Change the world? Make a difference? We can hear the cynics cry ”What a bunch of amateurs, what can they possibly do to change the world? Anything they do will just be a drop in the ocean. My response to that would be… What is any ocean but a multitude of drops. Let’s forget all the reasons it won’t work and believe the one reason why it will. Think about Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Pablo Picasso, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, Mozart, Charles Darwin, Christopher Columbus, Marie Curie, Sir Isaac Newton, Leonardo Da Vinci. As Margaret Mead said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world, for indeed, that’s all who ever have.”
So let us consider the following question… WHY? Why do we want to change the world? Let me tell you 10 reasons why I want to change the world….
- Oppressive regimes
Regimes that deny people basic rights and freedoms, reacting to protests with overwhelming force with the violent killing of innocent civilians. My sister in law works for Doctors Without Borders, who have stated that the Syrian government continues to deny basic medical care to injured civilians, like the child shown here. That regime and other regimes continue to violate the protection of right to life, prohibitions on torture and freedom of thought and expression.
Did you know there are millions of landmines lying hidden in more than 60 countries? These weapons cannot discriminate between the step of a soldier or that of a child. They claim roughly one new victim every 2 hours. More than 70% of victims are civilians, of those almost half are children.
- Domestic violence
Let me give you a couple of statistics from Women’s Aid:
- Two women per week are killed by current or ex-partners and
- 1 in 4 women in the UK will suffer from domestic abuse in their lifetimes
- Global warming.
I am sure you all know this. Every time we burn fossil fuels such as gas, coal or oil, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere. We are burning fossil fuels so quickly that plants and trees that are alive now have no chance of soaking it up
(and it doesn’t help that we’re cutting down rainforests as well). You can probably guess what the next reason is?
From temperate forests to tropical rainforests, deforestation continues to be an urgent environmental issue that jeopardizes people’s livelihoods, threatens species, and intensifies global warming.
12-15 million hectares of forest are lost each year, the equivalent of 36 football fields per minute.
- Child abuse
Child abuse consists of any act or omission that endangers or impairs a child’s physical or emotional health and development. Child abuse includes any damage done to a child which cannot be reasonably explained and which is often represented by an injury or series of injuries appearing to be non-accidental in nature. 5 children die every day as a result of child abuse.
Cancer, Malaria, Tuberculosis, Strokes Heart disease, AIDS. Almost 1million die each year from Malaria, mostly in Africa and most are under 5 years old.
- Human trafficking and child prostitution
In the United States the average age of entry into the commercial sex industry is 13 years old. Over 2 million children are sold into the sex trade every year. Average times a victim will be raped is 6000. 7 years life expectancy. Chance of escape or rescue 1 in 100.
- Maltreatment of animals
In case you didn’t know, in some areas of Asia, cats and dogs are considered food and can be bought in small cramped cages from the market. In China, one can walk through the market place, pick the dog or cat you want to eat, and they will skin it alive then boil it for you.
It makes me question “humankind” as I see nothing in this picture that speaks of kindness.
- World Poverty
Did you know that the 85 Richest People In The World Have As Much Wealth as the poorest 50% of the world’s population, Half of the world’s population, that’s 3.5 billion people with the same wealth as 85 people. The Human Development Report, issued last month, provides a few shocking facts about global child poverty which I will share with you.
There are 1 billion children living in poverty today, that is almost half of the 2.2 billion children in the world. Children without adequate shelter is 1 in 3. Children without access to safe water is 1 in 5. Children with no access to Health Services is 1 in 7. Children who die each year from lack of access to safe drinking water and adequate sanitation is 1.4m.
It is time for change and you are a part of that change.
Dr Heidi Kharbhih, 12 August 2014