Voluntourism & The Millenium Development Goals – Part 1

This week we’re lucky enough to have Phill Klamm writing a series on Voluntourism and the Millenium Development Goals – great stuff so be sure to tune in M-F this week for more installments! Thanks Phill!

Extreme poverty, universal education, gender equality, child mortality, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, environmental sustainability, and global
partnerships: sound like a tall order? This is what is on the plate of the UN next week as they address the first 10 years of the Millennium
Development Goals (MDGs) and rev up for the final 5 years of these measurable and time-bound targets.

In the year 2000 the UN Member States issued a Millennium Declaration that announced the MDGs to the world. These goals are, in essence, a
measuring stick in the efforts to alleviate poverty and improve the lives of every global citizen. Up until now this effort has only been pursued
by governments, billionaires, and large non governmental organizations (NGOs). It is time for that to change.

J.P. Getty is quoted as saying, “I would rather have 1% of the effort of 100 people than 100% of the effort of one person.” If Getty is correct we need to stop counting on a few ‘big’ players and instead concentrate on the masses to produce real change.

Einstein said, “The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.”

What if all of the information we need to achieve the MDGs is available now? What if the money that we seek is there and we have been looking in
the wrong places?

I am not implying that there is one solution to the major problems facing our world today. Instead, could I just suggest that the power to help is
in the hands of everyday people like you and I – from every corner of the globe?

Let me tell you a story of a group of people that stumbled on an answer and didn’t know the question.

It was 2005 and two college roommates had just returned from tsunami-stricken Sri Lanka. Riding an emotional high, they were searching for
their next project when one of them researched his biological family (he’s adopted) and learned his father was from Kenya. Over a year later
these two and four others were on a voluntourism trip to Kenya building five stone classrooms, creating strong relationships, and altering their
futures.

Who are these six people and what progress have they made towards the MDGs?

Three teachers, a teacher’s aide, a farmer, and a financial advisor…and progress…that can wait until tomorrow.

By Phill Klamm
Co-Founder Wrestling the World www.wrestlingtheworld.org
Founder International Villages www.internationalvillages.org
Facebook www.facebook.com/klamm

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