Activism's Impact on Poverty Around the World
A lot of this world’s success in bridging social and economic gaps between people can be accredited to the activists and advocates all around the world. Every day, there are millions of people working endlessly to improve societies by bringing awareness to global issues by educating, protesting and speaking out.

According to The American Press Institute, activists are more likely to be successful in their careers and personal lives because they are more engaged with the news and they use social media to stay informed and take action. Activism is a necessity in not only improving society but improving our social lives as well; without social connections, activism becomes harder to achieve. To learn more about the significance of activism, below are three occasions that activism has had an impact on poverty.

Three Times Activism Has Had an Impact on Poverty

ONE. Cofounded by Bono, Bobby Shriver and many other activists, ONE is a campaign with nearly nine million people from around the globe fighting extreme poverty and treatable diseases. ONE stands against poverty through various actions, including lobbying world leaders, creating grassroots campaigns, protesting and educating people all around the world, making ONE one of the most successful campaigns worldwide. To top it off, ONE is operated almost entirely on foundations, individual philanthropists and businesses instead of using government and public funding.

ONE’s impact on poverty:

  • It has raised $37.5 billion to fight health initiatives and diseases such as AIDS, TB and Malaria.
  • It has secured legislation in The U.S., E.U. and Canada to fight corruption and assure that money from oil and gas revenues be used towards fighting poverty.
  • It has increased advocacy and developmental assistance globally by $35.7 billion between 2005 and 2014.
  • It helped pass U.S. legislation on the Electricity Africa Act of 2016 by having hundreds of thousands of ONE members email and call Congress as well as sign petitions and write letters for four months.

Global Giving. Global Giving is the largest crowdfunding community in the world, bringing together nonprofit organizations, donors and companies in all around the world to help people everywhere access the right tools they need to be successful. Global Giving aims to help other organizations that also fight poverty and such by allowing donors to use the Global Giving site to donate to other charities.

In February 2000, Mari Kuraishi and Dennis Whittle, founders of Global Giving, gathered together more than 300 participants from different backgrounds with a mutual goal of changing the world for the better. 

Global Giving’s impact on poverty:

  • In 2002, Global Giving created a new funding platform that resulted in 763,640 donors, $324 million in donations to charities and 19,368 projects funded across 170 countries.
  • It has improved funding for more than 69 percent of Global Giving’s partners.
  • In the last year, Global Giving provided an extra $13.6 million in funds to its partners that had made improvements.

Poor People’s Campaign. Organized by Martin Luther King Jr. and carried out by Ralph Abernathy after King’s assassination, the main focus of The Poor People’s Campaign was to have economic justice in America, giving everyone what they need to survive.

After King’s death, thousands traveled to and built “Resurrection City,” made up of 3,000 wooden tents where they camped out until they were evicted after 42 days. Resurrection City was intended to focus on fighting poverty and bridging social and economic gaps between “The People.” According to The Smithsonian, although the camp was eventually shut down, the camp brought awareness to global issues and had a significant impact on America.

Poor People’s Campaign’s impact on poverty:

  • Food programs were started in 1,000 counties.
  • A food program for mothers and children had been put in process by the end of the year.
  • Congress devoted $243 million to expand and improve school lunches for poor children.

Make A Change

Activism is vital in making social and economic changes because it requires people to act. Without acting and being the change in the world that we want to see, very little is accomplished. It all starts within. As Michael Jackson said, “if you want to make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and make a change.”

– Kristen Uedoi
Photo: Flickr