Jim Mayfield, the Founder of CHOICE Humanitarian, has devoted his life to the eradication of poverty.
“At $1.25 they may have a meal every other day—they never have a meal every day. Their children don’t go to school because they are begging, trying just to survive.”
In 1965, I believe that more than half of the world’s population lived in this state. The World Bank estimates that by 1981 about 44.3 percent of the world’s population lived in extreme poverty.
It estimates that the number of people living in extreme poverty dropped in 2015 to less than ten percent of the world’s population or about 700 million of the more than 7 billion people on the planet. While this is still 700 million too many, it is progress. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals call for eradicating extreme poverty by 2030.
In March of 2015, I visited Nepal with CHOICE Humanitarian to help people living near the threshold of extreme poverty.
Local leaders from the village of Bakhrejagat directed our work, helping villagers install smoke-reducing stoves in their modest homes to replace their open fires. My good friend Rainer Dahl joined me for the trip. At 70, he was more than a decade younger than Jim Mayfield, CHOICE’s founder who also came. The village is scattered among terraced hills and farms speckled with tiny homes. Each day, Rainer would rise with the rest of us to trudge up and down hills to get to the homes. Then, working with a small team of local and visiting volunteers, he did the back-breaking work of knocking a hole in a stone wall for a chimney and installed the cast iron stove.
Afterward, Rainer said, “My impression of the Nepali people that we tried to help on a small scale was that for people that have so little, they are blessed with great kindness and love for their families, neighbors and us as outsiders.”
How will extreme poverty be eradicated by 2030? By people like Rainer making an effort “on a small scale” to empower the ever dwindling number of people in extreme poverty to lift themselves from it.
Read more on Forbes here.
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Devin is a journalist, author and corporate social responsibility speaker who calls himself a champion of social good. With a goal to help solve some of the world’s biggest problems by 2045, he focuses on telling the stories of those who are leading the way! Learn more at DevinThorpe.com!