About Beneath One Sky

 

“Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world … they are the only ones who ever have.”

    -Margaret Mead

Beneath One Sky is a non-profit student group based in Surrey and Vancouver, Canada, dedicated to the awareness of poverty locally and globally. Its members reach out to the underprivileged through fundraising and volunteer efforts. We welcome collaborations with other organizations and volunteers, hoping to expand our cause worldwide. We were formally known as Building For GK, as well as Building For Hope, and Building Homes For the Poor.

Members from the Building for Hope Benefit Concert in May 2011


What is Poverty?


 

Poverty means living in an environment where there is a lack of necessities for survival. These needs include clean and fresh water, food and nutrition, health care, education, clothing, and shelter. In every case of poverty, those trapped have few or no opportunities at all to escape: to get a job or a secure source of income, to see a doctor, or have access to clean water and food.

Poverty is not only about the lack of these needs, but the way it affects humankind. People suffer, become thieves, prejudice, and hopeless. There are many of us who forget that every single person in this world has dignity and is worthy of hope and love. We are all beneath one sky.

Less for Self, More for Others, Enough for All – Gawad Kalinga

    Some facts & figures:
  • At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
    Almost half the world — over three billion people — live on less than $2.50 a day.
  • The richest 20% accounts for three-quarters of world income.
  • There are approximately 2.2 billion children in the world. The number of those in poverty is about 1 billion (every second child). 22,000 children die each day due to poverty.

Education

  • Based on enrollment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57% of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Less than 1% of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

Health

  • An estimated 40 million people are living with HIV/AIDS.
  • Every year there are 350–500 million cases of malaria, with 1 million fatalities: Africa accounts for 90% of malarial deaths and African children account for over 80% of malaria victims worldwide.

Clean Water

  • 1.8 billion people who have access to a water source within 1 kilometre, but not in their house or yard, consume around 20 litres per day.
  • In the United Kingdom the average person uses more than 50 litres of water a day flushing toilets (where average daily water usage is about 150 liters a day.)

Consider the global priorities in spending in 1998

  • Global Priority (in $U.S. Billions):

Cosmetics in the United States – 8
Ice cream in Europe – 11
Cigarettes in Europe – 50
Narcotics drugs in the world – 400
Military spending in the world – 780

  • Estimated additional costs to achieve universal access to basic services in all developing countries:

Basic education for all – 6
Water and sanitation for all – 9
Reproductive health for all women – 12
Basic health and nutrition – 13

Cited from GlobalIssues.org, an article by Anup Shah