Transforming Our World
In 2015, leaders from around the world gathered together with an initiative to transform the world in a radical and collaborative way by 2030. These leaders, on behalf of the people they serve, committed to working tirelessly at achieving sustainable economic, social and environmental development. For sustainable development to be achieved, poverty must be eradicated in all dimensions on a global scale. The blueprint the leaders put together, also known as the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 targets which were announced in September 2015, demonstrate the scale and ambition of the universal Agenda.
Focus on Action
As set forth by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Goals and targets will stimulate action in areas of critical importance for humanity and the planet:
“We are determined to end poverty and hunger, in all their forms and dimensions, and to ensure that all human beings can fulfil their potential in dignity and equality and in a healthy environment.”
“We are determined to protect the planet from degradation, including through sustainable consumption and production, sustainably managing its natural resources and taking urgent action on climate change, so that it can support the needs of the present and future generations.”
“We are determined to ensure that all human beings can enjoy prosperous and fulfilling lives and that economic, social and technological progress occurs in harmony with nature.”
“We are determined to foster peaceful, just and inclusive societies which are free from fear and violence. There can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development.”
“We are determined to mobilize the means required to implement this Agenda through a revitalised Global Partnership for Sustainable Development, based on a spirit of strengthened global solidarity, focussed in particular on the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable and with the participation of all countries, all stakeholders and all people.”
“The interlinkages and integrated nature of the Sustainable Development Goals are of crucial importance in ensuring that the purpose of the new Agenda is realised. If we realize our ambitions across the full extent of the Agenda, the lives of all will be profoundly improved and our world will be transformed for the better.”
What Is Poverty?
Poverty refers to the state or condition of having little or no money, goods, or means of support as well as a deficiency of necessary or desireable ingredients, qualities, etc. For example, people can live in poverty and not have their basic needs met, and our natural resources like food and water can live in poverty by not getting the adequate resources they need to survive.
In the United States, the definition of poverty is an individual with income less than $36 per day or a family of four with income less than $72 per day. That is a family with two adults and two children at $26,246 a year or an individual under 65 at $13,465 a year. This is calculated from the poverty threshold as set by the U.S. Census Bureau. Global poverty is defined as the number of people worldwide who live on less than $1.90 a day. A person surviving on less than $1.90 a day lives in extreme poverty.
Where Are We In The Fight Now?
In the years leading up to 2020, there has been progress in the fight against poverty. It was on the decline. While poverty was on the decline pre-covid, children were experiencing a higher poverty rate than any other age group. The US Census Bureau releases their poverty figures one year behind so we have yet to determine the effect the pandemic has had on poverty. To help us get a better understanding of where we are currently, worldpoverty.io provides a visual representation of how many people are approximately currently living in poverty. This clock provides real-time poverty estimate data through 2030 for almost every country in the world, and its purpose is to monitor the progress against Ending Extreme Poverty, the first of 17 SDGs.
*Data captured on 6/24/21 at 8:40am EST.
The Pandemic Amplified The Need For Help
“”This pandemic has taken everyone by surprise” says Massimo Tavoni, EIEE’s Director and professor of climate economics. “In fact, we have seen several other episodes happening in the recent past, with important and dangerous repercussions for economic and social sustainability. We have looked at these recent events to learn what we should do differently this time.”
Scientists estimated how past pandemics affected our economies and societies and found that they led to significant and persistent reductions of GDP, along with increases in unemployment, income inequality and public debt-to-GDP ratios.”
According to the United Nations, COVID-19 caused the first increase in global poverty in decades which pushed more than 71 million people into extreme poverty in 2020. Food insecurity was already on the rise and the pandemic became an additional threat to an already unstable food system. The pandemic has accelerated the need for every person to come together and work towards accomplishing these goals.
What Are The 17 Sustainable Development Goals?
1) No Poverty
Goal 1 is to end poverty in all its forms everywhere.
2) Zero Hunger
Goal 2 is to end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture.
3) Good Health and Well-Being
Goal 3 is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.
4) Quality Education
Goal 4 is to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.
5) Gender Equality
Goal 5 is to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.
6) Clean Water and Sanitation
Goal 6 is to ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all.
7) Affordable and Clean Energy
Goal 7 is to ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
8) Decent Work and Economic Growth
Goal 8 is to promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all.
9) Industry Innovation and Infrastructure
Goal 9 is to build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation.
10) Reduced Inequalities
Goal 10 is to reduce inequality within and among countries.
11) Sustainable Cities and Communities
Goal 11 is to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
12) Responsible Consumption and Production
Goal 12 is to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns.
13) Climate Action
Goal 13 is to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts.
14) Life Below Water
Goal 14 is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development.
