Global Poverty Ambassador, Bonnie Wright took the Co-operatives United festival by storm by delivering the largest ever Ambassador presentation on 1st November. The Co-operatives United festival took place in Manchester to celebrate the culmination of the UN Backed International Year of Co-operatives.
Bonnie presented with GPP UK Country Director Elisha London to around 350 young people and families from across the Northwest. Bonnie was accompanied by fellow Ambassadors Anne Parker, Tom Stevenette, Lynda McDermott and Lara Smallman who each spoke about their experiences as a Global Poverty Ambassador. Tom shared with the audience his experience on the Live Below the Line campaign and how it has engaged his community with the issue of extreme poverty. Anne highlighted her experience with protecting the UK’s pledge to give 0.7% of GNI to international aid. She, together with a group of dedicated Ambassadors, started a Facebook page encouraging people to upload pictures thanking the government for protecting the 0.7% commitment which resulted in a staggering 10,000 uploads. Laura talked about the opportunity to meet with Nick Clegg as part of Oxfam and the Co-op’s Grow campaign. Lastly, Linda shared with the audience her experience in the program as an elected member of the Co-op.
Bonnie was also accompanied by Hannah Newcombe from the Co-operative who took to the stage to explain the importance of co-operatives to ending extreme poverty. Indeed, Peter Marks, Group Chief Executive at The Co-operative said: “Poverty isn't something that we tackle in the good times, and ignore when the going gets tough. The co-operative movement has always led from the front on Fairtrade and microfinance and we take great pride in the fact that the majority of Global Poverty Ambassadors are co-operative members or employees."
Thursday’s presentation was Bonnie’s first as part of the Global Poverty Ambassadors scheme. Bonnie said: “I am thrilled to be presenting 1.4 Billion Reasons as part of the Co-operatives United festival. That the UN chose to make 2012 the International Year of Co-operatives is testimony to the enduring role co-operatives play in helping to end poverty for millions, and the 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation is a brilliant way to see this in action.”
Bonnie has been particularly inspired by the campaign to end extreme poverty following a recent trip with Oxfam to Senegal, a country facing severe food shortages. With the support of the Global Poverty Ambassadors, The Co-operative and Oxfam have been campaigning since the start of 2012 on the role of small-scale farmers and co-operatives in helping to feed the world fairly and sustainably.
The evening was a huge success, with an engaged audience committing to numerous new commitments and expressing their interest in hosting 1.4 Billion Reasons in their local community.
If you are interested in going to or hosting a 1.4 Billion Reasons presentation, please click here.