At Humanity Unified, we have worked to align ourselves with, and contribute to, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals established by the United Nations in 2015, each of which focuses on protecting the planet and/or elevating the quality of life of individuals worldwide. One of these goals that our work particularly focuses on is the “No Poverty” objective. We believe one of the best ways to sustainably reduce (or eliminate) poverty is through education. Accordingly, Humanity Unified facilitates economic opportunities for poverty-stricken communities by providing community-specific programs in business education and development skills. We believe a key facet of sustainable poverty alleviation is the recognition that communities differ and have varying needs and multiple barriers to eliminating poverty, and that which works in one place might not work in another. Engaging and partnering with the communities we aid enhances the success of our programs.
As a general matter, Humanity Unified’s programs empower individuals, particularly women, to further develop their skills, start small businesses, find reliable, stable markets and buyers, and, ultimately, extricate themselves from poverty. Through these business education training programs we empower individuals, particularly women, to gain income and develop the means to lift themselves out of poverty. One of our ongoing projects in Rwanda is illustrative. The project works to empower 110 women farmers in Rwanda all living in poverty with a household income of less than $0.90 a day. The program includes training in modern agricultural methods, as well as training in cooperative management, business skills, and financial planning. As a direct result of Humanity Unified’s agricultural training, the women farmers have substantially increased their yields (current projections reflect that yields will be tripled over two years) and generated increased income by selling excess production. The training related to business and finance is complementary to the agricultural training in that it helps the women to engage more strategically in the marketplace, and spend and save their increased income effectively. Programs such as this allow impoverished individuals to gain a consistent source of income through their own work, and helps develop the local economy.
As individuals gain income and financial security they are empowered to provide for their families’ needs. This income allows parents to provide three healthy meals a day, and purchase health insurance for their families. This greater financial security also allows parents to pay school fees, and invest in their children’s education. Our training on effective saving helps to ensure that the communities involved remain self-sustaining. Through empowering parents to have both the income and the financial know-how provide for their children’s health, well-being, and education, our work empowers future generations to break the cycle of poverty.
As the old adage states, “If you give a man a fish you feed him for a day. But if you teach a man to fish you feed him for a lifetime.” Humanity Unified is not giving communities fish; we are teaching them how to fish. And that underscores a key aspect of our mission, namely, fostering independence in the communities we aid and giving these communities the tools to permanently lift themselves out of poverty.
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