BeyGood Fellowship ProgramLast December, Beyoncé performed at the Global Citizen Festival in South Africa, a festival aimed at ending global poverty. The 2018 festival was in honor of Nelson Mandela, former South African president and activist who died in 2013. Over 90,000 people attended the festival, which raised $7.1 billion worldwide. The highly anticipated performance garnered high viewership and engagement worldwide, and parts of the performance were streamed online. However, this was not the beginning of Beyoncé’s charity work in South Africa. Her foundation, BeyGood, has spotlighted local organizations for years. Now, BeyGood plans to return to South Africa twice a year to help develop and execute its community outreach plan. In doing so, BeyGood created the BeyGood Fellowship Program.

BeyGood Fellowship Program in South Africa

The BeyGood Fellowship Program in South Africa is being executed in partnership with Global Citizen. The two organizations are working to empower local youth in helping end world poverty by 2030. Each youth fellow receives a paid, yearlong job opportunity and will focus on one of four pillars of activity from Global Citizen: creative, campaigns, rewards or marketing.

In late March 2019, the BeyGood foundation reviewed applications and returned from New York to Johannesburg, South Africa. Once there, BeyGood representatives met with four fellows who have been working on the project since the Global Citizen Festival in December. They also met with local partners to see how their work has been going and what is needed to ensure future success.

BeyGood Foundation Partnerships in South Africa

In addition to the organization’s work in South Africa, the BeyGood Foundation is partnering with UNICEF USA and Chime for Change on a campaign called Every Drop Counts, bringing clean water to Burundi. The BeyGood Foundation also works with an organization in Johannesburg, IkamvaYouth. This organization aims to pull children out of poverty through after-school tutoring. Founded in 2003, IkamvaYouth is youth-driven and offers career advice and psychological services. It impacts 5,000 youths per year across 15 branches.

Moreover, BeyGood is partnered with 9-year-old arts organization Lalea, whose mission is to support youth through after-school art programs. The organization helps students manifest their dreams and think creatively to accomplish their goals. BeyGood’s visits to South Africa enabled them to check in with all of these programs and more. More importantly, it allowed BeyGood to ensure they are engaging the communities they serve and maintain and create future success.

Though the BeyGood fellowship program in South Africa is relatively new, the organization has continuously worked with various South African organizations to aid youth development. The program has executed on their promises to the community. Ultimately, BeyGood is an example of how to incorporate youth in the fight to end extreme poverty by 2030.

Ava Gambero
Photo: Google Images

definition of a third world country

What is the definition of a third world country? In many countries, when people hear the phrase “third world country”, visions of impoverished countries struggling to meet basic human needs are the first to pop up. This might be true in today’s society, but the original definition of a third world country referred to the nations that lacked an alliance with either the U.S. or the former Soviet Union during the Cold War.

In recent years, the term has come to define countries that have high poverty rates, economic instability and lack basic human necessities like access to water, shelter or food for its citizens. These countries are often underdeveloped, and in addition to widespread poverty, they also have high mortality rates.

Definition of a Third World Country Underlying Meaning

In terms of the “worlds” system, they are ranked from first world to third world. The first world refers to the countries that are more developed and industrialized societies; in other words, capitalist societies that aligned with the U.S. and NATO during the Cold War. This includes North America, Japan, Western Europe and Australia.  

Second world countries refer to the countries that lean more toward a socialist society, and generally were allied with the Soviet Union during the Cold War. These countries include Russia, Poland, China and some Turk states.  

Third world countries are all the other countries that did not pick a side. This includes most of Africa, Asia and Latin America. However, this definition includes countries that are economically stable, which does not fit the currently accepted definition of a third world country.

As a society, the term “third world country” refers to countries with high mortality rates, especially infant mortality rates. They also have an unstable and inconsistent economy. These are countries that contain massive amounts of poverty and in some cases have fewer natural resources than other nations throughout the world. These countries often have to rely on more industrialized countries to aid them and help stabilize their economy.

These countries usually lack economic stability because of the lack of a functioning class system. Usually, the country will have an upper class and a lower class. Without a middle class to fill the gap, there is almost no way for a person to escape poverty because there is no next step for them on the economic ladder. This also allows the wealthy to control all the money in the country. This is detrimental to the economy of the country, and both increases and helps to sustain the poverty running rampant throughout the country while allowing the upper class to keep their wealth to themselves.

