Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty

Poverty is defined as 'The state of having little or no money and few or no material possessions.' How many of us have experienced this state? How many of us even know what it feels like to be dirt poor? So poor that you don't know where your next meal is going to come from? How many of us have done something to help?

To put it in its simplest form. There are two kinds of people; those who talk and those who turn their talk into actions.

Talking about poverty is great. It builds up awareness, it sparks debate about what needs to be done. It also makes us thankful for all that we have. We feel the pain of homeless people, who get only one meal a day and have no idea where their next meal will come from.

We've all heard of Kevin Carter, the South African Photographer who won the Pulitzer for his photograph of a sudanese child trying to crawl to a United Nations food camp located a kilometer away while a vulture stood to attention nearby waiting for its prey to die. Carter's suicide was attricbuted to the atrocities he saw while travelling through South Africa covering the apartheid. The man saw poverty up close and personal like we can never bring ourselves to see or imagine.

How many of us can bring ourselves to see this collection of pictures on poverty?

So we talk and we say how bad poverty is and how it should be brought under control or even eliminated. Yet what do we do to play our part in eliminating poverty? How many of us think sending money to charities is enough? How many of us make the effort to find out what they're doing to help erradicate poverty? Some would prefer to help someone themselves and yet they don't know how to do that.

One option is Kiva.org which allows you to lend your money directly to an entrepreneur in any part of the world. Kiva is the world's first person-to-person micro-lending website, empowering individuals to lend directly to unique entrepreneurs in the developing world. Eradicating poverty doesn't mean that you feed someone and put a roof over them. Those are short term solutions. What happens when you can't support them? Kiva.org lets you empower the person you're lending your money to establish and grow a business which will enable them to lift themselves from poverty. Once the loan is repaid, it can be lent again to another entrepreneur. In some countries a $100 loan can go a long long way.

So we've done the talking bit. It's time to do something to help elleviate poverty.


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3 comments:
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Sal said...
October 20, 2008 at 8:45 AM  

Samar: The site looks great. I found it off of Ask.com. Blog Action Day was wonderful this year and your post hit the nail on the head. You definately turned your talk into action with this one.

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Samar O said...
October 20, 2008 at 3:52 PM  

Thank you Sal. I've just started out with this blog and it feels great to have some one like it.

It seems Kiva was a lot of people's form of action this year. When I went to check the website out on Blog Action Day they actually had an announcement posted saying all their entreprenuers had gotten their loans and if we want to extend a loan we'll have to wait till they got more borrowers!

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Sal said...
October 21, 2008 at 6:18 AM  

@Samar: That is always a good thing. Exciting to have more money for entrepreneuers than entrepreneuers to take it!

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