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Friday, January 28, 2011

FIGHTING POVERTY AND SOCIAL EXCLUSION

Hi, folks. Here I am again after a few months without posting anything. I promise not to stay away for so long.
Here is a text for you to practice your knowledge of English. It is part of a Vestibular test from the Federal University of Santa Catarina/2011.
Read the text and try to answer the four questions about it, writing the number of the propositions which are correct.
See you soon! Milton França.


TEXT
Poverty and social exclusion are a major challenge for humanity. According to the Human Development Report 1997, a quarter of the world's population remains in severe poverty, despite the major advances in reducing poverty made during the 20th century. At the same time, social inequality, marginalization and discrimination still exclude many people from full participation in economic, political and cultural life. While poverty and social exclusion represent common problems to policy makers in both poor and rich countries, new initiatives have been developed to combat these problems, initiatives which merit being called "Best Practices".

What are Best Practices? The idea of creating a database for Best Practices is based on the observation that carefully documented case histories can provide excellent guidelines for policy making and planning of new projects. The goal of a database on Best Practices is to present and promote creative, successful and sustainable solutions to social problems arising from poverty and social exclusion in order to build a bridge between experimental solutions, research and policy.

Best Practices are model projects or policies aimed at improving the quality of life of individuals or groups suffering from poverty or social exclusion. They are typically based on the cooperation between national or local authorities, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and local communities, the private sector, and academic communities. They include a variety of activities in all parts of the world:

• In England: “The Big Issue”, a magazine sold by homeless people so they can earn a living and re-integrate into society.
• In India: 4,000 women established the Shri Mahila SEWA Sahakari Bank to provide credit at reasonable rates to self-employed women workers.
• In Brazil: the “Living Library” was created to make reading and writing an everyday activity for poor children to combat high rates of failure at elementary school.

Calling these activities Best Practices is to suggest that they can and should be replicated, that ideas can and should be generated from them, and that they can and should contribute to policy development.
From:http://www.unesco.org/most/bphome.htm>

1. Select the CORRECT proposition(s), according to the text.
01. Nowadays, criminality is related to social problems like poverty.
02. Twenty-five percent of the world’s population is still in great poverty.
04. Actions are being taken to diminish poverty and social exclusion.
08. Marginalization is the main cause of economic and political crises.
16. Rich countries can offer solutions for problems such as social exclusion.
32. In the 20th century, much progress was made in decreasing poverty.
CORRECT PROPOSITIONS: ____________

2. What does the text say about “Best Practices”?
Select the CORRECT proposition(s).
01. They provide ideas for improving the living standards of the underprivileged.
02. They depend on the economic cooperation of many sectors, mainly that of volunteers.
04. They should serve as examples for the planning of new actions to combat social problems.
08. They are projects aimed only at helping people who live in poor countries.
16. They are ideas that can be used in projects for technological development.
CORRECT PROPOSITIONS: ___________


3. As for initiatives to fight poverty and social exclusion, we can CONCLUDE from the text that:
01. in England, a big issue was planned for building a community center.
02. non-governmental organizations became the only source of help.
04. the government in India created a bank to help unemployed women.
08. the use of a database on Best Practices is a good way to obtain strategies for policy making.
16. in Brazil, a model project is being implemented to improve students’ performance.
CORRECT PROPOSITIONS: ____________

4. Considering the text, select the proposition(s) in which there are two expressions that are SIMILAR.
01. According to / As stated by the Human Development Report 1997, a quarter of the world's population remains in severe poverty.
02. At the same time / In contrast, social inequality, marginalization and discrimination still exclude many people from full participation in economic, political and cultural life.
04. While / Therefore poverty and social exclusion represent common problems to policy makers in both poor and rich countries, new initiatives have been developed to combat these problems.
08. The goal of a database on Best Practices is to present and promote solutions to social problems in order to / so as to build a bridge between experimental solutions, research and policy.
16. Best Practices are model projects or policies aimed at / unplanned for improving the quality of life of individuals or groups suffering from poverty or social exclusion.
CORRECT PROPOSITIONS: ______________
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