Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Got Cents? Raising AIDS Awareness One Penny at a Time

The numbers associated with the Millennium Development Goals are so big, dealing with them usually means one of two things. Either we have to break them down into smaller units we can understand (like the popsicle stick cross showing how many children die of extreme poverty in 6 hours)...

...or take it head on and show how immense the number really is.

That's the Got Cents? approach.

Got Cents? is collecting 19 million pennies - one for every person estimated to have died of HIV/AIDS in Africa through 2007 -- to display on World AIDS Day, December 1.

So far, they have collected 6.1 million ... the number who have died of HIV/AIDS in Africa since the last presidential election. Right now, they're on display in the form of a giant AIDS ribbon at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. Next week, they'll be in Minneapolis for the Republican National Convention.

Got Cents? is coordinating this effort with the ONE Campaign, which is also sponsoring AIDS caregiver kit assembly events at each convention. Yesterday, 1,500 kits were assembled in just ONE HOUR!

Check out the entries on the ONE blog about the caregiver kit assembly event and the Got Cents display.

Find out how to donate your pennies, learn about the AIDS charities the pennies will eventually go to, and other ways to help at the Got Cents? website.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

"More Conflict in Sudan Predicted" -- BBC Radio News

The carnage in Sudan, which began in 1983, left two million people dead and four million people homeless. Since then the peace agreement that ended the war has been threatening to unravel. In the first of his series, Mike Thomson reports from Sudan on Africa's longest running civil war.

Click here to listen to streaming audio of the story.

Click here to listen to streaming audio of an interview with the Catholic Archbishop of Juba.

This series will run daily all week. Keep checking back HERE for the newest installments.

Monday, August 25, 2008

"Dean Martha heralds new day for women in Sudan" -- by the Rev. Lauren Stanley

RENK, Sudan – We made history in Sudan the other day, installing the Very Rev. Martha Deng Nhial as the first dean of the Cathedral of St. Matthew, Diocese of Renk, Episcopal Church of Sudan.

But being the first was not how the real history was made.

No, the real history was making a woman priest dean of a cathedral in Sudan. Dean Martha is the first to hold that office, just eight years after the Episcopal Church of Sudan decided to begin ordaining women as deacons and priest, just five years after Dean Martha was ordained a deacon, and only three years after she was ordained a priest.

Dean Martha is also one of the first African women to be dean of an African cathedral in the history of Christianity.

We’re feeling pretty good about ourselves right now. And not just about the history-making. We are looking around and seeing women being educated and starting businesses and taking leadership positions all over the country. In the Diocese of Renk, our schools are filled with girls, who make up close to 50 percent of the school population in some cases. Girls are taking and passing their Sudan Junior Certificates at the end of eighth grade, and taking and passing their Sudan Certificates at the end of senior secondary school. They are becoming teachers and in some cases, head teachers. They are learning to speak, read and write English and Arabic and their tribal languages, many of them from the Mothers’ Union, a powerful force in Sudan.

Women may not yet rule in Sudan, but some days, it sure seems that way.

A week after Dean Martha was installed, special prayers were offered at her home. Fifty women gathered to praise her, to praise the Church, and to thank God and the Church for lifting her up, and for her ability to lift all of us up in our lives.

Even before she became dean, Martha was a force to be reckoned with in Renk. She was a nurse, as well as a member and then leader of the Mothers Union here. When she walked through town, with a purposeful stride, everyone could see that she was a woman of strength. (I once was compared to her because of the speed with which I walk, as well as my long stride. It was quite the compliment.) When Martha spoke, everyone listened, because they knew she was a woman of faith. When she became one of the first women priests ordained in Sudan, all applauded her for her courage.

Culturally, Sudan is still a land where women are expected to do certain kinds of work, none of which involve leadership. In the countryside, it is still not unusual to see the boys being educated while the girls are kept at home. In Renk, boys can pretty much roam the streets at will; girls, on the other hand, are kept under tighter supervision. (All of my young playmates, who come to hang out with me, play games, teach me Arabic, learn English from me and just keep me company, are boys. The girls are not allowed by their families to come play with me.)

So to see Dean Martha being installed – to see her daughters weep at her service – to hear the women in town sing her praises and encourage her to greater heights for herself and beg her to lead them to greater heights – was awe-inspiring.

Forget the history.

This was about women being shown that they, too, can lead, they, too, have something great to offer, they, too, deserve to be honored.

The Rev. Lauren R. Stanley is an Appointed Missionary of the Episcopal Church serving in the Diocese of Renk, Sudan. She is a lecturer at the Renk Theological College, teaching Theology, Liturgy and English, and serves as chaplain for the students.

Photo: The Very Rev. Martha Deng Nhial, the new Dean of St. Matthew Cathedral, Diocese of Renk, Episcopal Church of Sudan, addressed the congregation after being installed on 17 August 2008 in Renk, Sudan. (Photo by Moses Anuur Ayom.)

Saturday, August 23, 2008

"What Will Become of Our Dreams? An Initial Report from A Trip to the IASSW Global Social Work Conference in Durban, South Africa" -- by Jenn Morazes

Genesis 37: 19 – 20

19 They said to one another, "Here comes this dreamer. 20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams."

Matthew 14:28-33
28 Peter answered him, "Lord, if it is you, command me to come to you on the water." 29 He said, "Come." So Peter got out of the boat, started walking on the water, and came toward Jesus. 30 But when he noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, "Lord, save me!" 31 Jesus immediately reached out his hand and caught him, saying to him, "You of little faith, why did you doubt?" 32 When they got into the boat, the wind ceased. 33 And those in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."

In our day-to-day lives, walking on water is the stuff of dreams. However, the everyday endeavors of reconciliation and social development aims of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) require vision and faith, and many times also include expressions of anger and doubt.

I have found myself straddling the professional worlds of “secular” social work/welfare and faith-based social action. I’ve witnessed that the viewpoints of international social work and faith informed mission share many of the same stated goals – affirming the dignity and worth of all people, emphasizing the importance of human relationships, employing an empowerment mindset, social justice.

