May 2017: Global Action

What We DoMay's theme is  “Global Action”. As we have said from the beginning, the Foundation...“will transform lives locally, nationally and globally.” Although there is much need here in the United States, the Foundation believes, as Martin Luther King, Jr. did, that a great nation is also a compassionate nation. Most Americans, though we know we have much poverty and other social ills that affect many in our society, can’t imagine the staggering poverty present in so much of the world. A few facts:

  • UNICEF estimates that 22,000 children die EACH DAY due to poverty.      
  • Approximately 28% of all children in developing countries are estimated to be underweight or have stunted growth. Two regions in particular account for this statistic: South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Personal Note: I visited Rwanda in 2012, a country considered to be on the “rebound” from the genocide that helped create huge income disparity, frightening poverty and slow economic growth. You are struck immediately by how children are smaller and much thinner than the typical American child.      
  • Infectious diseases continue to blight the lives of the poor across the world. Malaria kills 1 million per year in Africa, and there are 350–500 million cases EACH YEAR. (I had to be vaccinated for malaria before I went to Rwanda).    
  • Something we take for granted every single day—water—is a problem for half the world. More than 1.1 billion people in developing countries have inadequate access to water, and 2.6 billion lack BASIC sanitation. Personal Note: In 2013 I visited Guatemala. I was there for 2 days and came back with a “bug” (most likely caused by the basic sanitation issues there) that I am STILL fighting over a year later. These kinds of “bugs” kill 1.8 million children each year across the globe.    
  • Another basic we take for granted: shelter. In the developing world, 640 million children do not have adequate shelter each day (this is 1 child in 3).    
  • Electricity: another basic we never think about. One quarter of humanity—1.6 billion people—live without electricity. 

The above facts were extracted predominately from the World Bank, and there are many more sad facts like those above. It is heartbreaking that so many children and people suffer across the world. As Pope Francis has said: “The times talk to us of so much poverty in the world and this is a scandal...in a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many hungry children; so many children without an education; so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry.”  The Pope’s words are universal, and not just applicable to Catholics. The Foundation will continue to join others in the fight against poverty in all its forms, wherever we find it. Global action, indeed.

CLICK HERE for the listing of organizations that were impacted by Foundation funds.