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New Collegians Personal Fight Against Poverty

Tuesday 21 July, 2009
by New College Admin
New has always been a place that supports social action & community service.

This occurs as part of College life, though many residents continue to do significant community work when they leave. An example of this is the work of Richard Fleming.

Richard Fleming came to New College from Armidale in 2002. While at College he spearheaded the Habitat program. After leaving the College in 2005, he completed his studies and headed for Bangladesh as part of Australia’s Youth Ambassadors for Development (AYAD) program. Richard ran a slum school project (The Dhaka Project) in the northern slums of Dhaka for 6 months after completing his AYAD Ambassadorship. His experiences in Bangladesh have opened up a series of new paths in his life, he has even set up his own clothing brand using the micro finance model. On a larger scale he has also been involved in the Global Poverty Project (GPP) started by two of his friends.

More about the Global Poverty Project

The Global Poverty Project is the vision of Hugh Evans and Simon Moss, both of whom were intimately involved in the Australian Make Poverty History campaign. The project seeks to contribute to ending extreme poverty.

Richard is currently GPP’s Activation Manager. A key activity of the project has been developing a speaker series to take around Australia in which the basic facts about global poverty will be communicated simply to the general population through a presentation. As Activation Manager Richard has coordinated these presentations. Richard's work is just one aspect of an international effort to achieve the eight Millennium Development Goals set by the World Bank to be reached by 2015. While gains have been made clearly more needs to be done. Despite the gains, 1.4 billion people, roughly one-fifth of the world’s inhabitants, continue to live in extreme poverty. To achieve these goals, Richard and his colleagues believe we need a unified movement of people around the world. They hope that the GPP will catalyze this movement by creating and using a slideshow and feature film to communicate the message.

Earlier this year Richard and his colleagues gave 45 presentations in three countries in 42 days. They believe that the key to success of GPP is in partnering with organisations already doing great work in the communities in need.

Summing up the movement to end extreme poverty GPP General Manager Simon Moss wrote,“At the end of January I was in Davos, Switzerland, for the World Economic Forum, and was reminded how important it is for us to renew and reinvigorate our efforts to end extreme poverty in these times of economic uncertainty. This (global financial) crisis might have started with banks and brokers, but now it is a crisis affecting people and their livelihoods.”

Against this backdrop New College wishes Richard and his colleagues well in their efforts. Check out GPP on YouTube at:

Download the current (PDF) issue of New 'n' Old (below)