Globally, over 10% of people on Earth live under the poverty line. That’s over 10% of people for whom accessing quality education, health services and clean drinking water are a challenge and who are vulnerable to shocks from the economy, food insecurity and climate change.
But it's not all bad news. Today is Global Day for the Eradication of Poverty, to mark the progress of nearly 1.1 billion people having moved out of extreme poverty since 1990.
Here are five ICS volunteers who have brought their creativity and enthusiasm to the fight against poverty.
1. Catherine Nyaumwe Munyarari
Mbale, Uganda, Balloon Ventures
Madame Harriet (right) dreamt of having her own stationary shop one day. With the support of ICS volunteers, Madame Harriet developed her business plan and got more visitors to her shop.
Volunteer Catherine said: “We trekked to the village bringing the shop to her customers. What you see in this picture is determination and creativity.
"When you meet someone who has been running a business for 3-4 years and has never made a record of their sales, you can make a sustainable difference.
"We taught skills that allowed entrepreneurs to understand their businesses and we saw them use and interpret them in their own ways."
ICS volunteers trained participants to produce and market reusable sanitary pads. These pads are the idea of the social enterprise SanEco.
They are 98% cheaper than commercially available alternatives and mean women can get on with their lives while menstruating. They also offer local entrepreneurs the option to start their own business, increase their income and have a positive impact in their communities.
Pictured here Josephine takes part in an ICS volunteer led community action day in Kumasi, Ghana, where unemployment stands at 65%.
3. Laura Klasupa
Kapsabet School for the Deaf, Nandi, Kenya, VSO
The Deafway ICS team spent three months working with the deaf community in Nandi County, to raise awareness of deaf rights and increase integration of the deaf and hearing communities.
Poverty, prejudice and limited resources mean Deaf people in Nandi are often marginalised and miss out on the support they need. The Deafway ICS volunteers worked with a number of different community organisations to teach Kenyan Sign Language and increase deaf awareness, and to challenge stigmatisation of deaf people.
4. Lunto Goso and Fran Berettoni
Restless Development, South Africa
Lunto and Fran are looking at the agenda for the community action day their team held at the end of their placement.
As Health Poverty Action reports: “poverty can mean women and girls are economically dependent on men and cannot say no to unprotected sex. Poverty often makes people live from day to day, taking risks as a result.
"For example, women involved in sex work may realise they are at greater risk of HIV in the long term, but hunger is a more immediate threat to them and their children. Desperate poverty can drive people to exchange sex for money, shelter or food.”
This community action day brought together hundreds of school children from the surrounding area to raise awareness about STIs, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse through drama, poetry and dance performances.
5. Bryony Sims
Raleigh ICS, Madriz, Nicaragua
Bryony is talking to Dania Junieth Miranda Izaguirre and Mario Francisco Cruz Lopez from Mango Solo community who received training in beekeeping in this livelihoods project cycle.
Junieth says, “We've got our business and we have been trained and we have to keep working. Volunteers are going but with what they've left us we have to keep going forward.”
ICS volunteers have helped businesses thrive, spread awareness of health and hygiene issues and opened doors to quality education for children around the world. While the road to the end of poverty will be long and hard, thanks to the wonderful work of our ICS volunteers, we’re one step closer.