Sustainability may not be the first word that comes to our minds to describe the way we live. However, when we wake up, eat breakfast, go to work, come home, pay the bills and go to sleep, that is exactly what we are doing; we take specific actions throughout our lives maintain our lifestyles. When looking at statistics of the number of people around the world who are currently living at a sustainable level, sustainability may be on the minds of more people than you think.
Quick facts from Globalissues.org:
- Nearly three billion people — half the world — live on less than two dollars a day.
- The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the poorest 48 nations (i.e. a quarter of the world’s countries) is less than the wealth of the world’s three richest people combined.
- Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
- The bottom fifth of the world’s poorest nations have barely more than 1% of the expanding export trade and foreign direct investment.
- According to Corporations.org, Boeing Corporation’s economic status is above the countries Peru, New Zealand, Hungary and Algeria.
In Seattle, we not only have the ability to support ourselves, we can help others around the world in their pursuit of economic and social sustainability. This is the basis of Agros International.
“Give a man a fish and you’ll feed him for a day. Teach a man how to fish, you’ll feed him for a life time.” Agros International has taken this old proverb literally. Based in Seattle, Agros International is a non-profit whose work in Mexico and Central America focuses on agriculture and partnership, enabling communities to become thriving, self-sufficient contributors to society. Focusing on long range (meaning 7 to 10 years) solutions, Agros identifies the needs and resources of a community, incorporates local participation through land ownership and advanced agronomy techniques and integrates surrounding communities into the thriving system.
The United Nation, World Bank and the Inter-American Foundation have all recognized Agros for providing lasting solutions to poverty in Central america. The “lasting solutions” part is key.The success of over 24 communities in Mexico, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala are proof that the only way to create true sustainability is by investing time, energy and hope in the well-being of people.
Visit http://www.agros.org/index.cfm for more information on Agros’ development process, how to donate and get involved.