15 Minutes on Getting Us Together to End Inequality

Episode Transcript

Kasia Souchen: 00:01 Hello and welcome to 15 minutes to change the world, where in 15 minutes, you can learn a bit more about the world and how you can help change it.

Today’s world is divided from doom and gloom news headlines, nationalist politicians, civil unrest, countries on the brink of famine, and geopolitical tensions seem to be rising. A world divided breeds inequality. A world divided where women have one set of rights and freedoms and men have another limit our potential as individuals, as families, and as a human race. A World divided reflects our inaction despite our great potential to create enduring change. So if you find yourself in a state of overwhelm, of isolation, of angst or inaction, you are definitely not alone. CARE brings us together to end inequality, in small and big ways when we come together, we build resiliency, we build community, we build strength, and we help build equality. We are driven by the potential that each of us has to connect together and build a better world for today and tomorrow.

Everyday CARE staff work to bring us together to end inequality from a local leader in a rural village, to a nurse in Yemen, to a school girl in Tanzania or a garment worker in Cambodia. No matter how big the divide CARE works to make it smaller, to bring us together to end inequality, our CARE staff explain how we do this every single day.

Darcy Knoll: 01:55 It’s so important at this time that we get together, that we come together. Too often we’re divided by political issues and not feel that we have a role to do what we can. I think it might seem difficult to see, but working together is the only way that we can actually raise our voice, that we can actually push issues forward. That’s how we can actually come together and those are the pieces that are critical to it.

Gillian Barth: 02:25 It’s a known fact that gender inequality is the root cause of poverty. At CARE getting together to end that eating quality is one of the most important things that we can do

Rebecca Davidson: 02:35 Well I think it’s always been important to think about inequality and how that impacts our quality of life. Around the world. I think it’s a lot about, social justice. So, um, whenever you have people that have very little or next to people that have a lot, um, it means that people can feel frustrated. Um, and I think we all want to live in a more secure place where everyone has access to, for example, health care, food, shelter, water, opportunities to choose their path to have a happy, fulfilling life and I think when not, everyone has that opportunity. That means, you know, our happy moments are a little bit less happy.

Maxime Michel: 03:12 I think there’s a lot of power in numbers. There’s a lot of inequality in the world right now and it’s not something that people can necessarily fix themselves because it comes from a very structural issues and so if we get together, if we look at things in terms of systems and how we can change those systems and how we can let people access services, if we can break down a lot of the barriers that are preventing people from having full and equal access to power to resources, um, that they be able to enjoy their rights fully. I think that is the end goal that we all have and we can do that, um, in numbers. So we just all need to be working on this for change to happen.

Simran Singh: 03:55 I think it’s particularly important because the world is more divisive. There are a lot more boundaries drawn whether it’s on political beliefs or, or what, what have you, but there is so much more divisiveness and there has been in the last 15 to 20 years. And I think working together we can focus on our commonalities as human beings on the things that we all have that are, that motivate us, that want us to do better and, and we can do that in a collective way so that the solutions aren’t something that are being imposed by one group or another, but it’s something that’s brought together, um, and that we can all buy into, to make things better for the, for the, for us in our communities that we live in.

Darcy Knoll: 04:35 When I think about what keeps me motivated, I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel and see some of our work in progress. And it’s those times that I’ve gone out to see gardens that people have grown or see, see some of the efforts that they’ve done themselves. And I think it’s, it’s just so inspiring to be, to feel part of that and to feel connected to that.

Ramzi Saliba: 05:01 People know what they need more than us pretending to know what they need. And that’s one of the most important things is that, uh, to, to work together with the, with other people in order to come up with proper solutions to remove our biases. And also to reduce maybe our ego, our arrogance, our ignorance and make proper and targeted, uh, solutions to whatever problem we are trying to resolve.

Gillian Barth: 05:28 Increasingly international charities across Canada, we’re pulling the resources and cooperating in a way that we’ve never done before. The competition now is falling. We’re working together, we’re cooperating together, we’re sharing our learning and we’re sharing the opportunities that we have to work together for a better world.

