May 9th, 2013 11:58 AM UTC
By Saira O'Mallie
This morning we delivered over 135,000 petition signatures for our Open for Development campaign to 10 Downing Street, home of the UK Prime Minister.
Thousands of ONE members are calling for the next set of poverty-busting goals to reflect the views and priorities of people living in poverty, and to be specific, measurable and accountable.
A High Level Panel, co-chaired by UK Prime Minister David Cameron are in charge of coming up with the new Millennium Development Goals, and we’ve been tracking them down around the world to get our campaign delivered.
Here is the message we delivered today:
As you work with the other High Level Panel Co‑chairs and Panelists to finalise your report and recommendations, and before you travel to New York next week for your final Panel meeting, I am writing on behalf of the 135,000 ONE members who have signed the enclosed ‘Open for Development’ petition. The petition calls on you, President Johnson-Sirleaf and President Yudhoyono to ensure that your recommendations reflect the views of the world’s most vulnerable people in the post-2015 framework, and to ensure that any new goals are specific, measurable and accountable.
Echoing your own development priorities for the UK’s G8 Presidency this year, transparency and accountability must be put at the heart of the post‑2015 framework. As well as robust citizen consultations in the design of the framework, we are calling for:
- transparency and accountability in monitoring investments and outcomes;
- improved statistical systems that are open and user-friendly (ie open data); and
- increased financing through both domestic and international resource mobilisation.
At the Monrovia meeting in January, ONE and Save the Children co-hosted an exhibition and panel discussion on transparency, accountability and the post-2015 agenda. The event was attended by members of the Panel, including President Johnson-Sirleaf, Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gunilla Carlsson, Betty Maina and John Podesta, along with Amina Mohammed, members of the Secretariat, and almost 200 Liberians. In the interactive breakout sessions, they drew up a series of recommendations for the Panel to consider, including a more inclusive consultation process and the collection of better data.
At the Bali meeting, we delivered our petition to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf. At that stage, there were 120,000 signatories. In addition, we also presented our preliminary findings from our ‘You Choose’ survey, which asked Malawians, South Africans and Zambians what they wanted from the new framework. The ‘You Choose’ initiative fed into the UN’s ‘My World’ programme which is collating survey results from around the world. More than 140,000 people have taken part in ‘You Choose’: among the top concerns of respondents were “an honest and responsive government” and “better job opportunities”.
As you work to finalise the Panel’s conclusions, please consider the views of our members and the millions of people living in extreme poverty. Setting goals that are specific, measurable and accountable will help to define a path to end extreme poverty by 2030.
A huge thank you to everyone who has supported the campaign. We’ll keep you updated on the progress as we keep pushing hard to make sure the voices of the world’s most vulnerable people are heard.
May 3rd, 2013 10:45 AM UTC
By Erin Finucane
For the launch of our global nutrition campaign in Brussels, a team of volunteers and ONE staff took the food fight to the streets. Having slaved over hot stoves the evening before, we hit the pavement with the best weapon a poverty-fighting foodie could ask for: vegetarian chilli.
We set our eyes on Place du Luxembourg, directly across from the European Parliament.
Armed with 100 hot cups of chilli at lunchtime, we went in search of hungry people. The masses welcomed us with open arms and eagerly took action by signing our petition.
This year alone over 2 million people will die as a result of being obese and over 2 million children will die from undernutrition.
Regardless of where in the world we live, nutrition should always be at the top of the agenda.
It’s time to save millions of lives.
Apr 30th, 2013 1:59 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Today our guest blogger is ONE member Adrian Luckie, who along with Neil Adams, founded Munch Street Food. They are supporting our Global Good Revolution campaign by inviting us along to their exciting UK events to help spread the word.
I am passionate about street food and feel that by working with an organisation like ONE, Munch Street Food can create street food events that help convey the important messages regarding food waste and world hunger and raise more interest for these worthy causes.
