Eradicating Poverty,

Working towards Sustainable Communities

Children, youth and women are the ones mostly suffering from poverty. These poor and marginalised while predominantly located in developing countries are also increasing in developed countries brought about by economic globalisation that widens income gaps between peoples.

YMCAs have been responding through different programmes and activities in order to eradicate poverty and work towards sustainable communities. Focuses are on education to understand the existing context, enhancing capacity for solving basic needs, increasing access to reach available resources, providing appropriate technology and networking.

A sharing of stories on these actions that transform communities by some YMCAs is provided for in this space.

The exchanges on these transformative actions brought about discussions on issues/concerns and possible YMCA responses on the work of eradicating poverty and working towards sustainable communities:

1.  Urban/rural poor

•  Job creation in rural areas through micro credit/micro enterprises
•  Advocacy for land reform
•  Education for children (formal, non-formal), vocational training
•  Promotion of child care centres
•  Development of rights-based actions for vulnerable sectors of community, eg. education on children's and women's rights
•  Implementation of more programmes to non-Christian communities
•  Promotion of a savings-conscious environment

2. Drugs/Alcohol/Substance Abuse and HIV/AIDS

•  Education/awareness for the youth
•  Setting up rehabilitation programmes for drug/alcohol addicts
•  Reproductive health education

3.  Unskilled labour/Lack of education/Unemployment

•  Mentoring programmes
•  Vocational skills training
•  Life skills training
•  Job matching
•  Pre-employment training

4.  Degradation of environment

•  Environment education/awareness raising, conservation/recycling
•  Alternative/appropriate technology

5.  Labour Migration

•  Education on the rights of migrants
•  Vocational training
•  Life skills
•  Job creation and social reintegration

6.  Access to Information and Knowledge-based Resources

•  Promotion of Information Technology to reduce digital gaps
•  Exchange of staff and volunteers
•  Research studies of effective programmes and sharing of experiences and resources; replication of effective programmes

7.  Gender Inequality/ Inequity

•  Involvement of women in decision making
•  Promotion of harmonious relationships between men and women

•  Networking

•  Increase networking to combat root causes of poverty and promote just-peace society
•  Work on key issues with networks/partners

Eradicating poverty is advancing human development that enriches the lives, dignity and freedoms of ordinary people. Work on this area involves searching for and implementing strategic approaches/applying know-how's to benefit the poorest of the poor.

We invite you to experience the YMCA work and contribute towards increased efforts in sustaining the lives and livelihood of the poor and the marginalised, while preserving the values of community and respect for God's creation.