15) Life On Land
Goal 15 is to protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss.
16) Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
Goal 16 is to promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels.
17) Partnerships for the Goals
Goal 17 is to strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development.
God Calls Us To Act
Peter and John were making their way together up into the temple. It was the hour of prayer, the ninth hour. There was a man who was born lame. He was being carried to the gate of the temple —the gate named “Beautiful”. Every day he was laid there so that as people entered into the temple he could beg gifts for his needs. Seeing Peter and John about to go in, he asked them for a gift. Peter took a good look at the man, and John did too. Peter told the man, ‘Look at us.’ He gave them his attention, expecting to receive something from them.”
“But Peter said, ‘I don’t have any silver or gold, but I do have something to give you: in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!’ Peter took him by the right hand, and raised him up. Immediately his feet and ankles were given strength. He leaped up, stood, and began to walk. He went with Peter and John into the temple. He was walking, leaping, and praising God.”
“All the people saw him walking and praising God. They recognized him as the man who would sit begging at the Beautiful Gate of the temple. They were filled with wonder and amazement at what had happened to him. The lame man who was healed held on to Peter and John while all the people came running toward them into Solomon’s porch. How greatly amazed they were.”
A Moment That Changed The Trajectory
This story relates to an experience that has changed my life, one where we see the person who is in need, but we just continue to pass by them. For the record, this experience is not my first experience with extreme poverty, but it was an impactful one, which has led me to where my feelings and actions are currently.
I was walking down Hollywood Blvd with my family one night and we passed a man sitting on the sidewalk wrapped in a blanket. He was kind of tucked into an entryway to a building that had been shuttered. We passed him once on our way towards the star walk. We didn’t get very far before the children began to struggle walking. So we ended up turning around and walking back towards the car. We passed by the man again. And I couldn’t help but look over my shoulder watching him as I’m walking forward.
The children then began to struggle with their own hunger… so we stopped into a Dunkin Donuts before going to the car. While walking in, an individual held the door open and I asked him if he wanted a coffee, he responded yes, a large with cream and sugar. We ordered and when we got outside that person was nowhere to be found. So I started to search for him while walking to our car but couldn’t find him anywhere. Then I remembered the man with the blanket. So we loaded the kids up and I drove to him. I got out and asked him if he wanted a hot coffee and he shook his head yes, with quick little nods and reached out his hand. When he did that, I noticed his hand was calloused and looked as though his hand had been rotting. I had never seen anything like that before. I gave him the coffee and said God bless you and got in the car and began to drive towards the 405.
I’m not sure the way we took exactly but it had us go through parts of LA I had never been in which made us go slowly. I began to sob. I got so angry at how this poor man is homeless, with rotting flesh, hungry, and people are expressing their grievances about rights to not wear a mask in a restaurant in our hometown. Meanwhile, the people in San Diego and Los Angeles couldn’t even dine outside, and they have mass populations living in tents and cardboard boxes all over the streets. It made me so angry and I vowed to my husband that I would never sell another meal without giving a meal for free. And that all I really wanted to do was feed people for free.
Doing What We Can
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday – Isaiah 58:10
Fast forward, God made a way for us to collect and distribute meals to people in need for free. We’ve been collaborating with others to save at least 75 meals a week from being thrown in the garbage and giving them to people in need in addition to preparing and distributing free hot meals weekly out of a food truck to people in the inner city.
We know what it’s like to be hungry. We know what it’s like to be homeless. We know what it’s like to not have our basic needs met. So if we can help someone not worry about their next meal, or where they’re going to rest their head safely with their families, then that will help free up time and worry in one area so they can be productive and focus on another area of their life.
It’s also important for us to connect people with in the field resources. Speaking from experience, lack of knowledge about resources available is huge, and because we’ve been blessed with a diverse group of skillsets, we are using those God given gifts to help lift people out of poverty. We believe God is the CEO of this enterprise and we are His workers.
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. – Luke 12:33-34
Small Acts Have Big Impacts
There are many ways you can get involved and make an impact. We have several ways you can help throughout our website but we’ve compiled a very short list of a few ways to help you get started. Please share in the comments or on our social pages the ways you’re contributing to accomplishing the goals and if you’re interested in becoming a guest content contributor, we’d love for you to apply!
- Educate yourself and share the knowledge with everyone you know. Talk about it.
- Start and/or get involved with a community garden
- Start or participate in a fundraising campaign
- Volunteer with organizations who are working towards accomplishing the SDGs
- Reduce your negative footprint. i.e. recycle, be aware of where your goods come from, engage with businesses who work to offset their carbon footprint.
- Entrepreneurs consider joining the Global Innovation Exchange and choose from several ways to get involved