Due to this overlap, I traveled to Durban, South Africa at the end of July to participate in a biennial international social work gathering called the International Association of Schools of Social Work. As part of the conference, I delivered a talk on the importance of faith-based organizations and their participation in social development. South Africa was a perfect setting for the issue of social development, as faith-based organizations such as Hope Africa as well as the government social work agencies (such as the South Africa Department of Social Development) have all adopted the social development model as their service lens. There were 1,500 delegates in attendance at this conference, from Africa, Asia, North America, Central America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia, and many island nations.

Gathering at the International Convention Centre (ICC) in Durban, the energy contained both vision and doubt. Many – most notably participants from many African countries – sought to abandon defeatist mindsets and see themselves as leaders who were transforming African economic landscapes. For example, Tracie Rogers from the University of the West Indies (Republic of Trinidad and Tobago) and Maud Mthembu Mhlongo (South Africa Sinikithemba) talked with palpable enthusiasm about their economic projects which addressed the life situations of people with HIV/AIDS in their regions, including an internationally touring choir. These women were truly examples of dreams which helped others around them to “walk on water”!

However, participants also talked about the many challenges of social development in local contexts. For example, one clinician named Francine Davies of WITS University described trauma and violence as “The South African Pandemic” and one of the main clinical barriers to development faced by South Africans. In the session on Social Development given by Leila Patel, social workers from around Africa expressed frustration concerning lack of support and resources. The rooms at times were also filled with doubt, and perhaps even a wish to throw all the dreamers into “one of the pits”!

Dr. Leila Patel was herself for me an example of a visionary – someone who even in the face of adversity has continued to work positively for change in her country. She was under house arrest during apartheid, and during the Mandela government she authored the "white paper" which instituted social development as the official government approach to inequality and poverty in her country. Her intellect, creditability and unfailing sense of humor disarmed much of the frustration in the room. And, though some are working through anger and doubt, the participants at this conference affirmed their desire to work for change not only in their local contexts, but also through dialogue in North-South Relationships. I’ve since read that even the fact that the conference was held in South Africa has buoyed the morale of many African social workers. For me, the conference has continued to show me that both doubt and faith live simultaneously in the work God calls us to perform. What will become of our dreams? May hope prevail in our hearts and in our relationships with others!

Jenn Morazes is a graduate of Episcopal Divinity School in the area of Theology and Contemporary Society. She is currently studying in the School of Social Welfare in the MSW/PhD program at the University of California, Berkeley. Jenn has studied and performed community work in both Mexico and Southern Africa and also participated in the Young Adult Stewards Programme with the World Council of Churches in Geneva, Switzerland. She has also served as an anti-racism trainer for the national Episcopal Church. Her current clinical work and research focuses on the impact of trauma on particular communities locally and internationally, as well as homelessness,wealth distribution and the role of faith communities in social development.

Friday, August 22, 2008

"Why They're Dying in the Congo" -- BBC World Service

BBC World Affairs Correspondent Mark Doyle explores why over five million people have died in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the past decade.

Part I - Listen (23 min.) streaming from BBC World website

Part I -- download mp3 podcast

Part II - Listen (23 min) streaming from BBC World website

Part II - download mp3 podcast

Statistics from aid agency The International Rescue Committee show mortality rates in Congo to be significantly higher than other sub-Saharan African countries. Mark finds out why DRC is arguably suffering the world's deadliest crisis since World War II.

Violent conflict is one cause. The armies of half a dozen African states have become involved in the region and the UN has its largest peacekeeping force there - but the vast majority of deaths are caused by treatable conditions such as malaria and malnutrition.

Mark travels by boat up the River Congo to visit villages in the west of the country, and drives through the war-ravaged agricultural communities of the east, near the volatile border with Rwanda. He comes across a number of mothers in the towns and villages, every one of whom has experienced the death of a child. Many have lost more than one.

The two part documentary features Congolese health personnel, fishermen and farmers.

Doyle meets the doctor who runs the Accident and Emergency department of the country's biggest hospital - but who does not have a single bandage to treat a newly-arrived road-crash victim. "It hurts me", says the doctor; "I am helpless".

Thursday, August 21, 2008

"FAME and MDG adventure in Tanzania" -- by Meredith Bowen

I am about two weeks from embarking on a new MDG adventure and I would like to share it with the readers of this blog.

I have volunteered in Tanzania four times over the past four years, and in two weeks I will be heading back that way. I graduated from law school here in Ohio in May and took a job with The Foundation for African Medicine and Education (FAME) - located in Karatu, Tanzania.

Dr. Frank Artress and his wife, Susan, began their endeavors in Tanzania four years ago. Just this past spring, construction was finally completed on their out-patient clinic. Once funds are raised, an entire in-patient surgical wing will be built as well. This past May the cover of the San Francisco Chronicle carried an enormous story about Dr. Frank and his work.

Interest in FAME has exploded and potential volunteers are lining up! So, I will be heading up the Volunteer Program onsite.

I am incredibly excited about this new position and the work that awaits me. I will be blogging about my work there from my website - located on the "News" page.

Tanzania is one of the 10 poorest countries in the world and is among those with the highest rate of AIDS in the world. The leading medical concerns include AIDS, TB, malaria, pneumonia and dysentery. And with only one medical doctor for every 25,000 people, Tanzania faces one of the lowest doctor/patient ratios in the world.

I encourage you to take the time to read the San Fran Chronicle article - or check out FAME's website.

Stay tuned for stories from Tanzania!

Meredith Bowen is a recent graduate of the law school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. In 2007, she spent the fall semester in Arusha, Tanzania doing an internship at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. Has volunteered in Tanzania with the Rift Valley Childrens Village (an orphanage) as well as with the Anglican Diocese of Mount Kilimanjaro and the Diocese of Tanga. Started the African Orphan Education Fund to award scholarships for secondary school and university.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

"A Prayer for Children" -- submitted by Dr. Christiana Russ

For her post this month, Dr. Christiana Russ offers this poem that was shared with her by her mentor at Children's Hospital in Boston. Christiana is a pediatrician who splits time between Children's and an Anglican hospital in Maseno, Kenya.

[from A Prayer for Children by Ina Hughs. Wm. Morrow and Company, NY., 1995. Pgs XIV-XV.]

We pray for children
who sneak popsicles before supper,
who erase holes in math workbooks,
who can never find their shoes.

And we pray for those
who stare at photographers from behind barbed wire,
who can't bound down the street in a new pair of sneakers,
who never "counted potatoes,"
who are born in places we wouldn't be caught dead,
who never go to the circus,
who live in an X-rated world.

