Today is 20th February 2014. For most people this is merely a date, but did you know today is ‘World Day of Social Justice’?
Starting in 2009, the United Nations General Assembly decided to celebrate 20th February as the World Day of Social Justice. It is a day recognizing the need to promote efforts such as poverty and social exclusion.
People all around the world view social justice in different ways. For some, social justice is ‘housing the homeless’, for others it is ‘feeding the poor’. In essence, it is concerned with equal justice and demands that people have equal rights and opportunities. Poverty – stricken or wealthy, everyone deserves an equal playing field.
Equality should start early in life with every child regardless of gender, or socio-economic background being given access to education which will present them with equal opportunities in the future and help them escape the poverty trap.
Poverty reduction is a major issue which many international organisations such as the United Nations and the World Bank are tackling, The World Bank estimated 1.29 billion people were living in absolute poverty in 2008. Statistics from the United Nations show that 22.3% of Pakistan’s population is below the national poverty line. One of the eight Millenium Development Goals (MDG’s) adopted by the United Nations is to ‘eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’, and it is pleasing to know that extreme poverty rates have fallen in every developing region. According to the United Nations, globally about 700 million fewer people lived in extreme poverty conditions in 2010 than in 1990 but numbers of people going hungry still remain disturbingly high.
The READ Foundation slogan is ‘Eradicating Poverty through Education’. We believe education ends generational cycles of poverty, and through education we are helping to reduce poverty and improve social justice.
READ Foundation is always involved and working with its partner organisations to tackle poverty through education. Recently, Jahangeer Akhtar, the CEO of READ Foundation UK returned from a visit to Pakistan. He was out visiting the READ Foundation Pakistan teams and during his visit a productive meeting was held with Dr Rashid Bajwa, CEO of NRSP (National Rural Support Programme), one of the largest rural support organisations in the country. They have 6,000 staff in Pakistan and are working with 155,000 community based organisations to combat poverty.
READ believes that orphans and needy children should be educated to give them a chance in life. Giving children an education means we tackle poverty at its roots and take a step towards improving social justice.