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action/2015: changing the course of our future

WaterAid supporter George Rosenfeld is one of 15 15-year-olds launching the action/2015 movement to end extreme poverty. He explains why he believes this is the year we can create a better world.

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15 Jan 2015 | UK

On 15 January, 15 15-year-olds launched the global movement action/2015, to end extreme poverty.

They met Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and Leader of the Opposition Ed Miliband, as well as MPs and key decision-makers, to explain why 2015 is the year we can create real change for the future.

One of those 15-year-olds was WaterAid supporter George Rosenfeld. As well as delivering talks and being a tireless campaigner for clean water and safe toilets, George has organised a variety of events for WaterAid, raising a staggering £20,000 so far. In 2013 he also visited one of our projects in Zambia, to see first-hand the impact our work has in some of the world's poorest communities.

Here, George explains why 2015 means so much to him, and why he believes action/2015 can secure a better future for all of us.

WaterAid supporter George at the action/2015 launch
George at the action/2015 launch.
Photograph: WaterAid

"This year, big changes are on the horizon, and with big changes come big opportunities! From Mali to Mexico, St Lucia to Sri Lanka, Uzbekistan to the UK – ordinary people are joining forces to pledge to take action in 2015 and urge world leaders to follow our lead.

I'm one of them, and I’m hoping you'll join me.

The world we want to see

On 15 January I helped launch the action/2015 coalition here in the UK, along with 15-year-old representatives from other organisations. Together, we told decision-makers about the kind of world we want to see.

Why? Because during 2015, governments are coming together to make decisions about our future, which are more critical now than ever before.

Our hope is that seeing the world through the eyes of 15-year-olds will help our leaders realise that they have a responsibility to share our vision, and that they must aim high for the next 15 years to achieve our goals if they are to leave us a better world to live in.

A long way to go

In just my lifetime the world has, in many ways, changed for the better. Half a billion people are no longer living in extreme poverty, and over a billion more people have access to safe drinking water. But we have such a long way to go. 

In September, world leaders will set global targets for the next 15 years, the Sustainable Development Goals. These targets could include an end to extreme poverty and universal access to clean water and safe toilets by 2030.

Throughout the year, the efforts of ordinary people – you and me – will be amplified by the action/2015 coalition, so that our combined voices have the greatest effect to push for the most ambitious goals possible. Because of this, the new year marks the perfect opportunity to get involved with campaigning and raising awareness about the things which are important to us as a human race.

action/2015 supporters with Ed Milliband
George with his fellow 15-year-olds at the launch of action/2015.
Photograph: Save the Children

Changing the course of our future

You don’t need to be a world leader or celebrity – we are all part of fighting for the future we want and are entitled to.

That is why I urge you this year, whether you're a seasoned campaigner or have never done anything like this before, to stand up and get involved with making 2015 a year we will look back on as being instrumental in the eradication of extreme poverty as we know it – and in doing so, change the course of our future."

Pledge your support for clean water and safe toilets in 2015 >