By: Nancy Massani
World Day of Social Justice is a day to acknowledge the importance and need to tackle poverty, social and economic exclusion, and unemployment. The United Nations dedicated February 20th as a day to encourage people to observe the way social injustice affects those living in poverty. This day presents an opportunity to support equal treatment for all, regardless of a person’s gender, race or social status.
Latin America faces a large amount of inequality and poverty, as well as low levels of education. This region is known to have the greatest amount of income disparities. “About 74 million Latin Americans live on less than $2 per day and over half of them are children.”
As time goes by, the rich in Latin America just continue to get richer. Half of the jobs in the region are informal, which are jobs where individuals earn wages, but do not claim them on their taxes. Some of the biggest challenges faced in Latin America are the lack of formal employment and good quality education. Due to teachers’ inefficient use of time, students tend to lose almost a day’s worth of schoolwork each week. As a result, many youth in this region lack necessary skills to find dignified employment opportunities.
Women have been working hard to reduce the amount of poverty in the region. Several of them have begun to form small businesses to overcome the effects of violence toward them and their families. Unfortunately, violence and disrespect against women still continues. However, five women from Latin America have been recognized for making their way in a man’s world and have set an example for future generations. Camila Vallejo, former student and head of the Federation of Students of the University of Chile, is known for leading student protests in 2011 and 2012 that called for free education for all. Rigoberta Menchú, who was born in poverty and experienced injustice, is known for dedicating her life to the fight for indigenous women and farmers’ rights. Lohana Berkins is known for her fight for transsexuals’ rights. Lucía Topolansky is known for being the first female president of Uruguay. Lastly, Piedad Córdoba is known for her involvement in the Colombian peace process.
Although there still is a large amount of social injustice in Latin America, there has been successful initiatives. One of the most successful has been the social welfare program, Bolsa Familia Program in Brazil. The program is a social initiative taken by the Brazilian Government and receives technical and financial support from the World Bank. The two goals of this program are to reduce the current amount of poverty and encourage families to keep their children in school and ensure they get regular health checks, which serves as a model for the rest of the world experiencing poverty.
Social justice can only be accomplished through the elimination of prejudice toward the differences that separate people by gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion, culture or disability. In order to create social justice around the world, people must be empowered. That is what Children Beyond Our Borders strives to do. It is our mission to empower children experiencing social injustice, both locally and abroad, through educational workshops.
“With exclusion and inequality on the rise, we must step up efforts to ensure that all people, without discrimination, are able to access opportunities to improve their lives and those of others,” said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Education is a powerful tool that provides children growing up in difficult conditions with knowledge and strength to to live a better life of peace and prosperity to its fullest potential. Education is recognized globally as the key to ending trends of violence and displacement. It is at the heart of what we stand for. We help pave a brighter future for underprivileged children through our educational workshops and with the help of our volunteers. Our vision is to enable underprivileged children to realize their dreams and prosper in life. At Children Beyond Our Borders we believe every child, regardless of social status, race or gender, deserves a proper education. Every child deserves to live a stable life without barriers and without fear. Every child deserves to dream – and to dream big. Every child deserves a brighter future – a future that breaks boundaries and goes beyond borders.
Creating awareness about the issues of poverty and social injustice faced by children in Latin America is central to our values. Poverty is a significant issue in Latin American countries. This leads to a high crime rate and negative effects on economic growth and low levels of education. All of these factors make it really difficult to combat poverty in Latin America.
We educate our team of volunteers, staff, directors, donors, and supporters about these issues to ensure proper development of programs for our children. Not only do we educate our CBOB team, but we also spread awareness of our mission to the community in hopes of growing our family of supporters and empowering the community to join us in our efforts.
We are a family of believers, motivators, and relationship-builders. Join our mission to help spread awareness and achieve social justice for all to ensure no one is left behind.
Interested in donating to our cause? Visit http://www.chbob.org/donate.html for more information. Help make a difference one child at a time!