Millennium Promise

Millennium Promise

Community, Aid, Poverty

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  • ASU creates community forum on world challenges

    Community, Communication Design

    Arizona State University recently launched a community campaign called ASU Challenges to ask people what they think are the world's greatest challenges.

    More importantly, the university is also seeking input on the solutions.

    The program was created in conjunction with designer Bruce Mau.

    Check out the flash presentation and consider supporting this initiative by telling us what you think our students, faculty and staff should focus on in the years to come.

  • seeds, fertilizer and credit

    Poverty, Communication Design

    I was in a meeting at Millennium Promise where a colleague was talking about the importance of agricultural interventions in our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. As a writer and designer, I couldn't help but to think of the parallels between agriculture and art, despite one being driven by necessity and the other, you could argue, being a decadent privilege unnecessary for survival. In particular, three words kept coming up: seeds, fertilizer and credit.

    These three things were the key ingredients to successful agriculture, stressed this colleague of mine. Of course there are other key factors, most notably water and climate, but climate is beyond human control, whereas seeds, fertilizer and credit are within our control as humans on this planet.

    Good art also requires these three same ingredients. You need the seeds to create the art (ideas and inspiration). You need fertilizer to germinate the art (tools and instruments to create your art). And you need credit. In the agriculture world, this means credit to buy fertilizer and tools, and also money to get on your feet and weather the off-season. In the writing and art world it’s the same. You need free time and a full belly to create your art. Depending on your art, you need your tools of the trade.

    I’m not sure what the parallel of climate is in the art world. Maybe it’s the artistic community in which the art can thrive? The viewers of the art? Another interesting concept talked about in this me...

  • Bonsaaso_ghana_177_

    My name is Elizabeth Appiah, and my role in my community is to organize the women for communal labor and active involvement in the decision-making process. The biggest success I have witnessed through the Millennium Villages project is the empowerment of women and our increased involvement in communal work. This is a large achievement. I strongly feel it is divine intervention which has come to assist us to improve on the agricultural, health, educational and infrastructural programs in our community.

    Before the project, our food supply was unstable due to frequent flooding of our farms, the scarcity of meat and fish and the periodic shortage of crops. During these times I went to bed hungry at least once a week. We have adopted some modern methods of farming that have been taught to us through the Millennium Villages project. In addition to training we are also supplied with improved seedlings for maize, cocoa and citrus as well as fertilizers to improve the amount of food we produce. Some community members have also been taught how to make soap, which is a valuable product for our community and can also be sold to create income.

    We have had difficulty accessing healthcare. In our region, we have one doctor for every 15,000 patients. It takes a great deal of time to receive care when so many are in need of medical attention and so few can give the care that is needed. The project constructed a clinic and supported additional health staff to serve those in need. ...

  • 21381_132_

    In the spring of 1994, Murebwayire Godanse fled the genocide in Rwanda that killed many of her neighbors and friends. In August of the same year, she returned to live in her home country, later settling in the region of Mayange, located about 40 km south of Kigali, the capital city.

    The years that followed her family’s return were extremely difficult. The region suffered from periodic drought and pervasive hunger to the point where an emergency food relief center was set up in 2006. Godanse and her husband did the best they could, raising their five children on meager crops of maize and sorghum. Farming on nutrient-depleted soils, using poor methods like scattering seed, and erratic rainfall were the main reasons that Godanse was barely able to produce enough food for her family to survive.

    She sought other methods to make money. With small loans, she purchased bananas and made juice to sell. Still, with her husband unable to find work due to a childhood injury, Godanse could not earn enough money to pay for her children’s school fees. Unable to cope with the overwhelming burden of feeding a family of seven, she sent her youngest child to live with a relative in Kigali.

    In January 2006, the Rwandan Government designated Mayange as the country’s first Millennium Village. With the introduction of improved seed and fertilizer, by the summer, Godanse and her family saw their farm yields increase dramatically. They not only had enough to eat, they also had a crop surplus...

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