Is the world a better place than we think?

August 22, 2017

One of the biggest reasons given by people who are unsure about donating to global development causes is a sense of futility – that the problem is so large that giving money is pointless.

We know that as a Traidcraft Exchange supporter, you’re probably not one of them. But even so, we are willing to bet that that you were pretty surprised by the answers in our recent summer quiz. Don’t worry though – you’re not alone.

Over 2,600 people took part, and the average score was just under 4/10. A brief test run in the Traidcraft HQ building certainly led to some bemused faces – the highest score we managed was 6/10! It turns out that even those of us who see ourselves as very clued up are still capable of assuming the worst about global development.

You were all knowledgeable about the generous aid budget of Norway, and the huge number of people still living in extreme poverty in India… but only 11% recognised the average age people live to (a grand old 71!)

Most people thought that lack of clean water is the biggest killer of young people over ten – but actually it’s road traffic accidents.  And unsurprisingly not many (just 21%) knew that movie production was Nigeria’s second biggest industry, after agriculture.

As you can see, our perceptions don’t always reflect reality. And that applies to giving to charity, too.

It’s easy to think that the world is getting worse and poverty is as prevalent now as it was 30 years ago, but this simply isn’t true.

While charitable giving is certainly not the sole reason the world has improved for millions of people living in poverty, it has played a part.

Together, we are making huge progress – less children are dying of preventable disease, more young people are attending school and more people are living to a healthy old age.

So, the news that the state of poverty in the world today is perhaps a little less negative than we thought should act a as a call to action – together, we really do have the chance to help create a world free from poverty.

The best thing about supporting Traidcraft Exchange is that you are making a stand at two levels. Through our campaigning work, we call for policies which help people in the wold’s poorest communities to lift themselves out of poverty. Then in countries across Africa and Asia, we work to provide people with the practical skills they need to increase their incomes, so they can earn more from their hard work.

Give today and help make the world an even better place.