Tyndale Alumni Raises Awareness of Extreme Poverty

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

“Extreme poverty is living off of less than $1.25 per day…It's the challenge for 1.4 billion people,” Alan Liu shared during Wednesday’s presentation, “1.4 Billion Reasons (To End Extreme Poverty).” Alan Liu is the Canadian Director of Operations for Raising the Village, a not-for-profit organization that aids in humanitarian recovery work in Uganda. Dr. Leah McMillan, Assistant Professor of International Development, invited Alan to speak at Tyndale to illustrate practical examples of development theory and to inspire students by highlighting a Tyndale alumnus who is making an impact. After graduating with a Master of Divinity from Tyndale in 2006, Alan joined co-founder Shawn Cheung in expanding Raising the Village. Founded in 2005, Raising The Village, “Provides the tools and techniques for rural villages to move from handouts to choices and successes,” Alan explains. Believing that “good aid” requires best-practice input from industry leaders, accountability to donors, and clear aid goals, Raising the Village operates as a secular NGO. Alan notes that the culture within the organization is intentionally open to discussions around religion, spirituality, and exploring the motivations for serving others. The presentation was created by Global Poverty Project, an Australian initiative that seeks to move people to action through informative and accurate presentations about global poverty. Featuring videos of locals in Zimbabwe, Korea, and Ireland, the presentation tackled issues of poverty, the Millennium Development Goals (MDG), and anecdotes from Alan’s own life and work experience. Dr. McMillan adds that the presentation showed, “Global-level initiatives [having] local impact.” Alan voiced a challenge to Tyndale students, “The church is uniquely qualified to address the issue of global poverty. We believe that reducing extreme poverty is the issue of our generation.” Students were given cards and asked to indicate various action steps they would take to raise awareness and join in fighting global poverty, including: learn, talk, volunteer, pray, donate, buy, or shout. In response to the event, third year Human Services student, Laura, shares, “The presentation was fantastic. It brought perspective to the MDG and what methods can be used to reach them…I have always wanted to move back overseas; this really inspired me.” Alan currently lives with his wife, daughter, and newborn son in Toronto. The Tyndale community is incredibly grateful to Alan for speaking just 22 hours after his son was born! To learn more about Raising the Village, click here: (http://www.raisingthevillage.org/)

 

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