These countries often accrue a copious amount of debt from foreign countries because of the constant aid they need from other countries to keep their economy afloat and provide some financial stability to the citizens of the country.

The definition of a third world country has evolved from the political meaning during the Cold War to the economic meaning of today. Today’s meaning refers to countries that are in financial trouble and need help from other countries to keep their economy sustainable, at least for a short time.

– Simone Williams

Photo: Wikipedia

 

United Nations
Established on October 24, 1945, the United Nations (U.N.) brought the world the values of promoting peace, combatting hunger, spreading democracy and other noble issues. Although critiqued by many, the United Nations has a positive record of bringing change to various lands, and leaving behind its all-encompassing mission. But what has the United Nations accomplished? Below are three of its key achievements:

1. Keeping The Peace

The role of “peace-maker” was one of the United Nation’s first large accomplishments; in fact, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations currently has 15 peacekeeping operations throughout the globe. By responding to crises — such as Haiti’s 2010 earthquake — and providing basic security commitments, each U.N. operation has reinforced political transitions and helped support fragile new state organizations. The U.N. has helped countries to cease large sectors of conflict and move towards regular development, regardless if peacebuilding challenges are present.

 

2. The Fight For Children

In 1953, the United Nations added UNICEF as a permanent affiliate of their organization. The U.N. General Assembly acquired the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, which explains children’s rights to education, health care, shelter, protection and good nutrition. What has the United Nations accomplished since then? In 2017, the organization created the goal of saving 1.5 million children’s lives through sufficient vaccinations; since 1990, these vaccinations have saved the lives of 122 million children and counting.

 

3. Human Rights

Announced in 1948 by the United Nations General Assembly for the first time, a document would set out fundamental human rights to be protected universally. The declaration has been translated into over 500 languages. Within the United Nations, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has the main responsibility in the system to protect and promote human rights. The OHCHR also supports the peacekeeping missions in several countries through engaging in human rights via active reports and conducting investigations.

 

Although there are other accomplishments, these are the three that stick out in answer to the question: “what has the United Nations accomplished?” Pushing for growth as a whole for our future is key. The future is brighter for us all with the spread of peace, children having a chance to reach adulthood and all beings understanding human rights.

– Tara Jackson
Photo: Flickr

Global Poverty
For the first time in human history, the goal of eliminating poverty is within our grasp. Recently, the World Bank announced global poverty has fallen below 10 percent for the first time, a measure the organization defines as a person living on less than $1.90 a day.

However, the numbers surrounding poverty are still daunting. About 702 million people, or 9.6 percent of the world’s population still live in extreme poverty. More than 3 billion people, nearly half the world’s population, live on less than $2.50 a day.

Where does this level of poverty come from? Are resources limited?

According to the CIA’s World Fact Book, the per capita gross domestic product (GDP) of the world at purchasing power parity is $21,470. That means the value of goods and services produced for every person in the world each day is about $58.78.

World poverty isn’t a problem of limited resources, it is a problem of inequality. This inequality is upheld by the idea that aid creates dependence. The old proverb, “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime,” embodies this idea.

Aid can take the form of instruction. New efforts related to relief have revealed poverty can be reduced by offering productive assets, training and cash to people living in destitute countries. The non-profit Innovations for Poverty Action tested what they call the “Graduation Program” in a nine-year, six-country study following 21,000 adults in 10,495 households in India, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Ghana, Peru and Honduras.

The program successfully reduced poverty through providing goods such as livestock, business advisement and a small amount of cash to live off of while receiving training. Testers found a boost of 133 to 433 percent on investment. In other words, for every dollar spent on the program in India, participants received an increased income of $4.33.

The creators of the Graduation Program understood poverty is a vicious cycle that can be hard to break free from. People living in extreme poverty often have to choose between immediate gratification like eating every day and long term investment like procuring an education. By providing immediate aid to people in need, we can help them out of poverty by allowing them to focus on learning the skills they need for self-sufficiency.

The world without poverty is possible and desirable. The six countries that field the most expensive militaries spent almost a trillion dollars on defense expenditures in 2015 alone. Despite this astronomical military spending, our world remains locked in conflict. Removing poverty would make our world more stable. Access to economic opportunity helps insulate populations from extremist ideologies. By shifting a fraction of what we spend on defense to international aid, we can eliminate global poverty in a generational period.