We pray for children
who bring us sticky kisses and fistfuls of dandelions,
who hug us in a hurry and forget their lunch money.

And we pray for those
who never get dessert,
who have no safe blankets to drag behind them,
who watch their parents watch them die,
who can't find any bread to steal,
who don't have any rooms to clean up,
whose pictures aren't on anybody's dresser,
whose monsters are real.

We pray for children
who spend all their allowances before Tuesday,
who throw tantrums in the grocery store and pick at their food,
who like ghost stories,
who shove dirty clothes under the bed and never rinse out the tub,
who get visits from the tooth fairy,
who don't like to be kissed in front of the carpool,
who squirm in church or temple and scream in the phone,
whose tears we sometimes laugh at and whose smiles can make us cry.

And we pray for those
whose nightmares come in the daytime,
who will eat anything,
who have never seen a dentist,
who aren't spoiled by anybody,
who go to bed hungry and cry themselves to sleep,
who live and move, but have no being.

We pray for children who want to be carried
and for those who must,
for those we never give up on and for those
who don't get a second chance.
For those we smother…and for those who will grab the hand of anybody kind enough to offer it.

[The poem was written following the Oklahoma City bombing by Ina Hughes, columnist for the Knoxville News-Sentinel.]

Dr. Christiana Russ is a pediatrician doing her residency at Boston Children's Hospital. She also spends time at an Anglican mission hospital in Kenya through a joint arrangement with Children's and the Diocese of Massachusetts. Christiana is the chair of the Executive Council Standing Commission on HIV/AIDS.

Monday, August 18, 2008

"Chicago Parish launches 'Club 157' to retire Sudanese church debt" -- by Joe Bjordal (ENS)

[Episcopal News Service] When the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul spoke to the annual conference of the American Friends of the Episcopal Church of Sudan (AFRECS) in May 2008, he described the immediate challenges he was facing as the new archbishop of a church with 24 dioceses spread throughout Africa's largest geographical country. At the time of the conference, Deng has been archbishop barely a month.

He reported that upon taking office he discovered that the Episcopal Church of Sudan, at the provincial level, was deeply in debt and that some church officials had not been compensated for as long as three years. The amount of the debt was equal to approximately $157,000.

"This is affecting my work as archbishop," he said, "and I strongly need your support to carry out my duty. I want you to send me home with a promise that you will help me clear these arrears to the staff, to roll away the stone and remove the hindrances to our work as the church in Sudan."

That need was discussed in a small, private meeting between Deng and members of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Barrington, Illinois, a congregation well-known to the new archbishop. For 10 years, St. Michael's has spearheaded the companion relationship between the Diocese of Chicago and the Diocese of Renk in Sudan, where Deng served as bishop prior to his election as primate.

Jackie Kraus, a member of St. Michael's who first suggested the companion relationship after a trip to Sudan in 1998, said that a possible strategy to erase the debt was introduced at the meeting: simply find 157 individuals or families who will give $1,000 each.

The idea has been met with strong support and in September, St. Michael's will formally launch a fundraising campaign called "Club 157" seeking to raise $157,000 to meet Deng's immediate need. Even prior to the official start of the effort, the Club has 12 members.

A history of generosity for Sudan
This kind of effort in support of the Episcopal Church of Sudan is nothing new for St. Michael's. Only this time they seek to tap the generosity of people beyond their own congregation.

Early on in the companion relationship, Episcopalians in Chicago began to focus on the needs of what is now known as Renk Theological College. Initially, two members of St. Michael's provided funds to a small school building of mud and grass where priests could study the Bible. When that building was taken by the government in order to build a road over the site, the people of St. Michael's raised $50,000 to build a new school of brick with a tin roof.

St. Michael's has just concluded another successful fundraising effort with the goal of providing $150,000 to support the college over a five-year period. Kraus reports that the congregation exceeded it goal.

Club 157 will be chaired by Robin and Philip Darrow of St. Michael's, who became involved in Chicago's Sudan relationship two years ago.

Kraus, who said she "carried the torch for Sudan alone" for many years in her congregation and the diocese, says the Darrows "are some of the people that God has risen up in his own time" to lead the effort.

Phil Darrow represented St. Michael's and the Diocese of Chicago at Deng's enthronement in April in Juba. Both Robin and Phil represented their church and diocese in Salisbury, England in July, where nearly all the Sudanese bishops gathered just prior to the Lambeth Conference to celebrate the 35th anniversary of a companion relationship between the Diocese of Salisbury and the Episcopal Church of Sudan.

Phil Darrow says that Club 157 will be launched in September as an appeal letter is sent to people in the Diocese of Chicago and to members and friends of AFRECS.

Read the entire article here.
Photo of Archbishop Deng with Phil and Robin Darrow courtesy of St. Michael's Episcopal Church, Barrington, IL.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

"Osman Hope Mission 2008" -- by Gordon Brewer

This past month (July 19-27), eight people from across the US went to Honduras for a mission trip to work in the Osman Hope Children’s Shelters. Glenna Depew, Gordon Brewer, “Sister” Brewer, Rebecca Brewer, Donna Adams, Brian Dennis, Kimberly Dennis and Ed Warnol went for a week of ministry in Honduras in all three of the shelters run by Osman Hope, Inc., which partners with local churches to provide day shelters in Honduras for children living in extreme poverty.

Osman Hope is an ecumenical non-profit organization committed to working toward the Millennium Development Goals. Osman Hope is dedicated to ending poverty in Honduras and Central America by providing, nutritional meals, safety from the streets, help with schoolwork and spiritual guidance to the poorest of the children of Honduras.

Honduras is a country of contrasts. On one hand, you have a country that is filled with tropical forests, lush green mountains and abundant in beauty. On the other hand, it is a country in which the majority of the people live in extreme poverty on less than $2 a day. Honduras is the second poorest country in the Caribbean and the poorest of the Central American Countries. Most affected are the children. It is not untypical to have several young children left to fend for themselves for weeks at a time while their parents are out trying to find work and/or scrape out a meager existence just to support the family. It is also, not uncommon at all to find a 6 year old left to care for children younger than they are or even infants.

