Voluntourism & The Millenium Development Goals – Part 4

“Never doubt that a small group of people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” –M. Mead

Have you read that quote before?  We all have and its so overused that we still continue to doubt that small groups of people are indeed what causes change.

History proves that change comes from a small passionate group.  Here are a few notable instances: American Revolution, air travel, American Civil Rights movement, sea exploration, etc.

So it can be with poverty, education, health, etc.  There are already small groups of dedicated people positioned throughout the world making a difference.  What id we all worked towards a set group of goals (MDGs) and documented both our success and failures

Let’s go back to the six travelers in Kenya in 2006.  Remember four years later over 60 people have traveled there and over 600 are currently connected in some way.  Here is a breakdown of some of the projects and how they align with the MDGs; please remember there are other groups working in this area as well.  The projects listed are a sample of the ones connected to the original six travelers.

MDG 1            Extreme Poverty

  • Jobs, hundreds of short term and many long term
  • Agriculture to provide jobs, food, and profit opportunities
  • Food distribution

MDG 2            Education

  • Books
  • Water project to bring water to elementary school
  • School fees for needy students

MDG 3            Gender Equality

  • Hire a higher percentage of women than men
  • Freedom for Girls sanitary pads project (provided over 6,000 women a yearly supply of pads and underwear)
  • Dialog between guests and friends on cultural gender differences including correct statistics (in face and online)

MDG 4            Child Mortality

  • Local dispensary

MDG 5            Maternal Health

  • Local dispensary
  • Future plans for mother groups

MDG 6            HIV/AIDS/Malaria

  • Purchased mosquito nets
  • Dialog and awareness

MDG 7            Environmental Sustainability

  • Reforestation (planting and distribution of tens of thousands of trees)
  • Planting of indigenous fruit trees for fruit and profit
  • Rain water harvesting at schools and in community
  • Improved water filtration in community
  • Improved toilet block at school

MDG 8            Global Partnerships

  • Increased internet use in area (Facebook, Email, etc)
  • Rotary partnerships
  • Small businesses both in the US and in Kenya
  • Personal (each relationship is in fact a partnership)

These are just a small example of how one trip in 2006 has expanded and provided opportunities.  There are thousands of groups and organizations doing the same thing.

More gets done with a little effort from many people than a lot of effort from a few.

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