As a trader who is part of the new street food revolution I feel it’s important to always encourage healthy eating and, most importantly not to waste food, which has such a devastating impact in the world.
Last week we organised a street food festival at the London Marathon, alongside ONE and Small Green Shoots. We wanted to create an environment where people could immerse themselves in a cultural experience based around diverse levels of cultural cuisine, highlighting food waste and food poverty and celebrate a platform for new talent sourced from inner city communities.
I am delighted that Munch Street Food and ONE have started to collaborate spreading the Actions Speak Louder message through our street food events. We will be asking some of the traders at our events to take part in the campaigns by adapting their menus to introducing sweet potato dishes, salads and healthier options.
Munch Street Food also works with organisations like Small Green Shoots educating the younger generation about these issues and offering them the platform to further develop their talents.
Our next free event is at the iconic More London Scoop on Saturday 25 May. We’ll have fantastic street food, great music entertainment and another opportunity to raise awareness of ONE’s campaigns. Come along if you are in the London area!
Have you joined our Global Food Revolution campaign yet? No? Get involved!
Apr 25th, 2013 9:16 AM UTC
By Saira O'Mallie
I can honestly say I have never been awake for the London Marathon. I like sleeping, and always felt it was a lovely event for two sorts of people that I am not – runners and morning people.
So when my alarm went off at 6am (again ONE! Why are you always making me get up so early?!) to head to Potters Field Park and set up our stall at the Munch Street Food Festival I did not know what to expect.
Here’s what I learnt:
1. The London Marathon is an amazing event and the people who go along and cheer the runners are fantastic – as are the runners themselves.
2. Munch Street Food, who invited us to join their event and a whole series of events, are wonderful.
3. It is absolutely possible to have fun, eat amazing food, enjoy the sunshine AND take action to ensure that nutrition gets on the agenda of world leaders.
Thanks to our terrific volunteers, over 150 new members took action in support of the campaign.
I’ve been banging on about sweet potatoes since World Food Day last year because they, along with other investments, could help save the lives of 300 children every single day.
That’s a message we need to keep shouting about and sharing. Over 160,000 people have so far called on world leaders to help 25 million children reach their full potential by making measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition by 2016.
Let’s keep banging on about it till they do.
I love sweet potatoes so much that next time I will be dressed as one. If that doesn’t entice you I don’t know what will.
Apr 17th, 2013 1:53 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Jamie Gentille, an HIV/AIDS advocate who works with organizations like ONE and the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, shares her experience growing up HIV-positive in the US.
When I was a kid, my life was a secret. I couldn’t tell my friends that I contracted HIV from a blood transfusion during open-heart surgery when I was three. I couldn’t tell my teachers why I missed so much school for medical appointments. That information stayed within the four walls of my house, because we were afraid of what would happen if people knew. Would I get kicked out of school? Would my friends not want to hang out with me? Would our community ostracise us? I didn’t want to find out, so I kept my secret to myself.
As a child, I didn’t know if I would even live to see my thirties, much less thrive and be completely open about my status. But now I’m happy and healthy. This didn’t just happen by chance. This happened because thousands of people advocated for HIV research and education.
Organisations like Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation (EGPAF) and ONE have shed light on the issue and worked tirelessly to destigmatise AIDS and eliminate the disease worldwide. I am proud to be an EGPAF Ambassador and a partner with ONE. I’m proud to celebrate groundbreaking news of patients being functionally cured of HIV. And I’m proud to share my story with the world.
It was a leap of faith for me to tell the world that I am HIV-positive. Once it was out, I knew I couldn’t “un-tell” people. No amount of “just kidding!” would put the news back in the box. But I realised that I wasn’t doing myself or the HIV community any favours by keeping it a secret.
So let’s keep talking. Let’s figure out how we can reach those in need of life-saving services. Let’s support the research we need to make the next medical milestone a reality. Let’s demystify HIV/AIDS so that people feel comfortable talking about how to protect themselves. Let’s share stories.