Our week was spent traveling first to the town of Santa Cruz de Yojoa located about an hour south of San Pedro Sula. In Santa Cruz is the largest of the Osman Hope shelters where about 50 children are served. We were able to help another group in working on a water tower to supply water for new “banos” (toilets) and showers for the shelter. The second half of the week was spent in San Pedro Sula and Villanueva working and playing with the children in those two shelters. (Incidentally, the shelter in Villanueva is run by the Episcopal Diocese of Honduras) Glenna was able to use her expertise in organizing games, art projects and activities with the children. We had a great time playing and interacting with the children. It was truly a ministry of presence in that most of the kids get very little love and affection at home.

Another highlight of the trip was to visit a new project that Osman Hope has become involved with in an area outside of San Pedro Sula called Rivera Hernanadez. Rivera Hernandez is a slum area developed on a levee of what is called the Rio Negro (Black River or River of Pollution). The families are squatters, living illegally on government land. In the middle of this muddy and disease infested village is a church. The church is run by Pastora Maria Flores. Pastora Flores has started a children’s feeding program and young adult literacy project program in this area of Honduras. Osman Hope has made a commitment to help with this project by subsidizing their feeding program.

Whenever you return from travel outside of the country, it seems like it is only natural to need a few days just to be re-acclimated to what is familiar and “back in the groove” of life in general. Even though this was my fifth trip to Honduras, it always takes me a few months to reflect and get my brain around all that was seen and experienced. The extreme poverty we witnessed is truly overwhelming to see and experience. It would be very difficult for one single group or mission trip to make a major difference. But I truly believe that lives are changed and enriched by mission trips. Not only on the receiving end, but it is ten fold on the giving end. It would be fair to say that our lives are changed by having been in Honduras, interacting with the families and children we encountered. Sure, we were able to give some things away and provide a lot of fun activities for the children in the shelters. But he significant change came through building relationships and sharing in the lives of the people. As a result, in the words of St. Paul, we were “transformed by a renewing of our minds”. I can dare say, that for most of us in the group, we gained much more than we were able to give. At the same time, we felt God’s presence along the way as we attempted to minister to the children and families of Honduras.

For more information about Osman Hope you can visit their website or contact Gordon Brewer at

Gordon Brewer is an EGR diocesan contact person for the Diocese of East Tennessee.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

"Means by no means" -- by the Rev. Becca Stevens

A street encounter with Roger Miller's classic song "King of the Road" prompts reflections on the Feeding of the Five Thousand. On scarcity and abundance. Remembering that we are people of means by no means ... and that God provides more than enough. And how she found herself and her community challenged to live the call to joyful faith in the midst of scarcity.

The Rev. Becca Stevens is a priest, author, rector of St. Augustine's Church in Nashville, TN and founder of Magdalene House. She has also worked with St. Augustine's to found a school in Ecuador. Read her bio here.

Friday, August 15, 2008

"Rediscovering Hearts of Music" -- by the Micah Challenge

Today's post is from the Micah Challenge, a global Christian campaign to achieve the MDGs. Part of their mission is a weekly prayer emailing like the one you see below. You can receive it in your email box every week send a blank email to with the words 'subscribe prayer' in the subject line.


‘What is it that makes a song have an effect on a person?’ asks musician Leonardo Alvarez from Chile.

‘It’s presence of life, the comprehensiveness of the content and a deep sense of community are elements that give music a special place within the ecclesial context in Latin America, where people in many places no longer have hearts of music and singing because they have been trained in despair, oppression or violence.’

Leonardo uses David as a biblical example:

‘We can learn something about his character through his song. We know that his spirituality was closely related to his ability to marvel at and contemplate the mysteries of God. Surely the peaceful life of a shepherd prepared him for this. Those who do not have time to stop and contemplate the wonder of the great mysteries of God will end up singing only about what they know.’

Please reflect on Psalm 63, one of David’s great songs.


Let us pray:

*That music will be developed and used in our churches for the advancement of the kingdom of God.

*Especially for Latin American musicians - that they can ‘articulate hope but also inspire new steps of community-transforming action. May Latin America Sing!’

*For the Micah Challenge African facilitators meeting in Jos, Nigeria, 22-27 August. Please pray:

+For participants’ final travel arrangements.

+For a deep sense of fellowship and learning from each other.

+That the training sessions will help the campaign facilitators to plan strategically for the next steps for their national campaign.

*Reflecting on the statistic below: it is now more than a quarter of a century since the AIDS epidemic was first recognized but there are still some areas where progress has been slow.

Today we pray particularly that countries will design laws so that the most vulnerable, those most marginalized and those most at risk of HIV can be protected effectively.

Meditate on the Statistics

As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.

Goal 6: Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases
Target 7: Have halted by 2015 and begun to reverse the spread of HIV/AIDS

‘HIV experts from around the globe highlighted the dramatic negative impact that stigma and the denial of human rights, including gender inequality, continue to have on the effectiveness of HIV treatment and prevention scale up. Fear of violence, discrimination and unwarranted prosecution prevent many people living with or at risk for HIV from seeking testing and treatment, and drive others to place themselves at risk for infection.’

‘There is no way we can address this epidemic without addressing the social, political, jurisprudential nightmare we have created. If I try and engage injecting drug users and a policeman is running behind me trying to put them in goal, it isn’t going to work. If we cannot allow sex workers to protect themselves and from those who are predating on them, we will not be able to protect them and their clients from HIV. The legislation has to address those most vulnerable, those most marginalized and those most at risk of HIV.’
Dr Julio Montaner, AIDS 2010 International Chair and IAS President 2008 - 2010

Source: XVII International AIDS Conference, 3-8 August 2008

Thursday, August 14, 2008

"What One Congregation Can Do" -- by Reynolds Whalen

For the next eight months, the Millennium Development Goals are becoming an integral part of parish life at St. John’s Episcopal Church in Norman, Oklahoma. Starting in September, a different goal will be highlighted each month with a related project and education at all levels of Sunday School, from toddlers to the adult class. The Prayers of the People will be modified to include both the MDG of the month and a general prayer for global reconciliation through the realization of all eight.

This is only the beginning for St. John’s as they have contributed a significant portion of their 0.7% budget line item toward funding my position as videographer for Millennium Congregation, and are considering becoming an official “Millennium Congregation” in the next fiscal year.

