Frontline Stories

8 Reasons to Have Hope in 2017

These writers’ work contributed to this piece: Kari Costanza, Annila Harris, Denise Koenig, and Laura Reinhardt

Hope shines a light in the darkness. It’s infectious, even healing. But what is there to be hopeful for? Let’s look at the year ahead with 8 reasons to have hope in 2017.

1. Extreme poverty is giving up ground.

In the last 20 years, the number of children dying around the world from hunger and poverty and disease — has dropped from more than 30,000 a day to just over 16,000. And the number of people living in extreme poverty, those living on less than US$1.90 (HK$15) a day, dropped by more than 1 billion. Now the world’s nations have set an ambitious goal of eliminating extreme poverty by 2030.

2. We are 99 per cent of the way to eradicating polio globally.

Unlike most diseases, polio can be completely eradicated because it cannot survive for long periods outside of the human body. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 20 million people are living with polio paralysis.

Right now, this crippling and potentially fatal disease is at the lowest numbers and in the fewest places ever. With vigilance, the world could be polio-free by 2018.

3. The end of the HIV and AIDS pandemic is in sight.

AIDS-related deaths have fallen by 45 per cent since the peak in 2005 when 2 million people died from AIDS-related causes. Countries around the world are focusing on the 90-90-90 targets of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV and AIDS. Their goal is that by 2020, 90 per cent of people living with HIV will be diagnosed, on treatment, and virally suppressed.

AIDS interventions in Zambia and across sub Saharan Africa are an integral part of World Vision’s health programming.

4. We can solve the global water and sanitation crisis within our lifetimes.

Nearly 1,000 children under five die every day from diarrhoea caused by contaminated water, poor sanitation, and improper hygiene. So the Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations include achieving universal and equitable access to safe and affordable drinking water for all by 2030.

World Vision is the largest nongovernmental provider of clean water in the developing world, reaching one new person with clean water every 30 seconds. We are increasing our impact and scope to reach one new person with clean water and sanitation every 10 seconds by 2020, and we’ll then continue at that pace to reach everyone, everywhere we work by 2030.

5. Men in India are taking a stand against child marriage

Instead of conforming to society’s skewed understanding of a girl’s worth — merely as a profit-and-loss venture — Men Care Groups in Agra, India, educate and equip men on the inherent value of women and girls. Members of this World Vision programme also support one another in leading their families with empathy and encouragement, convincing other community members not to marry off their teenage daughters.

6. Since the Syrian refugee crisis began in 2011, World Vision has helped millions of people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq.

“This is what gives me hope — seeing people from all over the world caring enough to help,” says Eyad, a mechanical engineer turned aid worker in Syria. “There is still goodness in this world.”

7. Haiti is beginning to recover and rebuild after Hurricane Matthew.

Hurricane Matthew pounded Haiti on 4 October with torrential rain, massive torm surge, and winds up to 145 mph. More than 2 million people have been affected, including nearly 900,000 children. World Vision has been delivering relief supplies and assistance.

World Vision’s goal isn’t only to be the “first in” when responding to the most urgent humanitarian crises, but also be the last out — seeing families and communities through hardship to restoration.

8. Moms around the world are tapping into their vast potential.

With help from World Vision, moms around the world are raising, harvesting, and preparing food to make their children healthy and their communities more prosperous. We’re equipping them with the economic tools and training they need to build a brighter financial future.

You + World Vision’s local staff = Help, hope, and love to people in nearly 100 countries.

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