SDG 1: No poverty
In 2014, Thunayya fled her city of Al Qunaytra and the war that enveloped it. She lived in the camp ever since, and decided to volunteer as a cleaner, earning about US$8.50 per day. At the age of 48, it was the first time Thunayya had ever worked, as she had to provide for herself and her 85-year old father, her only dependent.
Sefadin, Leyla, Youssef and Zahra came from Syria, fleeing the combats in their country and finding refuge in the Domiz camp in Iraqi Kurdistan. All four have volunteered to support families of refugees with disabilities. They ran mutual help sessions about the isolation of people with disabilities who are at risk of being cut off from the humanitarian aid available in the camp.
This was a crucial issue for Zahra:
As the winds came howling through Delakado on that day, infrastructures entirely collapsed and homes came crumbling down. All but one. The 300 inhabitants of the village somehow managed to hide under the floorboards of a house that was built with a higher standard. The strongest stood above and with all their might, held the walls up until the storm subsided. Amazingly, no one was killed. It was a miraculous community effort which paved the way for the reconstruction process.
Saleh started volunteering with the Red Cross’ water and sanitation team soon after arriving at Nea Kavala, helping to ensure people in the camp have access to clean water and safe facilities. But he played more than a technician’s role, and has been central in making sure that the Red Cross has a strong relationship with the community and listens to feedback, comments and concerns from people in the camp.
A Bangladesh Red Crescent mobile medical team has been set up in Bangladesh, and it is run by volunteer Dr. Mohsin Ahmed. He explains that food, water and shelter are the main concern of the people he is seeing, most of whom are women and children.
Just from the other side of the San Juanico bridge in Leyte, lives a man named Oscar, a local resident of Samar, the first island to be struck by typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. Despite the aftermath conditions and turmoil that surrounded him, Oscar remained optimistic and decided he would find a way to serve his community.
On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the UN pays homage to the victims of hunger and social exclusion to encourage multilateral partnerships that are based on solid, compassionate responses to their struggles. Poverty has numerous repercussions: hunger and food insecurity, increased crime and child mortality rates, political instability, corruption and dysfunctional governance. We are seeing now that poverty is a prime driver of violent extremism, breeding and intensifying conflicts worldwide.
On the 15th of August 2017, the Aquarius took on board 112 people rescued by the Migrant Offshore Aid Station (MOAS), another NGO working in the Mediterranean. These 112 people were packed on a single inflatable boat, as Alessandro Porro recalls. Among them were women, children and wounded people, but for the most part they were young men.
During a field monitoring mission as a UN Volunteer Associate Project Officer with UN Women in Tajikistan, I got to know the female leaders of two dairies which, independently from each other, approached me with their idea to produce a hard cheese as a more durable dairy product.
Their mission is simple, their rationale concise: "We are lifeguards and we are saving lives." Started in September 2015, the small Barcelona-based NGO Proactiva Open Arms initially helped refugees "disembark safely" onto the island of Lesbos, Greece. This year, the organization, which depends entirely on donations, has expanded its humanitarian operation to patrolling the coast off Libya.