My Global Poverty Project journey began when I saw the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation delivered by Hugh Evans at a festival in summer 2010. The presentation really struck me. Its simplicity and professionalism in delivering a message that resonated with the values I had, left me longing to find out more and eager to join in with the movement.
I have been passionate about seeing an end to global poverty since I experienced it first hand in Rwanda in 2002: the extreme need and vulnerability of some of the people I met whilst there was overwhelming. I have a desire to make any change I can in the world, to ensure that, one day, we see an end to this incomparable injustice.
When the opportunity came to apply to become a Global Poverty Ambassador, the greatest appeal for me was that I would be trained to deliver 1.4 Billion Reasons. I wanted everyone in my community to have the opportunity to experience it, as I know that it has the power to change and shape people’s values through its clear and positive message. As I live on the Isle of Man, a country with a population of only 85,000 residents, there was also the possibility to engage with leaders at the highest levels.
So far in my time as a Global Poverty Ambassador, I have had the opportunity to present 1.4 Billion Reasons to a wide range of people in faith groups, schools and more recently to an invitation only event for government, business, faith and community leaders on the Isle of Man. I have been pleased to see the positive response to the presentation that I have received from many people; in particular from one of our local politicians, a long standing supporter of international development, who commented in a radio interview after seeing 1.4 Billion Reasons “...if every inhabitant of the Isle of Man could see this presentation they would very clearly understand why overseas aid is important.”
The highlights of my time as a Global Poverty Ambassador have to be the Live Below the Line campaign, where two of our local politicians participated and created great media coverage. The Isle of Man network on the Live Below the Line website raised over £1,500. In July 2012 we also launched an Island specific campaign called Point 1, to encourage the Isle of Man government to fulfil its commitment to the world’s poorest people, by increasing overseas aid to 0.1% of GNI. A step towards its promise to join other leading countries in giving the full 0.7%, which would be enough to see the Millennium Development Goals fully come to pass. The budget for aid last year was £2.4 million - only 0.07% of Isle of Man GNI.
I find it challenging sometimes but I’m very excited about the opportunities and possibilities that have been created and made possible by my work with the Global Poverty Project this year. It is a privilege to volunteer in this way and I am delighted that my ambition to be a world-changer continues to be fulfilled.