GCC Clubs Stand Up Against Poverty

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Students at St. Vincent Ferrer High School gather at lunch to stand up against poverty

October 16, 2009 marked World Food Day and the beginning of a 3-day global campaign, “Stand Up, Take Action, End Poverty Now!”

For the fourth year in a row, millions of people from around the world participated in community-organized events to remind world leaders of their pledge to end poverty and achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

In September 2000, 189 world leaders adopted the MDGs at the United Nations Millennium Summit as a global framework for development. The target goals set to be achieved by 2015 include:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental sustainability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

While we have made significant improvements in the lives of the poor, many of the target goals have halted or reversed in some countries particularly in parts of Africa and Southeast Asia. With less than six years left until the 2015 deadline, no region is on track and Stand Up and Take Action is a way to send a clear message that achieving the MDGs needs to be an urgent priority.

This year, students from the Global Concerns Club at St. Vincent Ferrer High School started the school year by learning about the MDGs and creating a school-wide awareness campaign around Stand Up. For weeks leading up to the event, students worked on creating large murals highlighting the eight MDGs and posted them on eight different levels by the school staircase. On the day of Stand Up, students gathered over three lunch periods to stand up against poverty and sign their names on a collective banner to show their participation.

At Trevor Day High School, students shouted each of the MDGs in unison

At Trevor Day School, students made a similar Stand Up banner for the day’s events. At lunch, Global Concerns Club members gathered high school students together and read aloud the pledge. Students stood up together and repeated each of the MDGs in unison as a way to show their understanding and commitment to the promise to end world poverty.

As teacher Joseph Ulitto stated, “The global club leaders helped create a sense of importance and excitement around the event. Trevor had the biggest and loudest participation of Stand Up yet this year.”

Globally, this year’s Stand Up campaign broke the Guinness World Records for the largest mobilization of human beings in recorded history. With 173 million citizens gathered at over 3,000 events in more than 120 countries, Stand Up is making noise on behalf of those who are vulnerable and ensuring that world leaders will fight to fulfill their pledge end world poverty.

Visit Stand Up for more information or contact GCC at [email protected] to set up a Stand Up event at your school for September 2010.