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Global Poverty Initiative

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MIT Groups
Global Poverty Initiative (GPI)
Type of Group: Service, Advocacy, and Awareness
Founded: 2007
Website: gpi.mit.edu


Contents

History

Global Poverty Initiative was started in 2007 by a group of MIT students who were interested in raising awareness of the poverty issues that were happening abroad and encouraging MIT students to find a way to become more involved in the process of fixing those issues. They kicked off the first year by hosting the Millennium Campus Network (MCN) Conference on MIT, a conference that provides thousands of people worldwide the opportunity to come together and share ideas on how we can make an impact on the world.

Vision

Occasionally we find headlines describing the misery of poverty, imploring the public to consider the misfortunes occurring elsewhere in the world. People may spend a few minutes to express pity, or perhaps even to donate to a charity. It is rare, however, to find one stirred up enough to take action and make real, sustainable change; this gap feeds the continuation of poverty.

To be able to fill this gap, we need to reach our peers and draw out not only the willingness to care about the issue, but the motivation to act on it. Poverty is not just the problem of a small village in Africa, nor just the problem of the celebrity or non-profit that talks about it on TV. It is a global problem; it is our problem and we need to do our part to solve it.

Our team approaches this vision with the following goals:

  • To instill awareness about global poverty issues
  • To teach about the factors that play into the poverty cycle, including the role of the international community in economic collapse
  • To engage students in creative and in-depth thinking about the problems and potential solutions for poverty
  • To connect our peers into networks that work towards the goals of poverty relief


Teams

GPI is broken down into three teams:

  • Outreach Team, this team focuses on reaching out to the local Boston community and raising awareness of the poverty issues in the local Boston community. The team has reached out to local high school students in the area and held short lessons to expose them to poverty issues and how they can be addressed.
  • Action Team, this team focuses on planning projects to be implemented abroad. GPI just concluded a project where GPI members spent IAP and the summer building greenhouses in Mexico. This summer, GPI launched a new project in Bolivia.
  • Poverty Action Week Team, modeled after the MCN Conference held during the first year GPI was started, every year GPI holds a mini week long event called Poverty Action Week, designed to raise awareness of poverty issues within the MIT community. Famous speakers, demonstrations, and various activities are held during this week. Last year, GPI held the first International Development Hack-a-Thon in the Greater Boston Area, bringing all the young minds of Boston together to create something new.


How to get Involved

If you are interested in becoming involved, feel free to contact us at [email protected]

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