By The ONE Campaign, as part of the Pitching Europe series with Campus Europe.

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When the goal of your organisation is to ‘end extreme poverty’ the task can sometimes seem quite daunting! With over 7 million supporters, however, it gets a little bit easier. The ONE Campaign, an international campaigning and advocacy organisation, channels these unified voices to put pressure on world leaders to eradicate extreme poverty, fight hunger and ensure good health and well-being for all.

Because if we work together, it can be done! Over the last 20 years, extreme poverty has dropped by 66% – from 37.1% in 1990 to 12.7% in 2012 and it could be potentially eliminated by 2030. World leaders will need continuous pressure over the next fifteen years from people like you and us in order to keep up this momentum.

That is why ONE’s 7 million members, coming from every walk of life and from across the political spectrum, take action day in, day out — organising, mobilising, educating, and advocating so that people will have the chance not just to survive, but to thrive. ONE also has a team of over 300 Youth Ambassadors based in the UK, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland and Belgium who will take part in the year-long scheme to help fight extreme poverty. Youth Ambassadors are engaged, motivated, young volunteers who work together to organise events, lobby politicians and get their stories heard in the media.

All of these campaigns work towards achieving the Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030. The 17 Global Goals were agreed upon last year by world leaders and aim to provide a better life for all of us. It is one of the most incredible to-do lists ever written and provides a multifaceted approach to sustainable development, equality and justice for all.

In Belgium, ONE’s Youth Ambassadors will be putting pressure on the European Union institutions to keep aid promises, secure new agreements on financial transparency, and deliver ambitious new funding to tackle malnutrition.

In the next months they will be using all their ingenuity and creativeness to help raise awareness about malnutrition, which is linked to the deaths of almost 3 million children under five each year. As less than 1% of development aid is currently devoted to nutrition-specific programmes, we really need to put pressure on political leaders to increase funding. Research shows that a significant increase in funding for nutrition will be needed by 2020 to reach Global Goal 2: zero hunger.

So far the Youth Ambassadors have held a Flash Pub Quiz in Place Luxembourg to challenge people’s knowledge on nutrition and recently they made their own fortune cookies to distribute at upcoming events to help #EndMalnutrition.

While grassroots campaigning is one aspect of their work, the Youth Ambassadors also engage with political decision-makers. On April 25th, for example, our activists attended the European Commission’s High Level Event on Innovative Ways for Sustainable Nutrition, Food Security and Inclusive Agricultural Growth. At the event they asked each expert for their views on how to tackle malnutrition. At the end of the day, they collected all the recommendations and presented them to Klaus Rudischhauser, acting Director General for Development Cooperation at the European Commission.

After the success of our 2014 and 2015 Youth Ambassador programmes, where the ONE Youth Ambassadors convinced more than half of the European Parliament to join the fight against extreme poverty, and where they ensured the EU aid budget was not cut, it will be brilliant to see what they can achieve in 2016. Coming from 26 different countries and possessing countless different skills and experiences, the sky is the limit!

As the Youth Ambassadors have proved, your actions really can make a change. So please join ONE and stand with 7 million ONE members to help fight extreme poverty by signing up at https://www.one.org/international/

Watch out for the Belgium Youth Ambassadors at the Poverty is Sexist karaoke night on the 11th May at Pangaea in Leuven, on the 28th May on the Esplanade of the European Parliament for the European Institutions Open Doors Day and on the 15-16th June for the European Development Days.

 

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