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What is social justice and what does it mean to us?

By Juliette


It was recently World Social Justice Day, a day that holds great importance for us at Challenges Abroad, because everything we do is underpinned by our core belief in social justice. For us, social justice means achieving equality for all.


We align all our volunteer programs with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). These goals provide the framework to reduce inequalities in all areas of life and eventually achieve social justice.


We work in six countries – Cambodia, India, Peru, Nepal, Tanzania and Thailand. While their unique and amazing cultures may set them apart, they also share many similarities. Unfortunately, these are generally in the form of struggles and difficulties. What we often see in our volunteer destinations is inequalities between rural and urban areas, gender, health, income levels and more.




Gender equality will help achieve social justice

One particular area of focus for us is SDG 5: Gender Equality, which aims “to achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls”. We are passionate about this goal because achieving gender equality helps achieve other SDGs at the same time like no poverty, no hunger, quality education, climate action and reduced inequalities!


According to Project Drawdown, if we combine educating women and girls with family planning, it can become the number one preventor of climate change by helping reduce the population. Not only this, but educating girls gives them a greater opportunity to escape poverty, earn a greater income, lead healthier lives and raise the standard of living for their children and the generations to follow. Poverty is a cycle, and equal access to quality education for all genders can help to break that.


What do we do to achieve social justice?

Our overseas teams focus our development efforts on three key issues that address the SDGs: Education, Health and Livelihoods. Our volunteers work with us to tackle these issues, by spreading knowledge through educational workshops at local schools and in the wider community. Depending on the local need, these workshops focus on things like women’s health, hygiene and sanitation, conversational English, STEM, life skills, environmental awareness, business skills and more.


By spreading this knowledge, local people are empowered to do things like stop burning plastic and start recycling, their improved English and business skills can help them start their own business and young girls will stop missing out on school just because they have their period. Overtime, the ultimate outcome is a decrease in poverty and inequality!


What can you do to help achieve social justice?

This year, we are being guided by two words: Take Action. You can help promote social justice for all by taking physical action. This could be joining us on one of our upcoming volunteer challenges where you can help us achieve the SDGs and promote education, health, the environment and more.


If joining us on one of our challenges is not in your foreseeable future, you can take action in your own day-to-day life. This can be small steps whereby you help others to achieve equality. Stand up for someone who is being bullied, share your knowledge with someone who could benefit from it or give up your time for a cause you care about. There are many ways to promote equality and social justice for all just by taking small steps of action!


“I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something, and then I realised I was somebody”.


Ready to take action on one of our volunteer challenges? Check them out here!