I have published a memoir on living with HIV called Surviving HIV: Growing Up a Secret and Being Positive. The book describes growing up in a world of hospitals, tests and doctors; and coming to terms with my own mortality at age 10, when I learned that I was HIV positive. It follows me through adolescence and young adulthood, as I navigated the wonderful world of dating, and attempted to find a balance between being HIV positive and trying to live a “normal life”. Finally, the book describes entering the working world as a healthy adult, and falling in love with my husband, my greatest supporter.
The past couple of weeks have been exhilarating for me—publishing my book and hearing the amazing news of functional cures are causes for applause. I see a bright future ahead of us, and I can’t wait to see what we will be celebrating next.
ONE is campaigning to make the beginning of the end of AIDS a reality by 2015, by putting pressure on world leaders to invest in the Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB and Malaria. Join us and take our one minute action now.
Apr 2nd, 2013 9:14 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
I’m Mel Williams, ONE campaigner, voter, lover of U2, coffee and Zumba. I work for the world’s largest humanitarian organisation, the British Red Cross. Like many people, I support a lot of causes, and when I can I try to bring organisations together.
In December I organised a World AIDS Day Zumbathon in aid of a Ugandan charity called New Dawn Africa Foundation. It’s founder Seggy Hannington also volunteers for the Ugandan Red Cross and has been featured in a previous ONE blog. At this event, we recruited a number of Zumba enthusiasts to sign up to ONE. Many thanks to Zumba Fitness for their support! My local MP, Bridget Phillipson, also got on board and her It starts with me video is in the ONE campaign’s favourites playlist on youtube.
Last month I organised an International Women’s Day event in my local community in my spare time, managing two stalls – one for the Red Cross teaching first aid to the public, another for the ONE campaign raising awareness and recruiting new members to sign up.
I would encourage other ONE campaigners not to be afraid to associate more with charities and if your local area is having community events, give the organisers a call, ask if ONE could attend to recruit, they may just let you, and they may give you the space for free too.
Our International Women’s Day event was funded by a local community chest grant from Sunderland Council, which is a fund local people can apply to if they wish to make a difference in their community. Our local housing group, Gentoo, also sponsored the event. Even with the local government cutbacks, councils will still have some funds, so check out your local area, they may be interested to hear from you.
My local ONE team consists of myself and three young people who started out as Red Cross volunteers and are now proud ONE members. They came with me in 2009 to the 360 shows and have been there for me every time I call on them ever since: Anthony Penfold, Claire Alice Tindale and Mellissa Murray have done ONE proud. I emailed Claire the ONE sign up sheet this morning as she has a new job and wants to take it into work to get her work colleagues to sign up!
I wanted to write this blog to encourage others to keep recruiting to ONE, you don’t need to be at a rock concert or in a university group in order to get involved. If you work, if you are unemployed, if you volunteer for charities, ONE is still for you!
If anyone would like advice on getting active, feel free to follow me on Twitter @dragontart and send me a tweet. Keep up the good work everyone!
Mar 6th, 2013 11:55 AM UTC
By Erin Finucane
I’ll be the first to admit it: the EU budget process is a little bit complicated. Getting 27 member states to agree on anything is complicated, let alone a 960€ billion seven-year budget that has to be agreed unanimously. And with the ever-present power shifts from one institution to the next, it can be challenging to figure out who is in charge at any given moment.
This tumblr we created shows exactly what it’s like to be an EU campaigner!
Campaign success thanks to you
Luckily, our ONE members are the smartest advocates in the business. Two weeks ago, they helped avert disaster and avoid a real-terms cut to development spending that would have had a devastating impact on the world’s poorest. We were disappointed that leaders did not agree bigger increases to development spending, but given that the overall budget was cut for the first time in history, protecting aid required a herculean effort that ONE members helped deliver.
