Oliver urges all to help campaign against poverty

Oliver Templeman at the ONE Campaign's summit around the EU budget
Oliver Templeman at the ONE Campaign's summit around the EU budget

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AN ANTI-POVERTY campaigner is urging more people to join him as part of a global mass movement.

Oliver Templeman, from Southsea, has been part of the ONE Campaign for six years and a youth ambassador for four years.

The ONE Campaign is an international non-profit organisation, fighting extreme poverty, particularly in Africa.

It was co-founded by Bono in May 2004 and has a membership of more than 8m.

Oliver said: ‘I wanted to make a difference to the world, and to the people living in it. With so many horrendous things happening, I wanted to be part of something positive.

‘Where you are born is pure luck. It’s important to remember that. I am no better than people who live in poverty, yet we have so much more and live far more comfortably.’

Oliver has urged people in Portsmouth to email their MP and question their ideas on how they’re fighting extreme poverty.

In his first year as a youth ambassador he lobbied UK Members of the European Parliament and got them to sign up to a petition calling on politicians aiming to end extreme poverty by 2030.

The 200-plus European Youth Ambassadors signed up the majority of the EU Parliament.

Oliver said that this commitment to ending extreme poverty helped drum up support for the UK keeping its promise to spend 0.7 per cent of gross national income on international development.

‘I don’t think many people are aware that this is why we’re spending the money,’ he said. ‘Because we are making a real difference to millions of lives every single day.’

The biggest change Oliver hopes to make is ‘realising that it is in our interest to help end extreme poverty.’

‘With most of the fastest-growing economies in Africa, there are massive opportunities for human development if we take advantage of these opportunities,’ he said. ‘Otherwise the supposed migration “crisis” facing Europe will soon be dwarfed.’

However Oliver admits to having no idea how much work had already been done, with extreme poverty in the developing world already dropping from 43 per cent in 1990 to 14 per cent in 2016.

Oliver also admits that more work needs to be done in some areas, especially in the area of people from Portsmouth bringing attention to the issue. However he is grateful for the support that ONE gets from local politicians in helping the area bring more awareness to the cause.

He added: ‘I hope to have a genuine, tangible footprint on the world. I want to leave the world better than it would have been without my existence.’