Hugh Evans is an Australian humanitarian and an internationally renowned development advocate. Hugh is the Co-Founder and presently the CEO of the Global Poverty Project. He was 14 when his innate spirit of a social entrepreneur was shocked into life.
On a trip to the Philippines sponsored by World Vision Hugh found himself in a tent on a Manila slum built on a garbage dump called Smokey Mountain. He lived with the family of his host, Sonny Boy, and this was their home. Lying awake watching the cockroaches above him the idea crystallized that is it by pure chance that each of us is born into the circumstance we all find ourselves. That pure chance sees one born into a thriving safe community or for so many others a segment of humanity lacking political means and financial clout to achieve even the basic elements of human dignity.
The abject poverty he was exposed in the Manila slum and during the year he spent in India as a 15 year old enabled him to identify the opportunity where he could employ his creativity, direct action, courage and fortitude required to work towards shattering the accepted status quo of the world?s poor.
After a trip to South Africa as World Vision's inaugural Youth Ambassador, he set up the Oaktree Foundation; Australia's first youth run aid organization with a mission of 'young people working together to end global poverty. Development projects funded by Oaktree have also been established in The Philippines, Papua New Guinea, India, Ghana and East Timor, providing educational opportunities to more than 40,000 young people.
Hugh's next endeavor was the successful Make Poverty History campaign, which included illuminating the sails of Sydney's famous Opera House for several days with faces of poverty and a globally broadcast concert involving U2 front man Bono. This campaign encountered many obstacles including a government highly resistant to increasing its foreign aid budget. The shared outcome was a change in government policy who made a commitment to increasing Australia's foreign aid budget from 0.3 to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income, resulting in an additional $4.3 Billion per annum for the world's poorest.
Both the Oaktree Foundation and the Make Poverty History movements continue to flourish.
With a $60,000 grant from the UN and a $350,000 AusAid grant Hugh co-founded the Global Poverty Project (GPP) in Australia. GPP established a UK Office and Hugh has relocated to the USA to begin operating.