Simran Singh: 05:46 And it sounds complicated, but it’s actually really simple. It’s the idea of we ask women what they want, what do you want? What is your priority? How can we ensure that your voice is heard and you’re part of the decision making. And so it’s literally bringing women together in a room and having them talk to each other and some of the things that we’re hearing are in certain contexts that this is a first time certain groups of women have ever had the opportunity to talk to each other. And that sounds crazy, but it’s actually revolutionary because they’re feeling heard. And it’s so critical because they’re identifying what is their priorities, what are their problems, and how we can support them to improve access to water or to food and so it’s something that we’re doing and it’s so critical. Again, sounds really simple, but it’s gonna make a significant impact on the way we do our work.

Ramzi Saliba: 06:34 Some of us are born into privileges, other people call them blessings. We can call them whatever we want, fact of the matter is we need to be aware of them and not take them for granted. So, um, and actually put those privileges, blessings or whatnot at the service of those who are less privileged and less blessed and what they had or what they have and where they are and where they are going. And I think it’s a responsibility for us to support those peoples who don’t have equal opportunities as a, or enough opportunities as some of us do so a, and somebody has to do it.

Maxime Michel: 07:11 So in my day to day work at CARE, there’s countless examples of when I see people getting together working towards greater good in their communities and um facilitating change. Um, I think of a particular example when I was in the West Bank, um, where we had brought together women entrepreneurs, so we were supporting women who were developing their own businesses, often cooperative businesses they were doing as a group and uh, there was this incredible event that I got the, had the privilege of attending that was in the West Bank and that brought together women from Gaza and from the West Bank. So it was the first time that some of the women from Gaza had left Gaza and they were able to interact and meet women in the West Bank to hear about their experiences, to see about the successes that they were having in their businesses and to learn from one another. So it was just an absolutely incredible experience to hear women testifying about how valuable it was for them to see other women to learn from other women and to have those role models for them to go back to their communities and to know that it’s possible and so they might be the only women in their community that we’re doing some of that work, but to be in a room with 30 other women doing the same thing, it was really empowering.

Rebecca Davidson: 08:25 I think the important piece is just being able to see and understand other people’s perspectives because nothing is really black and white. It seems to be often when we read the news or we hear stories from places where maybe we’ve never been, but coming together and hearing people’s experiences and their different perspectives can provide us just a more nuanced understanding of the way in which the world works, how inequality impacts people, lives. Um, and I think can make us just sort of more humble, compassionate people to work better for a social justice.

Kasia Souchen: 09:08 You may be feeling inspired and if you are, here are some tangible ways you can get together to end inequality.

Simply get together. It can be as easy as that, whether it’s over a meal, a board game, or going for a walk in a time of divisiveness, practice inclusion, practice acceptance. Invite your neighbors over. Call your friend who may be feeling isolated. Just reach out and connect and we don’t mean through social media. Put in the effort to actually get people together. Take action and do it together. Spare a few hours on Saturday morning to take action and volunteer your time as a group with friends or family. If you love food, focus on a food bank or a soup kitchen or you can find a refugee family and help them get accustomed to their new neighborhood culture and even services available in their area like a local library. As the saying goes, two hands are better than one. Not only will you be helping someone, but with friends and family, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the time flies and how doing something impactful can be fun. Talk about what’s going on, question norms and bring up your thoughts to friends or family. Chances are they feel the same way and if they don’t, you can maybe open their eyes to a new perspective. There are certainly power in numbers, so if you both feel passionately about certain issues as a group, you can tackle it either by writing a letter to an MP or organizing a peaceful protest or participating in town halls. Speak up and unite with those around you.

Thank you for listening to 15 minutes to change the world. We hope that in today’s episode you found amazing ways to get together to end inequality. Be sure to tune in for our next episodes on Spotify or iTunes.