much more interactive. This Poetry Night had the largest turn-out since the event’s creation four years ago. With multiple events geared to educating and raising money, Tolleson NGC proves that high school students have the ability to get involved in global development if they are given the opportunity to create such change.

The final team Franklin Police and Fire High School in Phoenix, Arizona focused most of it attention on educating the team on global development and civil engagement. In November, the team attended a discussion at the Phoenix City Hall to discuss the importance of civil engagement. With this, the team educated itself on the importance of being involved in creating a safe and positive environment, both locally and globally, thus bringing better opportunities to all the people in a community. The team has also utilized its meetings to discuss the MDGs in depth as well as informing themselves on the how to find solutions for the issues all over the world. Thus, the team acts as an example for how simple awareness is the first step to making a difference in the world.

However, these are only three NGC teams, they show the basic characteristics of a strong and dedicated group. The teams try to make the work they do fun, and they enjoy learning more about the world as well as sharing that knowledge with the people around them. They will take these experiences with them in their future, and will continue to think outside-the-box when it comes to creating solutions for obstacles. I can only imagine what the next semester holds for these three teams and all New Global Citizens teams.

Weddington Middle School, North Carolina

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Weddington Middle School’s NGC Team consists of students in grades 6 to 8. The students worked collectively to educate their school community and raise $684 this past year: $300 for the Mobile Toy Library in India and $384 for House of Hope in Uganda.
Working together to educate about 1000 students and staff members, the team hosted a Jean Day where students and staff paid $1 to $5 to wear jeans on a specified day, created informational posters to hang across campus, brainstormed about global issues and used the school’s broadcast to teach students and staff.
As a form of advocacy, the students created Thank You notes for staff members who donated during Jean Day.
On an International Day, the team hosted a booth inviting classes to stop by, to participate and to learn about global issues, NGC and the team.