Today, Mama Lucy writes on the subject of poverty in commemoration of Blog Action Day 2008. According to the site, “Today thousands of bloggers will unite to discuss a single issue – poverty. The day aims to raise awareness, initiate action and to shake the web!” Since many bloggers will likely be posting on the topic of poverty from an outsider’s perspective, I thought it would be interesting to supplement their coverage with the views of people, like Mama Lucy, who have been directly impacted by poverty and have lived their entire lives in one of the poorest countries in the world. What she has to say is powerful. She wrote:
What is Poverty?
- Lack of something which otherwise could be of great importance for you. For example: basic human needs, good sources of income, or ability to think well.
- Not having enough to meet basic needs.
- Having something but not in a good quality which is supposed to be.
According to my first and last definition, I don’t consider myself as a poor person. I’ve no good sources of income but I’ve the ability to think and utilise the little I’m having so as to bring change to my community.
When talking about poor people, others’ minds go straight to not having money, shelter, food or clothes. For me, it’s more than that. Anyone who has money but their thinking capacity is poor/low, is poorer than the one with no basic human needs. This is because, what you are having can easily perish if you’ll not know how to use it.
What I think some wazungu (foreigners) misunderstand about poverty (which is good for them to know) is:
- Lacking basic needs does not mean your thinking capacity must be low.
- They sometimes think that because Africans are living in poor countries, therefore they cannot think about themselves. They think that since they don’t have money, so they can’t be able to plan, implement, monitor and supervise anything even if given chance or supported.
- They should know that, even if a person/community is poor, the best way to help is to listen and give chance to the beneficiaries to know what really is their problem, and what they think is their priority. You may think they need good road first but their priority is school, hospital or water. If you’ll not give them chance, you’ll end up doing their last thing at first.
- Poverty cannot be eradicated by just the ideas of one side. Sharing ideas of both sides can help and bring changes easily.
- Not the ways which has eliminated poverty in another country or community can be applied to every part and bring success.
For me to be rich is good thing if, you’ll be rich and happy. I’ve seen some people who are very rich but not happy at all. That is nonsense to me.
Education is the key to life. If good Education could be offered to all children, from their early years up to colleges, with time, poverty could not be an issue anymore. EDUCATION HAS POWER! This is why I’m among the people who are trying to bring even a slight change to this sector.
I hate the effects of poverty. Some of them being:
- Diseases which mostly are caused by low standard of living, which has connection to Edudation too.
- Death at early ages
- No say to your properties. Those being just few I’ve mentioned.
Let’s join hands to fight POVERTY.
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