In turn, a poverty-free world would create expanded overseas markets and additional job opportunities in developed nations. A future without poverty is a more productive one. By coming together to tackle the plague of destitution around the world, we have the opportunity to advance the human condition and eliminate global poverty in a way no one has done before.

Will Sweger

Photo: Flickr

Celebrity Advocates in the Fight Against Poverty
Celebrities, whether they earn their status through talent, wealth or another characteristic, have many opportunities to use their power for the greater good. The following five celebrities frequently impress with both their commitment to and passion for serving the world’s poor in the fight against poverty.

  1. Bono: No list of superstar advocates, activists and charity workers is complete without his name. The U2 frontman has worked diligently for years to reduce global poverty as well as educate the public on the subject. In a 2013 TedTalk, Bono identified himself as an “evidence-based activist” or “factivist.” His advocacy work is well known and has earned him three Nobel Peace Prize nominations as well as a spot on Forbes’ Most Generous list. In addition, his wide-reaching impact has helped in the creation of charity endeavors such as the ONE Campaign and the RED Global Fund Campaign.
  2. Brad Pitt: He is a big name in both Hollywood as well as the world of celebrity advocates. Pitt joined Bono in 2004 when he teamed up with the ONE Campaign. He acted as a spokesperson, pushing for an additional one percent of the U.S. budget to go toward poverty alleviation in Africa. In a 2005 interview with Oprah Winfrey, Pitt spoke with passion about the poverty and disease he saw while traveling: “I feel it is our responsibility to make those [life-saving medicines] available.”
  3. Angelina Jolie: Known primarily for her outstanding performances in films like Mr. and Mrs. Smith and The Tourist, her generosity may outweigh even her acting talent. Jolie has donated millions of dollars, through the Jolie-Pitt foundation, to organizations such as Doctors Without Borders that help the world’s poorest people. She was recognized and named as a U.N. Goodwill Ambassador and was the recipient of the U.N. Citizen of the World award in 2003. Together, she and Pitt have been incredibly influential voices in the fight against global poverty.
  4. Annie Lennox: This talented singer-songwriter has long been using her talents to contribute to her causes. She released her single, Sing, in 2007, raising funds for the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC). She has been appointed a UNAIDS Goodwill Ambassador for her incredible commitment to the cause and is a firm supporter of numerous charities including the TAC and Mothers2Mothers.
  5. George Clooney: He is well known among celebrity advocates for famously founding Not On Our Watch, an organization that deals with human rights violations in the global community. In addition, the star is a supporter of the ONE Campaign and has done much work in the area of poverty alleviation and advocacy.

While celebrity news often seems irrelevant to serious matters such as the fight against poverty, many celebrities use their position as a public figure to raise awareness and funds for vulnerable populations.

These five celebrities have set an example for the ways in which other influential members of society can use their talents, fame or funds to contribute to their global community.

Jordan Little

Photo: Flickr

Satellite Images Fight Poverty
Satellite images are now being used to aid in poverty eradication efforts. Data collected from satellites will help track issues such as crop conditions, illegal deforestation and overall poverty in off-the-grid places.

A team of researchers from Stanford University developed a self-updating map that can recognize signs of poverty in satellite images using an algorithm called machine learning. Marshall Burke, assistant professor in Stanford’s Department of Earth System Science, described the system as computer-read artificial intelligence. The system sends images to a computer, which then deciphers the images’ content.

“We hope our data will be directly useful by governments around the world […] to more effectively target their programs,” Burke told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

The group has already sorted through millions of satellite images to identify economic conditions in five African countries: Uganda, Tanzania, Nigeria, Malawi and Rwanda. According to researchers, photos like these can provide scientists with data that might not otherwise be obtained. In places such as North Korea, some data is unobtainable, but by studying illumination in the photos, economic activity can be accessed and evaluated.

According to Harvard economic professor Sendhil Mullainathan, “Satellite photos provide a level of geographic specificity that national accounts do not.”

Discovering and obtaining accurate information could help influence decisions regarding ground infrastructure. Such information will enable researchers and global analysts to make informed decisions about where to send aid, build roads or establish hospitals. On the global scale, satellite research will help track where global poverty aid efforts are working and which regions need more assistance.

