Tag Archives: development

International Women’s Day 2015

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International Women’s Day is all about celebrating achievements for gender equality and encouraging continued persistence in equality for the future.

Although gender equality is imperfect everywhere, many steps have been taken towards equality. However, it is of utmost importance to remember that in many countries (specifically developing countries) gender equality is still only an unattainable dream to many.

In her speech to the UN, Emma Watson painted a clear picture of what gender equality is: “political, economic, and social equality of the sexes”. She also made it clear that feminism is not “anti-men” because, quite simply, that would not be equality of the sexes would it?

In India many forms of gender inequality are strong. This mindset of inequality affects women’s health, education, and social and economic wellbeing. This also leads to many women being married very young, becoming young mothers, being malnourished and often they cannot afford medical attention. If a woman in India is employed she is often making 30% less than a man, even if they work in the same position.[1]

thisvillage believes in the empowerment, health, and education of women as the key to alleviation of poverty. We want to see the women of India treated as equals.

Join us in supporting the women of India. Invite your friends and attend our fundraiser for the widows of Bandanpally!
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“Every literate woman marks a victory over poverty.” – Ban Ki-moon[2]

— Julia Kutyn


IDW 2015

IDW 2015

Happy 25th International Development week!

This week, thisvillage has been reflecting on the Millennium Development Goals set out by the UN in 1990. These goals had a deadline to be achieved by 2015 therefore, the UN has also been reviewing them and weighing up their success. In fact, they have unveiled a new set of goals, called Sustainable Development Goals. (ßRead more about them, they’re cool!)

The SDGs consist of 17 targets to reach before 2030. For example, number 1 SDG is: End poverty in all its forms everywhere (whoa! Lofty!).

But hey. We would like to see an end to poverty too. And that’s not the only goal that we can relate to:

Number 3: Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all ages.

Maternal mortality has fallen 45% since 1990, but we can’t forget that 50% of women do not receive the recommended health care during pregnancy*. One of our major projects in Bandanpally is providing wells and toilets for the community.

Number 4: Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote life long learning opportunities for all.

90% of children in developing countries are now enrolled in primary school, but what about the other 58 million*, or those that are forced to drop out. thisvillage believes in education, and that equipping marginalized community members with confidence and practical skills is essential to their long-term prosperity. Some of the projects we’ll be implementing in Bandanpally include stocking the school library with books and desks.

Number 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls.

The enrolment in primary school is distributed equally among boys and girls*, but women still face inequality in education, work, and decision-making. thisvillage knows that empowering women and children is key to alleviating poverty. One program we’ll be implementing in Bandanpally is a support group for widowed women.

These statistics are encouraging. People working together can make a difference to the injustice in the world. thisvillage works to alleviate poverty on a smaller scale. You can also fight for sustainable international development. Help thisvillage make a difference, one village at a time!

–Julia Kutyn

*All statistics in above article are available at www.un.org/millenniumgoals/

Bandanpally

thisvillage works to address poverty in one village at a time. We focus all of our efforts in the one village in order to build relationships and work as effectively as possible. Once both we and the village feel as though effective poverty reduction tools are in place, we will move on to work with another village.

For those that do not know, the first village that we are working with is a small village in India called Bandanpally.

Located in Andhra Pradesh, India, here is some information on the village of Bandanpally.

easelly_visual— Graeme Esau

 

A development student’s first experience in a developing country

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We are officially back from India! To say that it was an overwhelming trip would be an understatement. This was my first major trip, and in fact, my first trip outside of North America. I went in with as few expectations as possible, as I genuinely had no idea what India would be like once we got there. We ended up experiencing India in such a raw form, that the few expectations I did have were completely blown out of the water. Because I am an international development student that studies poverty, I constantly see pictures and hear stories about communities and individuals who are unable to break free from the poverty trap due to shortages of safe drinking water, lack of adequate sanitation, and poor access to education. To actually see the wells that people drink from, the garbage lining the streets, and the outdoor classrooms of schools, was completely overwhelming.

I was extremely humbled to be in a rural village and have individuals open up their homes to me, showing me each and every one of their belongings, asking me to sit on their beds (which were simple cots with hand-threaded boards), and telling me their stories. All my studies suddenly became real and humanized everything I have learned, simply because of the people I was meeting.

As part of our work with thisvillage, we were able to hear stories from the individuals who are deeply embedded in this poverty, and it was a privilege to listen to their stories and understand their perspectives. I now feel a sense of duty to these individuals, who were so loving and grateful for what little they have despite their poverty.

Nothing makes me feel a sense of urgency to help the world’s poorest people than meeting the individuals personally, shaking their hands, and being a guest in their homes.

— Sara Fournier