A new poll for CAFOD reveals that approximately three out of four people in the UK have taken some form of action over the last twelve months to end extreme poverty in the poorest parts of the world. Nelson Mandela launched Make Poverty History in Trafalgar Square last year, urging for a 'Great Generation' to change the fact that one child dies every three seconds due to extreme poverty. And a YouGov poll for CAFOD this month shows that British people took up that challenge, with three quarters of the population taking some form of action in response to his call. The poll shows that one in five (19%) contacted politicians, one in five (18%) started to donate more to charities, and nearly half the population (46%) bought a fairly-traded product. Only one in four (25%) did nothing. The poll showed that women led the way, with 55 percent of them buying fairly trade goods compared to only 36 percent of men, and 24 percent of women signed a post card or a petition to a politician compared to only 13 percent of men. The results also reveal that young people are far from their selfish, apathetic stereotypical image, but instead are willing activists committed to ending extreme world poverty. One in four (26%) people aged between 18 and 29 answered Mandela's call by signing a postcard or petition and one in three (37%) claim to have bought fair-trade products. CAFOD is calling on the G8 leaders meeting this weekend in St Petersburg to keep the promises they made last year so they can start to live-up to Mandela's call to be that "great" generation. CAFOD's Head of Campaigns Helen Wolfson said: "The poll shows that people genuinely care about doing their bit to end poverty. We've had the greed of the 'Me Generation', the apathy of the 'X generation', but this generation of Britons can be proud to be dubbed the 'Great Generation' because of the depth and breadth of their support for make poverty history. "People are aware of the need not only for charity but for justice. People throughout the UK are digging deep in their pockets to relieve suffering but are also spending time calling on world leaders to live up to their promises on debt relief, more and better aid and fairer trade rules. CAFOD is urging G8 leaders to show leadership - live up to and surpass the efforts of their voters. "It's interesting that women head the field on getting behind the challenge to end extreme poverty and are pushing the male dominated G8 to do more to end poverty. The backing of young people show there will be a strong base of support in the decades to come." The G8 had no women at their summit in Gleneagles, though Chancellor Angela Merkel now represents Germany. The YouGov poll posed the question: 'What steps, if any, have you personally taken in the last year to answer Mandela's call to help make poverty history? Options ranged from attending a Live 8 concert, to donating more to charity to signing campaign postcards to nothing at all. The poll is backed up by other evidence. A recent report by the Fairtrade labelling organisations announced that UK sales had risen by 40 per cent in the last year. Meanwhile, Institute of fundraising chiefs announced that UK voluntary income has risen by 15.5% over the past year. Source: CAFOD
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