Bill and Chelsea Clinton’s recent trip to Africa to oversee the work of the Clinton Global Initiative included various countries such as Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, South Africa, etc. The Clinton Global Initiative covers a various range of issues that developing nations are currently dealing with, including clean water, proper health care, sanitation, and education, to name a few. Each stop on the trip to Africa dealt with how bringing seemingly small changes in small areas results in significant changes to the residents’ lives.
In South Africa, the Clintons stopped by to see the development of the City Year South Africa initiative, which was started by Clinton after his visit to Africa in 2005. The City Year South Africa association is responsible for bringing together thousands of teenagers and young adults to be teachers, tutors, and mentors to young children in schools in and around Johannesburg. This great initiative gives the school children and volunteers alike great role models, an educated future, and also the inspiration to do good in their community.
Another stop was in Rwanda. After a famine hit in 2011, a powder was developed (by P&G with the CDC) that purified water, and as a result, many lives were saved. The benefits of pure water may seem trivial, but in truth they are substantial: pure water can prevent many diseases that would otherwise kill many. The powder is also used in a various range of emergency situations.
During their stop in Tanzania, the Clintons oversaw the work of Banking for Change, an organization that helps local entrepreneurs save money and access loans. This is an innovative endeavor, because with the rise of small businesses, which not only stimulate the economy, but also employ the local people, the whole locality prospers. Lives have changed because of the opportunities offered to them by Banking for Change.
While these are just a few stops during the Clintons’ Africa trip, there is much more work to be done. The CGI hopes to address the plights of various other nations facing problems. For now, however, reading the inspiring stories of people brought out of extreme poverty, and of lives saved because of the work of the CGI is enough to show us that the solutions to global poverty lie not only in the great initiatives, but in the people working on them.
– Alekhya Malladi
Sources: CNN, Clinton Global Initiative, City Year Africa, Rwanda, Banking on Change
Photo: Clinton Foundation