Today, over 100 anti-poverty advocates will come together with Bill Gates to raise awareness of extreme poverty around the world.
The Microsoft co-founder released his Annual Letter early this morning, which outlines methods to provide better innovations for the world's farmers who suffer from poverty.
In his letter, he says: "Right now, just over 1 billion people—about 15 percent of the people in the world—live in extreme poverty. On most days, they worry about whether their family will have enough food to eat. There is irony in this, since most of them live and work on farms. The problem is that their farms, which tend to be just a couple acres in size, don’t produce enough food for a family to live on."
The launch of the ambassador initiative by the Global Poverty Project, sponsored by the Co-operative Group, will see 100 people informing and inspiring their own communities to take meaningful action on behalf of the poor.
To be held the London School of Economics (LSE), Mr Gates will deliver his Annual Letter, setting out what he sees as the key steps to be taken in order to achieve a world without extreme poverty. He will be joined by Swedish statistician and advisor to the Global Poverty Project, Hans Rosling.
The partnership between the project and the Co-operative Group will run throughout 2012 as part of the society's efforts during the United Nations International Year of Co-operatives. Tackling global poverty is a key element of the Group’s rolling three year Ethical Plan and last year, the business committed to spending £7m per annum supporting projects such as this.
Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive, said: “Campaigning has always been at the core of the co-operative movement. The International Year of Co-operatives is the ideal opportunity for our members and customers to mobilise, join with the Global Poverty Project and help make this a fairer world where everyone’s basic human rights are met and respected.
“The Co-operative’s six million customer members can be vital in the fight against global poverty. From becoming a Global Poverty Project Ambassador, to committing to buy Fairtrade products, to resolving to switch to a Co-operative Bank account, there is something we can all do to help.”
Elisha London, UK Director of the Global Poverty Project said: “For the GPP Ambassador scheme we are looking for people from all walks of life, who are keen to spread the news about ending extreme poverty in a way that others can understand, through engaging real-life stories and positive examples of change.
“The Co-operative Group is the ideal partner for us to identify these individuals; the business, along with its members, is committed to raising awareness and prompting positive action to help the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty.”
The Global Poverty Ambassadors will be trained by leading experts at the LSE, gaining the knowledge and expertise to engage with a diverse range of communities, from students to businesses and faith groups.
“Becoming a Global Poverty Ambassador is a fantastic opportunity for people from all walks of life to get involved in raising awareness for the 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty,” added Ms London. “We are looking for people who enjoy public speaking and are keen to spread the news about ending extreme poverty in a way that others can understand, through engaging real-life stories and positive examples of change.”