Tomorrow I’m off for a full weekend of Global Poverty Ambassador training, which is hugely exciting! I’ll share more about that after the weekend, but in the meantime check out this week’s aid organisation!
When and how did they get started? ONE was officially launched in 2008, but its history goes back to 2002 and the founding of DATA, which stands for debt, AIDS, trade Africa. Starting in 2002, DATA worked to lobby governments of developed countries to fight extreme poverty by focusing on debt relief, AIDS, unfair trade rules. In 2004 DATA joined with Bread for the World Institute, CARE USA, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Mercy Corps, Oxfam America, Plan USA, Save the Children, World Concern, and World Vision to form ONE a non-partisan campaign to mobilise Americans to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease. In 2007 DATA merged with ONE in order to work on a global scale to end extreme poverty and in January 2008 ONE international was officially launched. ONE is famously supported by Bono, who cofounded the organisation and sits on the board of directors. (ONE History).
What is their focus? “ONE’s mission is to fight extreme poverty and preventable disease in the poorest places on the planet, particularly in Africa” (Frequently Asked Questions). ONE campaigns to hold world leaders accountable to their commitments to fight extreme poverty and works for better policies and more effective aid. They also work with African leaders “to support greater democracy, accountability and transparency in how these resources are deployed” (Frequently Asked Questions). ONE states, “we aren’t asking for your money, we’re asking for your voice” and uses the voices of over 2 million people world wide to speak out against injustice and take part in ONE’s various campaigns.
What can I do to get involved? ONE currently has two specific campaigns to which you lend your voice! The Trillion Dollar Scandal is a letter writing campaign asking world leaders to uphold laws that require oil, gas, and mining companies to publish their payments to foreign governments so that the money paid does not end up in the pockets of corrupt officials and can be used to provide vital services such as infrastructure, schools, and health clinics.
Take Action Against Hunger is another letter writing campaign asking African leaders to commit to specific actions so that the horrors of the recent famine in the Horn of Africa will never take place again. As it says in the video, “Drought is an act of nature. Famine is man made.”
Protect Canada’s Aid Budget is also a letter writing campaign urging Prime Minister Stephen Harper to maintain Canada’s critical international development funding despite the pressure to make cuts during these difficult economic times. This campaign is currently at 97% towards its goal of 20,000 letters so lend your voice!
Stop Vulture Funds Preying From Jersey is a petition asking the UK district of Jersey to stop vulture funds from buying up cheap developing country debts and then suing through their court system to make massive profits. Laws against this practise have been passed throughout the rest of the UK, but do not yet apply in Jersey.
Another way to get involved is to simply read Living Proof, which shares numerous success stories from developing countries and is an amazing testament to the progress that is being made!