What Do The Global Goals Mean To You? (Part II: Greater China)
193 of the world's leaders have committed to 17 Global Goals to end extreme poverty, fight inequality & injustice and fix climate change by 2030.
Despite rapid economic growth in Asia, problems of inequality have persisted and far too many remain mired in poverty. At Asia for Good, we believe that by offering commercial solutions to social issues, social enterprises are emerging as a sustainable means to achieve these goals for a more inclusive Asia.
As part of our collaboration with the Global Goals campaign, we spoke to 6 social entrepreneurs across the region to hear what these goals mean to them.
KIM LEAN CHEAH, DIRECTOR OF STOP POVERTY
STOP Poverty Ltd empowers and equips orphans and underprivileged youth in China to operate their own ‘mini-businesses’. The youth are given holistic support in the form of lodging, counselling and coaching so they can become independent and earn a living.
Q. What do the global goals mean to you? Why do they matter?
If we keep saying that youth are our future, then we have to make sure that their future is inspiring them to be great human beings, so that they will in turn want to make the world a better place for others who come after them.
Without this, society is creating more disenfranchisement for those whom we hope will build our future.
The youth we work with have been left behind with no education, no skills and no means of improving their lot. We need to give them a leg up to get out of this circle of poverty and despair.
Our work empowers orphaned and poor youth to be economically, socially and emotionally independent, so they can build a life for themselves.
Q. My vision for a better world is one where…
Young people - no matter what their circumstances, are given hope and purpose in life.
If you were inspired by Kim’s story and want to help make a difference to the lives of these orphans, email firstname.lastname@example.org
ARNOLD CHAN, CO-FOUNDER OF TEACH4HK
TEACH4HK aims to aims to enlist outstanding university students with diversified talents to serve in schools with underprivileged students through a one-year full time teaching fellowship. Teach4HK also partners with businesses and institutions to provide leadership and career opportunities to nurture our fellows to become leaders with empathy, who will thrive in various fields and continue to advocate for education post fellowship
Q. What do these goals mean to you? What inspired you to do what you’re doing?
The upbringing of my peers and I reminded us of the importance of quality education for all.
Only through education, can one escape the poverty trap. The importance of education transcends ages as it determines the directions of our future generation.
Q. How can other people do their part so that we can achieve these global goals?
Everyone can take part in achieving these global goals. Some might find their actions too small, but they never realise that every movement starts from a small beginning.
To achieve change, we need small steps from everyone instead of large steps of a few.
No matter whether it is volunteering or donating or simply giving encouragement to those who are fighting for these goals, I believe each of us has a role to play.
[Photo Credit: Luka Ng]
MARK & MAGGIE KINGSLEY, CO-FOUNDERS OF DOMAT
DOMAT was started by a group of architects who are committed to providing feasible solutions to improve the living standard of underprivileged communities in three different housing types in Hong Kong, including sub-divided houses, village squatter houses and fishermen’s cooperative housing.
By applying sophisticated architectural design and home modification, the project strives to provide innovative solutions for ongoing housing problems in Hong Kong and rural China.
Q. What do the global goals mean to you?
These goals are closely related to DOMAT’s work and we are inspired by the idea of design for humanity. As architects, it is important for us to remember the needs and wishes of the end-user and the consequences of our design.
Achieving the global goals would mean a better environment and housing for the underprivileged communities we work with.
Q. Our vision of a better world is…
A fairer one, where the progress of civilisation can be available to all and where everyone can live in a good and safe environment.
We are a small part in the process, but we believe that many small contributions can add up. We fit in to these goals by contributing to provide a better environment to people in need with our professional design skill.
We believe that is it vital for professionals to be involved in sustainable development works to relieve poverty. We also learn from these communities and develop better ideas for the society as a whole.
Read part III of this series on India, featuring the founders of Zaya Learning Labs and billionBricks.
If you want to find more about socially conscious living in Asia, check out Asia For Good's social enterprise directory.
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