When approaching issues as overwhelming and broad as extreme poverty, one must be creative. Here is just one idea for sparking interest and beginning an education campaign in your own congregation: an interactive bulletin board…

(This model was designed by members of St. John’s using components of the Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation website. Feel free to use as much or as little as you would like, and use your creativity to come up with something even better)

  1. Find a picture to represent each MDG (if you’ve traveled abroad, this is a chance to bring your own experience into the process). Format the picture in the program of your choice to be 7”X7”. Using a text box, superimpose a statistic about each MDG.
  2. Using the same program, import the MDG “squares” from the EGR website. If desired, use the text box to change the wording of each MDG to reflect faith in action. For example: “Lead us to reduce child mortality. Lord, hear our prayer.”
  3. Fold eight 14”X7” pieces of paper in half to make a 7”X7” square. With the fold facing up, paste the picture on the front and lift the cover to paste the MDG on the inside.
  4. Arrange the squares in the shape of a cross. Encourage parishioners to match a separate list of the MDGs with the pictures and lift the pictures to check if they are correct.

The result is an interactive and educational bulletin board that makes the MDGs personal by portraying actual people who live in daily poverty. Additionally, it encourages action every time anyone lifts one of the flaps. This is a great way to begin general education on the MDGs before moving to more specific action points and ways to be involved.

Reynolds Whalen is a 2008 graduate of Washington University in St. Louis and has traveled extensively in Kenya, Uganda, and Sudan. He spent fall semester 2006 in Kenya working with AIDS orphans -- read his blog on it here and has made a documentary film on that experience. He is currently raising funds to spend 2008-9 working in Rwanda for Millennium Congregation helping people in the villages of Rwanda tell their stories. You can give toward Reynolds work in Rwanda with Millennium Congregation here (be sure and put Millennium Congregation - Reynolds Whalen in the designation field)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

"The Camino and the MDGs: Trust and Risk" -- by the Rev. Devon Anderson

In July my husband Michael and I hiked the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain. The trail starts in France and winds westward across Spain, ending at the Cathedral in Santiago which is believed to house the mortal remains of St. James the Apostle. Pilgrims have been walking this trail since the 10th century.

We did not have time to walk the Camino’s entire 500 kilometers, but instead began our journey in a mountain-top village called O Cebreiro, about 150 km away from Santiago. Off we went, with our noses planted in our highly-detailed trail book. Within the first ten minutes we were lost. We had managed to lose the trail before we had even begun, and we stood alone on a hillside scratching our heads like two complete dorks.

We retraced our steps and started again, this time with the trail book put away and our eyes open, searching for a prominent yellow arrow – the first of hundreds we would see painted on a rock or building or fence post – to point pilgrims along the way.

And so we learned the first of many lessons: the Camino takes care of you.

People had told us this before we left, but we didn’t know what it meant until we were there. The Camino provides everything you need to walk it: places to sleep, food to eat, water to drink, shade for rest, scenic hamlets for reflection, village churches for prayer. And it also points the way. At every juncture or split in the road one need only stand for a moment and look around, searching for the yellow arrow that never fails to appear.

And yet, the Camino can only take care of you if you let it. It can only work its grace if you are able to let go of what you know, or think you know, let go of what’s been read or anticipated or planned. The Camino requires eyes looking up, not down. It begs an open heart, able to be swept up in the moment, wide open and noticing, listening. And the Camino asks to be trusted -- that the need for certainty and knowledge be left behind, if only for a time, to allow the Camino space to do its work.

Flying home after this greatest of adventures I began the Herculean task of making some sense of it all. I would return to many and various church projects, the greatest of which is the next phase of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Pilot Project in the Diocese of Minnesota. The MDG Leadership Team has worked faithfully this summer to change and strengthen the model based on our many learnings from the first phase in Lent. While energized by the success and steep learning curve of phase one, the process has been challenging and not without bends in the road around which we cannot yet see.

It occurs to me that the process of mobilizing people around global poverty might be like walking the Camino – something that, if it is of God, will take care of us if we let it. If we trust God and take big risks in the name of mission, if we keep our eyes open and our hearts aware and listening, if we can sustain, if only for a time, an ability to keep our need for certainty in check – if we can do all these things -- we will be a few steps closer to the kingdom of God. We can plan, strategize and study all we want – and we are. But part of the process of organizing action around MDGs requires the spiritual discipline of openness, observance, listening and the willingness to be guided by the whims of the Spirit. Namely, keeping our hearts and minds looking up, not down and learning to trust. And this part will inform the rest, God willing, infusing our busy-ness with community and God and spiritual transformation.

The next phase of the MDG Pilot Project in the Diocese of Minnesota!

Deadline for Participating Congregations: September 15, 2008
MDG Pilot Project Training: October 17-19, 2008 (Buffalo, Minnesota)
Campaign Kick-Off: First Sunday in Epiphany, 2009

For more information, please contact any member of the MDG Leadership Team:

Kurt Hall
Kate Hennessy
Michele Morgan

The Rev. Devon Anderson is a priest, the chair of Diocese of Minnesota MDG task force, and the recipient of an Episcopal Church Foundation grant to develop models for equipping congregations for engaging global mission and the MDGs.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"Walk for Witness" -- by Craig Cole

Ten years ago at the 1998 Lambeth Conference, about 200 Bishops and their spouses came to a reception to launch Five Talents as a concrete answer to the ravages of grassroots poverty. I’m told by those who were in attendance that a bishop’s wife challenged the organizers by saying, “This better not be just talk. We want action.”

The challenge of the bishop’s wife has rung in my ears since I became the executive director of Five Talents International in September 1999. We did act and at this moment are helping 20,000 poor entrepreneurs in 14 projects located in 10 countries. On November 16, the parable of the talents is the Gospel reading. We will be asking churches to remember on “Five Talents Sunday,” that even those who suffer the indignity of being poor have God-given abilities that when used lead to empowerment and hope.

It was a privilege for me to attend the first week of the 2008 Lambeth Conference. Besides being in exhibit hall, we held two workshops for the bishops and their spouses and sponsored a social event to celebrate 10 years.

