News Round-up: Good news on the global war on poverty

I’m starting a new feature this week! It’s a news round-up highlighting two news articles related to Spirit in Action’s work and mission. Thank you to Marsha and Dennis Johnson for sending me the CSM article. If you come across other SIA-related news articles, please email them to me! Progress in the global war on poverty (Christian Science Monitor) It’s better than you think! Read on… “Global poverty has fallen faster during the past 20 years than at any time in history. Around the world hunger, child death, and disease rates have all plummeted. More girls are getting into school. In fact, never before have so many people, in so many poor countries, made so much progress in reducing poverty, increasing incomes, improving health, reducing conflict and war, and spreading democracy. “In all, more than 60 developing countries around the world have seen a decline in the number of extreme poor, despite continued population growth. “Prior to 1980 just half of girls in developing countries completed primary school; now 85 percent do. Less than 50 percent of adult females could read and write, but today global female literacy has passed 93 percent. “As incomes have risen and democracy has spread, conflict, war, and violence have fallen sharply. This fact surprises anyone reading the daily news about Syria, Yemen, or Afghanistan. While I do not want to trivialize these conflicts, we tend to forget just how violent the world was in the 1980s and early ’90s…” The article also reviews statistics on health, peace, and economic progress. And credits the end of communism, new technologies, and “strong leadership and courageous actions by the people in those countries themselves” with assisting the progress. “For hundreds of years, people have predicted at one point or another that global progress would halt. But they have always underestimated the world’s growing abilities – even with many setbacks along the way – to work cooperatively, meet new challenges, and expand global prosperity and basic freedoms.” I heartily recommend reading the whole article. 3 of the 9 computers that SIA helped Samro School in Kenya purchase in 2013. Each evening the computer room is open to the community for free. It’s not just about big corporations: A look at local partnerships (Devex) USAID is recognizing the benefit of working with local partners, citing some of the reasons we also like working with our local partner organizations. Here are some highlights from their report: “Local private sector partners bring a unique set of benefits, from local understanding to connections. It’s often easier than working with multinational corporations because local firms tend to have a higher risk tolerance, know the local terrain and possess assets like contacts in local governments or the private sector. “Local partnerships can also offer a more tailored approach than some corporations, which are guided by strategies created at their often distant headquarters. “Partnering with local businesses also increases the sustainability of a program or a project and can help those companies gain additional skills, further improving local capacity, [Caterina] Valero added.” Read the whole article. The Manyamula COMSIP Cooperative in Malawi is a strong local partner organization. They give members a safe place to save and low-interest loans. #LocalOrganizations #NewsRoundup

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