One Common Goal
Common Goal has 765 members who benefit 133 organizations with just a 1 percent pledge. All it takes to overcome the social challenges of the world is one common goal. Common Goal has a large team, larger than the 11 players that usually suit up to take on an opponent on the soccer field, but it takes all players sharing one common goal to tackle the social problems of the world.

The Cause

Common Goal’s campaign unites “the global football community in tackling the greatest social challenges of our time.” With one common goal, the world’s toughest opponents, like HIV/AIDS, gender discrimination and youth employment, must face a team of 765 individuals committed to a better tomorrow.

Two hundred and sixty-five million people play soccer, with 5 million more refereeing the game. Soccer is without a doubt the world’s most popular sport as nearly 4 percent of the global population is involved with the game to some degree.

Members of the Common Goal campaign donate 1 percent of their earnings to a central fund which then allocates the resources towards the advancement of the United Nations’ global goals.

Signature Names

Soccer superstars from around the world pledge their commitment to a common goal, acknowledging that individuals are only so powerful, but as a team, they can change the world. The United States’ Alex Morgan and Megan Rapinoe, Spain’s Juan Mata, Canada’s Christine Sinclair and Germany’s Mats Hummels are among those representing their countries with one common goal.

World leaders identified 17 goals that the world should achieve by 2030. With eliminating poverty at number one, the top five global goals include zero hunger, good health and well-being, quality education and gender equality.

Health and Hunger Crisis

Poverty and hunger are linked. The Hunger Project identifies hunger as a “dimension of extreme poverty” and “the most severe and critical manifestation of poverty.” While not every person living in poverty faces chronic hunger, nearly all facing chronic hunger live in poverty. Resources like The Hunger Project combat the hunger problem by increasing women’s economic support, boosting agricultural support efforts and creating self-reliant food banks.

Political, social and economic injustices are often the causes of poor health worldwide. Poor health sometimes entraps individuals in poverty in which poor health then traps communities in poverty. In turn, this negatively affects economic growth. Disease and infection often impact marginalized groups the most. The Global Goals’ action reduced childhood deaths by half over the past 15 years showing the world’s ability to win against every illness and disease. Worldwide good health is possible through healthy lifestyles and efficient health care.

Knowledge is Power

Education is one way to prevent the cycle of poverty. In some situations, people living in poverty often forgo education to work, and then the cycle continues. Educational programs, like those provided by ChildFund International, aim to provide programs by teaching literacy and numeracy skills to open a world of opportunity.

Across the world, women’s voices are often deterred in favor of their male counterparts. Young girls are the ones who miss out on educational opportunities because people see their worth as less. Girls and women’s human rights are at risk in poverty situations. Equality across all frames benefits not only females, but it could unlock the world’s potential. Gender Equality Programming aids women by ensuring equal access to decisions and humanitarian aid.

The Common Goal campaign looks to combat these social problems. A young soccer player from Chile cites soccer as a source of life. Chile faces a poverty rate of 18 percent. Common Goal and Wash United combated period poverty in India, a nation where people do not often talk about periods.

Through the reach of the soccer community, millions of people are united in the fight. In fact, the world’s social challenges have no chance against a team of 765 members.

Gwendolin Schemm
Photo: Flickr

Orphans in Belarus
In 2008, an economic crisis hit Belarus causing over 25,000 orphans. In addition to this, the effects of Chernobyl are still causing birth defects in children. Limited resources have put these disabled, Belarusian children into orphanages which contributes to a large number of institutionalized children without proper care.

5 Facts About Orphans in Belarus

  1. Economic Crisis: In 2008, an economic downturn caused over 25,000 children to become orphaned. In many cases, the government separated Belarusian children from their families because it deemed their families’ homes unfit, especially since many did not have the financial ability to care for children with disabilities. The ChildFund is an organization that helps work with communities in order to help Belarusians deal with neglect, poverty and misconceptions about orphaned and disabled children. Childfund states that, as a result of its efforts, three of five piloted communities have stopped placing children in orphanages.
  1. Disabilities: According to UNICEF, about 35 percent of institutionalized Belarusian orphans are living with some form of disability. Belarusian disabled children lack the care and education necessary to facilitate their growth and improve their well-being. UNICEF is currently working with the Belarusian government in order to make disabled Belarusian children a priority.
  1. Worst Conditions: Nearly 100 children and young adults were starving in Minsk orphanages in 2017. Some weighed under 35 pounds with one 20-year-old weighing under 25 pounds. The director of children’s hospices said that staff treat many children as plants. A full criminal investigation launched and many people lost their positions. UNICEF opened in Minsk in 1997 and is working with the Republic of Belarus in order to create a healthy and safe environment for every child.
  1. Adoption for Americans: From 2001 to 2004, Americans adopted hundreds of Belarusian children. In 2004, President Aliakansandr Lukashenko imposed new restrictions on adoptions and this has put a hold on the number of adoptions between Belarus and America. Still, in 2019, this hold is in effect and has prevented Americans from being able to adopt Belarusian children, even if they are living in Belarus.
  1. How to Help: There are several fantastic organizations that are helping children in Belarus. ChildFund International has implemented a program that allows people to donate vitamins to help disabled orphans in Belarus. It has also established a Supporting Orphans and Vulnerable Children program which allows people to sponsor and donate to orphans in Belarus. UNICEF is also supporting orphans in Belarus by defending their rights. World Without Orphans is another organization that helps orphans in Belarus and has offered support for children and families since 2012.