I also was honored to participate in the Walk for Witness on Global Poverty on July 24th. It was the first time ever that I have walked, run or carried a sign advocating for a cause. For those who know me, it’s just not something I do. But walking by Whitehall and Parliament on a clear sunny day was an amazing experience. More importantly, for the hour or so that it lasted, there was a feeling of unity and camaraderie especially among the bishops. At least from my vantage point this was true. I saw bishops from all different perspectives come together to witness on behalf of the poor who have no voice and live in desperate conditions. In fact, so many of the bishops on the walk experience this truth daily in their diocese whether in Sudan, Congo or Peru.

The focus on grassroots poverty and the churches’ important role in meeting the challenge of more than a billion people living on $1 or $2 a day is one point of agreement that binds the Anglican Communion together. In the end, though talking and walking doesn’t provide justice. Justice will roll down only when Christians act out the holistic gospel of Jesus Christ. Achieving the Millennium Development Goals will mean very little for the church unless we also share the love of Jesus Christ and His message of transformation and reconciliation while simultaneously serving the poor through water projects, HIV/AIDS treatment and even business development.

Craig Cole is the executive director of Five Talents International, an Anglican microfinance nonprofit. Member of Diocese of Virginia's Mission Commission. Craig is also an EGR board member.

Monday, August 11, 2008

"The MDGs -- A Vehicle For The Practical Idealist" -- by Dr. John Hammock

For EGR the work on promoting the Millennium Development Goals is as much about promoting personal transformation as it is about promoting the eight goals of the MDGs. The EGR mission calls us to conversion, to root our work with the MDGs squarely on our faith as Christians. This is why we want to build a movement, not just promote a series of projects overseas. Yes, it is important to help alleviate poverty and suffering overseas. Yes, it is important for our Bishops to march in London to lift up the MDGs. But it is equally important for each of us to pray, study, give and act—to make our personal journey intersect with the work of the MDGs. Please see EGRs mission on our website. Also check out our Rule of Life that incorporates these action-steps.

In today’s blog I want to share a personal story. It is from before the MDG campaign. I share it because for me the struggle to balance social activism and my personal life has been a constant one. As we build our movement we need to be sensitive to where each of us is—and realize that personal transformation and conversion does not mean that we will all be alike or be at the same place. In our faith or in our actions we need to celebrate our differences and realize that each person is on her own journey. I share one experience of mine in the hope that it may resonate with others.

In 1979, I was going through a particularly difficult personal time, struggling with the trade-offs between social activism to eradicate poverty and living a middle class family life in suburban America. I wanted to do both, but I felt that I was constantly compromising my goals of social justice. At one point I went to speak about my dilemma with the minister of the church I was attending. He was an older man with years of experience in a variety of parishes in the United States. He listened intently to my dilemma. He had one, and only one, piece of advice. He said, “John, God is not found only among the poor or behind an outhouse. God is everywhere. God is in relationships. Believe it or not, God is also with the rich.”

My values, my politics and my God had been firmly entrenched in solidarity with the oppressed and the impoverished. I tried to hear the pastor’s words. It has taken me almost a lifetime to understand the deep meaning and validity of those words. For me idealism and social activism are focused primarily on liberating the impoverished from oppression. It seems to me so clear that as long as people are impoverished, all human beings are diminished. But meaning is not only found in working with the impoverished. Meaning can be found in working with the rich, in battling for causes that do not directly relate to the impoverished—the environment, population explosion, the preservation of land and of other species on this planet, the fight for clean and fair elections, the rights of immigrants and labor--the list of possibilities is endless. Practical idealism screams out at us to get involved to further the values of a humane world.

But my pastor friend was going beyond that. He was also insisting that God is found in relationships, that meaning can be found outside of social activism and outside idealistic action to change the world. I have learned over time to take the time for myself for meditation, prayer, silent retreats. These are not self indulgence; they are fuel for the on-going work. And yes, I do believe that God is also found in relationships. They take time and yet, it is in these close personal connections that we learn to trust, that we find a way to express our faith and love.

However, for me, a life just focused on personal relationships or personal transformation is not enough. With the rampant injustice in this world, with the oppression of the poor, with the destruction of the environment, with the imperfect economic and political systems under which we live, with the issues that bombard our senses every day, it seems to me a cop out to pretend that none of this exists and to only value our own journey and our personal relationships. Of course, it is important to take care of oneself. It is important to have meaningful relationships. But it is equally important to be involved in social, economic and political issues to improve our society. Practical idealism calls for involvement, for some level of commitment to social action.

I have just finished a book to be distributed next month by Harvard University Press. In it my co-authors and I lay out some ideas on how to live as a practical idealist in today’s world. Practical Idealists: Changing the World and Getting Paid does not provide a magic bullet, but it does show that it is possible to combine personal transformation and social change. The MDGs are one clear manifestation of pragmatic achievable goals. They cannot be reached just through technology and the work of experts. Rather they will be reached if enough people work to combine social change with their personal transformation. For those of us who are Christian this transformation is grounded in our faith. The MDGs thus become an excellent vehicle for linking the need for social change with a balanced, meaningful, dedicated life, fueled by our faith in a living God. This is a theme for global reconciliation among Episcopalians, among Christians.

Dr. John Hammock is an associate professor of public policy at the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy & The Fletcher School, Tufts University. He is currently on leave until September, 2008 and working Sabina Alkire as a senior research associate at the Oxford Poverty & Human Development Initiative, John was the Executive Director at Oxfam America from 1984-1995 and Executive Director at ACCION International from 1973-1980. He is the president of the board of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation.

Friday, August 8, 2008

"The Missional Dimension of Life" -- by the Micah Challenge

Today's post is from the Micah Challenge, a global Christian campaign to achieve the MDGs. Part of their mission is a weekly prayer emailing like the one you see below. You can receive it in your email box every week send a blank email to with the words 'subscribe prayer' in the subject line.


‘All too quickly, certain issues in society are associated with certain political directions without the realisation that it is, in the first place, the biblical-theological question that Christians need to discuss. Reason for that lies in the failure to realise that Christian faith is relevant for public and social matters’, argues Andreas Kusch.

We are called to honour God by doing whatever we do for the triune God and this will always have a ‘missional dimension’.

In John 16: 5-16 we are reminded that the Holy Spirit is there to guide us.