The significance of this new form of data research lies in the history of little research being conducted about poverty stricken areas. According to the World Bank, only 25 out of 48 nations in sub-Saharan Africa held household surveys between 1990 and 2012. Between 2000 and 2010, 39 out of 59 African countries completed less than two poverty population surveys each. The country of Angola has been independent for 40 years, but its first census was conducted just two years ago.

The Stanford team hopes that its research will help governments around the globe obtain better data and more effectively develop targeted programs. The team plans to eventually create a publicly available worldwide poverty map.

Katie Grovatt

Photo: Flickr

Global Poverty Definition
How does one define global poverty? The term is often used in news programs detailing hunger and disease in third-world countries, but what exactly does living in poverty mean?

Merriam-Webster defines poverty as, “The state of one who lacks a usual or socially acceptable amount of money or material possessions.” Based on this definition, the true definition of poverty actually varies from country to country, from city to city, and from town to town based on socially constructed benchmarks for wealth.

Statisticians in the United States and India describe living on less than $1.90 a day (which approximately 702 million people worldwide do) as “extreme poverty.”

Other statisticians prefer to also factor access to health care, education, clean water, and food when assessing global poverty rates. In particular, lack of access to clean water and food are seen as primary symptoms of poverty in developing countries.

Again, this lack of access is seen as a symptom of poverty in relation to the United States and other first-world countries, where access to fresh water and food is a comprehensive widespread system across the nation.

 

Current State of Global Poverty

 

Currently, 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to clean drinking water. The population of the United States was 319 million people in 2014, where a family of four has the ability to use up to 400 gallons of water each day.

Furthermore, around 27 percent of all children in developing countries are classified as underweight or stunted as a result of living in poverty. Being underweight and stunted growth is particularly prevalent in Sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia.

Global poverty still proves to be difficult to quantify without comparing living standards between countries. However, it’s important to note that poverty in Sub-Saharan Africa can look vastly different from extreme poverty in the United States. Developed countries typically have more safety nets and welfare structures in place to assist their poor while developing countries continue to struggle to support large quantities of impoverished citizens. Thus, while it’s important to prioritize domestic poverty in the U.S., it’s equally important to prioritize the world’s poor who live in worse living conditions.

Bayley McComb

Photo: Flickr

Monitoring Global Poverty

While taking action is an important part of fighting global poverty, it is also critical that international organizations correctly assess the situation through different methods of data collection and analysis. Monitoring global poverty is crucial for ending it.

Since the World Bank’s first census in 1975, attempts to monitor global poverty levels have widened in both scope and methodology. The invention of PovcalNet in the 1980s enabled researchers to access the poverty distributions of 191 countries online. However, the diversification of research methods entailed as much inconsistency as convenience, as data collected by different teams seemed to suggest entirely different results.

Since one organization cannot survey all the households of the world, analysts often collect survey results from the governments of different countries. This introduces inconsistencies into investigation methods, including differing methods of selecting and interviewing sample populations.

When measuring qualitative measures such as household participation, patterns of consumption and perception towards poverty, long-term participatory observation can be more appropriate than surveys, as the wording of questions can manipulate the results.

After data is collected, it is classified and represented into charts or graphs, where more complications can occur. There exist many statistical methodologies, including parametric, non-parametric and lognormal, and countries differ on how to define poverty in various environments.

To standardize data collection and facilitate monitoring global poverty, the World Bank has been urging nations to adopt the National Strategies for the Development of Statistics (NSDS), emphasized at the Marrakech Action Plan for Statistics in 2004.

NSDS requires not only economic support, but political cohesion between departments and local communities in each country. The NSDS Knowledge Base will compile research techniques and provide 100 indicators to the progress of Sustainable Development Goals so that results from different countries can be comparable.

Difficulties of standardization often derive from insufficient infrastructure, such as the failure to register all citizens on census, and requires a long-term investment. In such cases, innovative measures can improve cost-benefit efficiency.

The UN’s Data for Development report from 2015 suggests using satellite imagery and mobile-phone-based data collection. Instead of designing a separate survey, data from social media and mobile call traffic can be repurposed as an indirect indicator. In East Africa, for example, mobile technology is expected to cut up to 60 percent of the cost of traditional paper surveys.

Haena Chu

Photo: Flickr