Our members’ advocacy did not go unnoticed. One government advisor in one of the European capitals told us: “Your messages about the MFF were heard at the highest levels”. Another said that the work of ONE and others “was very important in getting the good result we did.”
French President Francois Hollande even quoted ONE’s report on macroeconomic effects of aid in his press conference after the summit, and another government insider commented on ONE’s “high-quality research, creative campaign, and reach”.
Finally, an Irish Presidency Spokesperson issued the following statement:
“Thank you to ONE and to all organisations that have continued to raise this issue with us. The agreed outcome by member state governments of the MFF negotiations, which includes an increase in funding for international development, would ensure that the EU, collectively, will remain the largest provider of overseas assistance globally. As EU Council Presidency, Ireland will now take forward negotiations with the European Parliament on the finalisation of the MFF and will work tirelessly to ensure a successful outcome.”
What you’ve been saying
As well as hearing from these policy makers, it’s been really important to us to read the comments from our ONE members around the world who’ve been talking about this on the ONE blog.
Here’s what ONE member Carla Pinheiro said: “I have two children and they are at the age of becoming aware of what is going on in this complicated world…I wish I could have a magic wand and make all the threats and suffering disappear. But maybe if we join our efforts, no matter how small they are, we can change something for the better.”
Our members have clearly had an impact, and we will need much more of this in the coming weeks and months as we fight to get the best possible deal for the world’s poorest.
So what happens now?
As we enter the next phase of the process, the European Parliament must come together and approve the budget. MEPs will vote on a formal political response to the deal reached by leaders on 11 March. That will be their first opportunity to get a better deal for the world’s poorest.
One important way they can do this is by calling for an increase in the level of the European Development Fund (EDF), the EU’s main source of funding for aid to the poorest countries, because it is technically not part of the main budget and would not affect the delicate budget deal agreed on February 8.
The other critical fight will be to make sure as much external spending within the EU budget is directed towards the very poorest in the world. We will be doing all we can to try and make sure that the funds put aside for development and humanitarian spending are as ambitious as possible.
In the upcoming weeks, we will continue to deliver ONE’s message to MEPs and governments to take one last stand on behalf of the world’s poorest in the negotiations. As the proceedings continue, we’ll also be working to ensure that the agreed upon levels of funding—once they are final—go to smart, effective programs, like HIV/ AIDS, maternal and child health, vaccinations, and food security.
Stay tuned for opportunities to use your voice!
Interested in getting involved in the EU budget fight offline? Email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mar 4th, 2013 4:43 PM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Today’s guest blogger is our February Member of the Month, Stuart Whinney. He went along to chat to his MP about the UK keeping its promise to spend 0.7% of national income on international aid as part of our Scandal campaign.
Visit my MP you say? Let me check my schedule…
A bumper sticker, made famous in the US, paraphrases the sentiments of Mahatma Ghandi when it says ‘be the change you wish to see in the world’. Despite being stuck to the rear-end of a gas guzzler, it’s an inspiring statement from an inspirational person, one that knew a thing or two about self-sacrifice.
As a reader of the ONE blog, I’m sure you will have already bought into this type of sentiment…ONE’s own tag line ‘Actions. Speak. Louder.’ springs to mind. But (and there’s always at least one but), finding the time to help can be hard work when ‘changing the world’ isn’t your day job.
Work or study deadlines, family commitments, domestic chores to name but a few, make it difficult. When you look down your own ‘to do’ list, I’m sure it’s just as long, meaning our free time is a precious commodity, one to be treasured and not given up lightly!
So where, I hear you ask, would I find the time to squeeze in some campaigning for ONE? Like meeting your local MP ahead of Budget Day on 20th March and asking them to lobby George Osborne, making sure the UK sticks to its 0.7% commitment on aid? With similar issues in mind (and Ghandi’s’ words ringing in my ears), I rejigged my own diary last December, making the time to visit my local MP on behalf of ONE and other advocacy groups I supported.
