LONGMEADOW, Massachusetts — 2015 is an exciting year for organizations focused on combating global poverty. The Millennium Development Goals are a set of eight specific goals regarding global education, gender equality, healthcare, sustainability and other primary concerns for people living in developing countries. Ever since the United Nations established these goals, people all over the world have been working to accomplish them by 2015.
The Millennium Development Goals outline specific guidelines and provide hope for significant improvements in the immediate future. However, 2015 is less than 6 months from now, and there is still much that needs to be done.
Alliance2015 is a network of eight humanitarian, non-government organizations based in Europe. Aside from their usual contributions to development in impoverished areas of the world, these eight organizations are interested in meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. These organizations also understand that working together will have a more powerful effect on the eradication of global poverty than any of them could provide single-handedly. For this reason, the organizations have teamed together under the name “Alliance2015” for collective assistance to achieve these goals:
ACTED is the first partner in Alliance2015. Based in France, the organization focuses on rehabilitating and developing areas in Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean that have been victims of war, natural disasters or economic and social problems. With Alliance2015, ACTED will combine with other organizations in Myanmar, Indonesia, South Sudan and Sri Lanka.
Cesvi is Alliance2015’s Italian sector. On its own, Cesvi provides relief to victims of emergency situations and helps countries with educational programs and other development programs. The unique thing about Cesvi is the organization’s concentration on empowering aid recipients; they teach people or supply people with the means to bring themselves out of poverty.
3. Concern Worldwide
Concern Worldwide began in Ireland in 1968. Today, it is Ireland’s largest humanitarian development and emergency response organization. Its efforts have positive effects in developing countries and in Ireland and the U.K., where it advocates for policy changes to increase foreign aid.
Hivos was also founded in 1968, but in the Netherlands. This organization provides financial support to over 700 smaller organizations that work to educate, enforce human rights and promote sustainability in 31 developing countries. Currently, Hivos is creating a program to improve Internet access in developing countries.
IBIS is an organization from Denmark that believes in the power of education. By creating educational opportunities in nine countries throughout Africa and Latin America, IBIS enforces their slogan, “education for change.”
6. People in Need
People in Need is an organization from the Czech Republic that mainly focuses on granting all people the rights to democratic freedom. Interestingly, People in Need was the first non-government organization of its kind to begin in a post-communist country. Public donations that go through the organization reach people in 28 countries directly. Like many of the other partners of Alliance2015, People in Need advocates for policy changes as well as donated aid in order to provide a maximum amount of relief in developing countries.
Like Cesvi, the German organization Welthungerhilfe provides people in developing countries with the means for self-help. Currently, Welthungerhilfe is working on a Millennium Development Project-related project called “Millennium Villages.”
In each of the 15 Millennium Villages, community members outline their needs and Welthungerhilfe helps them fix these problems to bring themselves out of poverty.
8. HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation
The last group to join Alliance2015 was HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation of Switzerland. It is the fusion of two older Swiss organizations, Helvetas and Intercooperation, meaning that the new organization is very experienced in the fight against global poverty. The organization primarily focuses on raising funds to improve living conditions for people in 30 countries. Some of its specific programs deal with water and sanitation facilities, government treatment of human rights and ways to deal with climate change.
Alliance2015 is more effective than a single organization because it allows for collaboration among groups with different strengths and experiences. As the list above indicates, the eight organizations each focus on slightly different areas of foreign aid and human empowerment. By discussing how they can help each other and work together in developing countries, the eight organizations are moving closer to accomplishing the 2015 Millennium Development Goals.
– Emily Walthouse