The inside track from Progressio's International development experts

Young people inspiring community development in El Salvador

Progressio's London-based Policy Officer, Fatima Haase, reflects on what she learnt about youth participation on a recent visit to El Salvador.

Ordinary people involved in determining the world they want to live in. That’s what comes to mind when I think about ‘community engagement’. It’s essential. If people don’t care about their world or speak out about their concerns, then politicians will not have cause to respond to their constituents.

Progressio supporters raise £10,000 living on a £1-a-day

The Live Below the Line challenge has been a huge success! Progressio supporters have raised almost £10,000. It's been a journey. One that has reminded us, once again, of why extreme poverty must end. Here's some highlights from the Live Below the Line blogs:

"Living Below the Line has, yet again, reminded me that my ability to worry about the decisions I've made is actually a luxury." Rebecca France

Sexual violence in conflict: learning to speak 'taboo'

Lizzette Robleto reflects on the recent summit held in London focusing on how to End Sexual Violence in Conflict...

Here in the UK we have relative peace, access to support for survivors, health and social services and a robust and reliable judicial system. But women and girls still find it difficult to speak about rape or sexual abuse due to strong stigma, shame, and a culture of blaming the victim.

Haiti: Many hands make light work

Lizzette Robleto reports from Haiti where she accompanied Lord Griffiths, chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Haiti, and Rick Nimmo and Dominique Rees from the British Group Inter-Parliamentary Union (BG-IPU).

Every time I go to Haiti I leave with a mixture of exhilaration and sadness. I always learn something new. This time, I learnt the saying ‘Men anpil, chay pa lou’ meaning ‘many hands make light work’. The proverb takes on great significance when you consider the incredible challenges the Haitian people face. 

Zimbabwe's Truckers: Driving out HIV

Steven Msamala is an Administrator for Lakas Products, a long distance haulage company in Zimbabwe. Like any good employer, Lakas Products knows that taking care of its workforce is a top priority to guarantee a good service and high levels of productivity. So, when the company’s Workplace Health and Wellness programme became unaffordable, Steven grew increasingly concerned.   


Volunteering is an essential opportunity for young jobless people

At an event last night (25 March) in Parliament, young people had the opportunity to tell MPs of their experiences of unemployment and what they feel should be done.

Throughout the discussions the value of volunteering was a common theme with one young person commenting: "If it hadn’t been for volunteering all my talent would have gone down the drain."

Moving the poverty mountain

I’ve just signed up to Live Below The Line, writes Esther Trewinnard, Progressio's communications officer. That means I’ll be sticking to a budget of just £5 for all my food and drink for 5 days (28 April – 2 May).

In reality, those of us taking part in the challenge will not come even close to an actual experience of persistent poverty. What’s five days compared to someone who lives their whole life below the poverty line week after week, month after month, year after year after year?

What's faith got to do with it?

There were more than 50 events a day at this year’s UN Commission on the Status of Women, but only a handful were focused on the role of religion in women’s empowerment and disempowerment.

For our event What’s faith got to do with it?, Progressio put together a panel of speakers from various backgrounds, representing different beliefs and countries. We heard from representatives from a diverse range of faith communities, from the Anglican community in Zimbabwe to a Muslim outreach worker from Pakistan currently working in the United Kingdom.

Young people count

"The young panelist from the event on bringing the voices from young people is following me on twitter! I will facebook that straight away!"

This generation, having grown up with social media and a different vocabulary from the one that was in popular use less than 20 minutes ago (things change fast!), is excited. Being a participant at a UN conference and discovering New York is only one side of the coin. What excited the young delegates at this year's CSW most is the experience of their ideas and views being recognised and treated as important.