I’m pleased to report meeting my MP was great, she made me feel welcome, listened to and was interested in my opinions and agreed to take action on my behalf. I can’t guarantee all MP’s will be as receptive – party politics is often a fickle business, but it is an MP’s job to listen to and represent their constituent’s opinions, and that’s you.
Influencing our politicians remains one of the best ways to make positive change happen, meeting them in person is often the first step in building a relationship that gets stronger over time.
The importance of gaining political support reminds me of the new Spielberg movie Lincoln. I was profoundly struck by the incredible and unwavering commitment Lincoln showed to passing the 13th amendment and ending slavery in America forever.
Truth is, we can’t all be the next Abraham Lincoln, or Mahatma Ghandi for that matter. But, all of us do have the potential and opportunity to change things for the better, if we decide to make the time and commit to take action. I know the team at ONE will there to help and support you all the way, if you do!
I started with a quote made famous by an American invention (the bumper sticker), so I’ll finish with a quote from one of America’s most famous inventors. Thomas A Edison once said, ‘opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work’ – an uncomfortably accurate observation I think, but one that offers us all encouragement to look at our own busy schedules, free up some time and be the change we wish to see in the world.
Inspired by Stuart to visit your MP? We really need your help in the next two weeks to make sure MPs publicly support the promise to increase aid spending in the UK Budget.
We’ve made it really easy – get stared here!
Feb 15th, 2013 10:24 AM UTC
By Guest Blogger
Meet our January ONE Member of the Month, Mark Shaw! Mark is a student at University College London, and in this guest blog he tells us what he’s been up to.
2013 has been really busy so far. I’ve been sorting out a conference on Global Health at UCL to increase support for ONE and other global health societies at my university, spread the campaigns on campus.
The conference was a huge success, with 120 tickets sold and ten fantastic speakers, plus plenty of people leaving inspired. Topics included women’s health, non-communicable diseases, health worker migration, HIV AIDs and conflict, which had a special focus on the conflict in Syria. ONE were incredibly supportive and helped put us in touch with some of our speakers.
As a result of the conference, we have formed a group of ONEers at UCL who hope to keep events coming throughout the year, including debates, lobbying opportunities and campaigning.
I also went to the launch of the Enough Food for Everyone IF campaign to tackle global hunger held at Somerset House. It was a fantastic opportunity to meet other ONE members from across the country.
Just last week I joined some bleary-eyed ONE campaigners at 7am at the Eurostar terminal in London, hoping to catch David Cameron on his way to Brussels for the EU budget meeting and do some last minute lobbying. We didn’t manage to spot him but did hand out lots of campaign leaflets to travellers and chat to people about saving the EU aid budget from cuts.
Massive thanks to Mark for all his tireless campaigning this month! If you want to get more involved with ONE events and campaigns in your area, get in touch at email@example.com
Feb 14th, 2013 10:09 AM UTC
By Helen Hector
It’s hard to escape the fact that today is Valentine’s Day. Love it or hate it, millions of us will be sending cards, buying flowers and secretly hoping someone will do the same for us.
Here at ONE we decided it was the perfect opportunity to give some love back to our amazing members who tirelessly campaign against extreme poverty with us.
So if you have ever signed a petition, shared a campaign on Facebook, tweeted, shouted or marched with ONE, this is for you.
Our power to tackle the causes of extreme poverty and get world leaders to take the right action is down to you. More than three million people are hard to ignore, and every single voice counts.
Whether you are drowning in chocolates and roses, or still waiting for your first Valentine to arrive, we hope this makes you smile.
You’re amazing and we adore you. Share it with pride!
The International ONE Blog is a daily log of the anti-poverty movement. The site is operated by ONE staff, with guest contributions from ONE volunteers, members and allies.
The content of each post and each comment represents the views of that author and does not necessarily reflect the views of ONE. ONE does not support or oppose any candidate for elected office, and any post expressing support or opposition for a candidate is not endorsed by ONE.