Under the leadership of the Holy Spirit it becomes clear to the individual and to the church when comforting words, practical love, political involvement, prayer and fasting, social projects or evangelistic preaching are necessary. The Holy Spirit helps us to do the right thing in the most varied situations.’


Let us pray:

  • For the guidance of the Holy Spirit as we seek to be available to God.
  • Our prayer focus this week is for Micah Challenge Haiti:

Jean Valery Vital-Herne from Haiti writes: We are busy working towards lobbying our President and Prime Minister ahead of their attendance at the UN High-level meeting on the MDGs in September.

Please pray for us as we inform churches about this important meeting and encourage them to hold their leaders to account. I would love our churches in Haiti to wake up to their responsibility towards their fellow Christians and non-Christians; please pray that Micah Challenge in Haiti can be a prophetic voice in our country.

  • Reflecting on the statistic below: we pray for all these men and women who arrive in cities with the hope for a better life and more opportunities to make a living.

    We pray for city planners and other policy makers that they will have wisdom while developing clear strategies to improve urban infrastructure.

Meditate on the Statistics

As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.

Goal 7: Ensure environmental sustainability

Target 11: By 2020, to have achieved a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers

‘Half of Asia's population will be living in cities by 2020, as some 1.1 billion people move to urban environments over the next 20 years. This is more than 100,000 people each day…Already more than half a billion Asians currently live in slums.’

Source: World Bank; June 2008

Thursday, August 7, 2008

"Farrow's Darfur Olympics & Our Olympic Shame" -- by Christopher J. Finlay in the Huffington Post

With just days to go before the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing, Mia Farrow is on her way to a refugee camp in Darfur to host The Darfur Olympics, a week-long web broadcast that will be timed to coincide with the first week of the Olympic Games. Although the majority of Farrow's Olympics-related activism, such as her now almost completely moribund calls for major world leaders to boycott the Beijing Games, have been misguided and would have likely hurt her cause had they been taken more seriously, it is important to recognize just how cannily she was able to use the Beijing Olympic Spotlight to promote her agenda. While many might welcome the Olympic Spotlight as a powerful tool for activists, this tool ought to be seen as a source of great shame for us all. This is because the Olympic Spotlight plays a dual role. It both focuses Western attention on neglected causes as well as demonstrating how fickle and disengaged this same audience is with global issues in the absence of major media events like the Olympics.

Appeals to some form of global morality are central in the majority of the Olympic-related anti-China/pro-human rights rhetoric (it continues to be increasingly difficult to distinguish between the two). It is claimed that the abuse of human rights by the Chinese government at home and their abuse of human rights by proxy in Darfur are clear violations of a universal moral code. Western activists use of the Olympic Spotlight has attempted to highlight China's amorality. If China is to 'graduate' into world power status, the argument goes, then the Chinese government must develop a moral code and that code must be in line with the one we profess to have in the West. Quite frankly, if China were to adopt a new moral code (they may be immoral by some standards, but the country certainly isn't without a moral code), they could find a much better model than ours.

In highlighting the West's capricious appetite for stories of genocide in Africa and political and religious intolerance and killings in Asia, the Olympic spotlight has, in fact, inadvertently revealed our own moral bankruptcy. It is reprehensible that activists such as Farrow must patiently wait for global media events to coincide with their causes in order to have an audience. We shouldn't need two weeks of sports and ceremony to learn that something terribly evil is happening in Africa or to realize that we should be fighting to stop it. The fact that we do indicates that our own morals are as transient, trend-oriented and, I fear, temporary as fashion. Summer 2008's style is Darfur. What's the style going to be next season?

Read the entire piece on the Huffington Post here.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

"Take Action: Add Poverty-Fighting to The Democratic and Republican Party Platforms" - by The ONE Campaign

When the Democratic and Republican parties meet for their conventions at the end of August and early September, they’ll be unveiling their parties’ new platforms - and we want to make sure that the fight against extreme poverty is an important part of both of those platforms.

That why our ONE Vote ‘08 Co-Chairs, Senators Bill Frist and Tom Daschle will be meeting with leaders of both parties, and taking a petition from ONE members urging them to make poverty-fighting a priority for both the Democratic and Republican parties.

Click this link and we’ll add your name to the petition

Here's the petition text:

As a proud American, I urge you to make ending extreme poverty and global disease in the developing world a core part of your 2008 platform by including commitments to:

  • Fight AIDS, TB and malaria and improve basic health services, particularly for mothers and young children
  • Ensure access to clean water, basic sanitation and sufficient food supplies
  • Spur economic growth through equitable trade and investment policies
  • Modernize and increase development assistance, focusing on partnership, transparency and accountability
  • Achieve universal primary education

Monday, August 4, 2008

"What Two Have Done and Are Doing in Africa" -- by Hannah Miller

When Drs. Nancy and Gerry Hardison retired, that's when they began their real life's work. While employed, they volunteered at the San Diego Liver Foundation and the County Jail, helping wherever they could, and being enriched by their experiences.

“We both felt strongly that we should use the skills we received in our educations and our work to help those in need,” said Dr. Nancy Hardison.

Upon retirement, Dr. Nancy Hardison accepted an invitation to teach in Africa, and Dr. Gerry Hardison agreed to work at Kenyatta National Hospital. That experience led to more opportunities and now, almost ten years later, they are involved in over ten different ministries in Kenya.

About the Orphan Feeding Program

The Rev. Michael Russell, Rector of All Souls’, San Diego, the Hardisons’ home congregation, describes the Orphan Feeding Program: “Maseno is one of the epicenters of the AIDS/HIV pandemic in Africa. Tens of thousands of children have been orphaned and many of these are HIV positive. They are shunned by the culture and cared for by aging grandparents, usually widowed grandmothers. In response to this incredible devastation, the Mothers’ Union has organized, with Dr. Nancy Hardison’s help, to support these children.”

The mothers, supported by funds from the US, prepare and serve one hot meal a week to the orphans. They also play games with the children and teach classes.

“The Mothers’ Union members and the guardians of the children all volunteer their time, often causing friction at home and within the larger community. When asked how they found it in themselves to defy social convention, they answered, ‘We are mothers.’”

