It is not OK to be selfish just because the President is…

According to the New York Times, Donald Trump’s transition team wanted to know: “Why should we spend funds on Africa when we are suffering here in the U.S.?” Curiously enough, most probably would have agreed with Mr. Trump that this was a real question.  It is not us versus them.


Bringing awareness to important facts is part of the volunteer work I do for the ONE organization. When I tell others there are currently 130 million girls out of school, 114 million youth who cannot read and roughly half a billion, yes BILLION women around the world who cannot read; I think this is an “us” problem not a “them” problem. According to to be selfish means you are :“concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, welfare … regardless of others.”   That would seem to sum up the new way of doing business down south.

Canada spends less than half of 1% (0.28%) of its budget on foreign aid. 


When someone asks me “why I should help someone I don’t even know in another country when we have people here we can help?” I have a conundrum.  First, I could point out that they are just being selfish or I could ask if they believe that everyone benefits from being part of a global community? The obvious answer is yes, but that also means we have the responsibilities and duties that come with it.  You cannot have your cake and eat it too.   The United Nations was established to foster global peace, prosperity and justice. It has succeeded in its fundamental mission of preventing a third world war and improving global quality of life.  It wouldn’t make much sense to say “no, I do not want the UN’s help in time of crisis; torture for others is OK,  because we take care of ourselves here”.

All children deserve a good education, but in the poorest countries girls are denied it more often than boys. Education is vital for moving out of poverty. Every additional year of school that a girl completes increases her future earnings, which is good for her family, her community and her country.

As part of a Canada-wide movement on March 8, International Women’s Day, ONE Campaign members across Canada are reaching out to their community to deliver this important message because for an extra 2 cents per day, per person, we can help lift 130 million girls out of poverty by giving girls access to quality education.


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