women in swaziland
From the U.K., the organization Positive Women reaches to the tip of the African continent in Swaziland. With direct aid focusing on health, education and nutrition, Positive Women has successfully campaigned against poverty.

The statistics are startling. Nearly two-thirds of the population live under the poverty line and almost 33 percent of women in Swaziland have reported being sexually assaulted before the age of 18. With one of the worst HIV positive rates in Africa, nearly 15 percent of children are orphans, many due to AIDS complications. In addition, the legal system considers married women to be minors and allows them to marry as young as 13.

The campaign has been benefited by the setup and promotion of the organization. Celebrities like Joseph Morgan, from television’s The Vampire Diaries, and Koula, a television and radio host from South Africa, have helped raise awareness about the organization and the plight of people in Swaziland.

With current campaigns like Just a Million, which encourages a million people to donate at least £1, and Live Below the Line, which challenges people to live temporarily below the poverty line, Positive Women has successfully adapted viral fundraising techniques to its own organization.

Additionally, it outlines the costs of each program and the impact of individual contribution. With simple diverting – giving up a monthly Starbucks drink – an individual could pay for a child’s school tuition. The small donations make it easy for anyone to contribute to the cause and since the founding of Positive Women in 2005, hundreds of orphans have been provided education and countless women have been provided legal counsel.

While there is still much work to be done in Swaziland, the efforts of Positive Women have garnered international attention. The organization is giving people a chance who might not have otherwise received the care and opportunities that Positive Women’s efforts provide.

-Kristin Ronzi

Sources: Positive Women, The Guardian
Photo: Positive Women

Live Below the Line
The Global Poverty Project challenges people around the world to change their perspective on global poverty by signing up to live on £1 per day for five days.

The Live Below the Line campaign began in Australia in 2010 when anti-poverty campaigner Richard Fleming lived for three weeks on the amount the World Bank defined as the extreme poverty line—the equivalent of U.S. $1.25 per day.

The campaign made its way to the U.K. in 2011, where it raised over £100,000 in its first year.  Live Below the Line has proven to be a powerful advocacy tool in addition to a fundraiser, as it forces participants to consider the real implications of living in impoverished conditions.

In 2013, over 6,000 people stepped up to the challenge of living on less than one Euro per day. This is good news, because the campaign’s managers have pointed out that getting people directly engaged in the campaign makes them more likely to continue campaigning or to take action in the future.

Beyond individuals, charities can also sign up to participate in the Live Below the Line challenge. In 2013, partners ranged from large organizations, like Save the Children, to smaller ones, like Positive Women, a group that aims to empower African women.

The Global Poverty Project is the same organization that launched the Global Citizens Music Festival, the End of Polio Campaign, and 1.4 Billion Reasons. The organization has worked tirelessly towards its vision of “a world without extreme poverty within a generation.”

By working to increase active participation along with general awareness, the Global Poverty Project shows its commitment to making a viable, positive difference in the fight against global poverty.

– Alexandra Bruschi

Source: Third Sector, Global Poverty Project
Photo: Style Quotidien