About Working in African Hospitals

“I saw familiar diseases in stages more advanced than I had thought possible,” said Dr. Gerry Hardison. “I saw diseases I had never seen before and learned about their accepted treatment. I found physical findings that I had read about in medical school but had never seen. … When the time came for staff to give speeches at my farewell party, one consultant admitted that they all thought I had come for a short vacation and no one expected me to show up each day for work. The next speaker expressed surprise that on rounds I actually touched the patients and examined them. Both were dead serious.”

Advice On “What One Can Do”

“Start with what is near you and then follow,” says Dr. Nancy Hardison. “God will open doors as you respond and you will find yourself stretching way beyond what you dreamed or thought possible. Gerry and I use Matthew 25:31-46 as our marching orders: ‘I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, … Whenever you did it to the least of these, you did it to me.’”

About Volunteering in Africa

“It is a joy, a blessing and a privilege to serve here,” says Dr. Nancy Hardison. “Our faith continues to grow as we serve. We see the miracle of the loaves and fishes all the time. We are thankful for the support back home.”

Congregational Involvement

In 1999, the Hardisons’ home parish, All Souls, San Diego, donated enough money to complete the rectory of Essaba’s small Anglican parish, St. Andrew’s. All Souls’ continues to be the main lifeline of support for the Hardisons; their treasurer, Cynthia Fleri, wires funds on a monthly basis to Africa. The rector of All Souls, the Rev. Michael Russell, visited the Hardisons and wrote a comprehensive guide to their work in Kenya, “Partnering with Kenya’s Poorest: putting the bottom rung on the development ladder.” (click here to read it online) In it, he says:

All Souls’ Episcopal Church has worked with two parish missioners, Nancy and Gerry Hadrison, on several projects in Kenya. Nancy is a retired business professor from Point Loma Nazarene University and Gerry is a retired gastro-enterologist from the University of California, San Diego. Together they have worked on medical and business projects in Nairobi and Maseno, Kenya. All Souls’ has been their sponsor with the Episcopal Volunteer Service and has been a financial conduit for delivering contributions safely to the projects. In addition, we have committed portions of our central budget and other outreach monies to projects they have helped organize.

This fertile collaboration has not only changed people’s lives, it now offers All Souls’, and those who wish to work with us, the opportunity to deliver contributions directly to projects that will move people on to the development ladder.

The article contains information about the programs All Souls’ helps to fund, including Maseno Hospital, the Mother’s Union and more. Contributions can be sent directly to All Souls’ Church, 1475 Catalina Blvd, San Diego, CA 92107. The monies are wired to Kenya on a monthly basis. The Rev. Michael Russell can be reached at: The Hardisons can be reached at:

Top - Dr. Nancy Hardison with members of the Mothers' Union
Middle - Orphans line up for their one hot meal per week provided by the Mothers' Union
Bottom - Drs. Nancy and Gerry Hardison relaxing at home in Kenya with their best friend

Hannah Miller is the communications assistant in the Episcopal Diocese of San Diego

Sunday, August 3, 2008

The EGR WikiMDG project!

Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation is looking for any and all ideas for how to bring the MDGs to life in congregations and dioceses. And the best ideas come from you!

This is an invitation to a collaborative project (a WikiMDG project!). We've put each of the 8 MDGs in a Googledocument and what we want you to add is your ideas for how to make each or any of them come to life. Something that people could use in their congregation, or diocesan convention ... or something we could use at General Convention!


It can be something you've already done or just an idea you have. And no idea is too nutty ... sometimes the nuttiest ideas are the best and you never know what your idea is going to make someone else think of.

Better still, set your youth group loose on this. See what they can come up with. There's only one rule:


So add your own ideas or comment on ideas other people have. This document is a living, growing thing and the more people who chip in, the better it will be!

Just go to the WikiMDG document and have at it!

Questions? Leave a comment below and we'll answer it.

Let's create something really cool together.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

"How do we know we're the Body of Christ" -- by the Micah Challenge

Today's post is from the Micah Challenge, a global Christian campaign to achieve the MDGs. Part of their mission is a weekly prayer emailing like the one you see below. You can receive it in your email box every week send a blank email to with the words 'subscribe prayer' in the subject line.


"How can we know whether we are just a religious club for the promotion of our own inner wellbeing, or whether we are the body of Christ?" asks Andreas Kusch from Germany.

The indicator, he says, is in our worship to God, ‘motivated by the Holy Spirit and expressed in an increase of love for God, the neighbour and the one furthest away.’

In 1 John 4: 7-21 we learn that love is the very nature of the Trinitarian God, seeking a relationship with all of creation. Without this love relationship to God, ‘actions often turn into legalism or lawlessness’.

‘God wants to work through us.’ This statement is often heard in Bible studies, devotions and sermons. It is widespread common knowledge that Christ wants to influence, through us, our immediate personal relationships. But we often restrict our thinking and behaviour to the individual personal level. God, however, has put us into a context far broader than this. He wants us as Christians to carry responsibility for his world. Indeed, faith that does not relate to the world falls short of the true nature of a relationship with God.’


Let us pray:

*Andreas writes: ‘Have we ever tried to pray after watching the news? Are we able to imagine God’s ability to improve the situation that our society is in?

*For the YMCA Europe Festival 2008, 3-9 August 2008, in Prague, Czech Republic where 7000+ young people from over 50 countries are expected to participate.

Please pray for the promotional activities of Micah Challenge:

*That young people will be challenged to put their faith into action for social justice and global poverty issues.

*That many will sign up to participate in Micah Sunday and Stand up Take Action from 17-19 October 2008.

*Reflecting on the statistic below: Today we want to pray particularly for the over 1 billion young men and women in our world. We pray for hope as they face a difficult and fast changing world. We pray for an increase of employment programs and opportunities for young people so that they can more easily find their place in our society.

Meditate on the Statistics

As you spend time in prayer and reflection, you may like to take a moment to silently understand with your heart the focus statistic we include each week (see below). Our hope is that you will find this series of statistics a useful resource in preparing presentations.

Goal 8: Develop a global partnership for development (trade/aid/debt)

Target 16: In co-operation with developing countries, develop and implement strategies for decent and productive work for youth.

‘Of more than 1 billion people today between the ages of 15 and 25 years old, 85 per cent live in developing countries where they comprise more than half of the total workforce. The slowdown of the global economy, armed conflict, and internal national turmoil point to alarming downward employment trends for these youth and their economic and life prospects.’

Source: Development Gateway, 2008