A lot has been accomplished in Belarus in order to help Belarusian orphans, however, the changes are slow and require everyone to do their part. More awareness, a release of holds on potential parents and financial assistance should end the increased influx of Belarusian orphans in Belarus. In addition to this, children with disabilities should receive the proper care they require.

– Lisa Di Nuzzo
Photo: Flickr

ChildFund International works to help more than 400 million children all over the world who live in poverty. ChildFund was founded by Dr. J. Calvitt Clarke who started the “child scholarship” and who introduced and used seven innovative methods in order to reduce child poverty.

The first innovation, the aforementioned “child scholarship,” depends on a sponsor providing donations for one child.

The second innovative idea is “working with families,” where ChildFund helps run orphanages in addition to working with families to help them create better conditions for their children.

The third innovative idea involves encouraging “local communities to run local programs” in order to show the community how to foster the emotional and social needs of young children.

The fourth innovative idea impacts ChildFund itself. ChildFund promised to operate on a “Code of Fundraising Ethics;” it therefore follows this pledge by operating with honesty and integrity.

The fifth innovative idea was the creation of the “emergency action fund,” where an emergency response team will be available to provide immediate relief in situations of violence and in the face of natural disasters.

The sixth innovative idea was the creation of “child-centered spaces,” which are areas children can go in order to recover and escape.  The goal is to provide children a safe place to be and to learn in the midst of war and other types of violence.

The seventh innovative idea was establishing “a new approach to program development” that involves listening to children explain how poverty impacts them and then specifically responding to their comments in order to remedy the situation.

One of ChildFund International’s most recent projects is dedicated to helping families who have members afflicted with HIV to “build a future beyond HIV.”  The program tries to ensure that families have a safety net so that they may continue living a relatively normal life.  This “safety net” includes the following: health care services, protection if a family member dies, psychosocial support, food and nutrition, education, and economic empowerment.”

Jordyn Horowitz

Sources: ChildFund International 1, ChildFund International 2, ChildFund International 3, BBB Wise Giving Alliance
Photo: ChildFund International

Childfund International
The United States Census Bureau has forecasted the population of the world to reach eight billion by the year 2025. In terms of hunger this can be considered an extremely daunting statistic. How will eight billion people eat in the future when people cannot even adequately feed everyone living on Earth today? Eliminating global poverty and giving children necessary skills to survive and thrive in the coming years are crucial parts of the world hunger solution.

ChildFund International is one organization that focuses mainly on children and improving their quality of life in order to sustain a better future. It is known for sponsoring children in over 50 countries. Giving to countries in need with specific guidelines involving nutrition and social development have been proven effective in comparison with unspecific cash donations.

Focusing on making sure children and families have access to food and health living environments is a great strategy for charities to implement. Once starvation is off the table, kids can go to school and parents to work. Eventually they can become self-sufficient, disbarring the notion of welfare dependency.

Supporting children with food, water, school supplies, and access to decent medical care is all part of the sponsorship benefits that ChildFund International distributes. A recent article on their website notes how population increases are only exacerbating the problem of widespread hunger. Developing countries are becoming more urban; building cities means destroying farmland. Farmland is necessary for agricultural production, and the less natural farmland there is, the more difficult it becomes to produce food.

Solving global poverty and solving world hunger are interrelated goals. Providing access to clean drinking water, food and medical care boosts the economy by increasing the number of healthy learning and working children in a community. The more educated the children are, the more likely they are to grow up and secure sustainable employment.

Having a stable job will mean having a stable income and the ability to break the vicious cycle of poverty. Studies have shown that poverty in the United States has decreased significantly over the past 50 years and the goal of eradicating poverty altogether is very possible with governmental assistance and appropriate policy implementation. However, poverty is still a huge issue in foreign nations and every effort is needed to help resolve it.

There are still billions of people living on barely $2 per day and suffering from hunger and the absence of clean water. Foundations like ChildFund International and everyone who gets involved can make sure everyone has the chance at a better tomorrow.

– Kaitlin Sutherby

Sources: The Economist, The Huffington Post
Photo: TriCounty Sentry