Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008 - Poverty

My photo today is part of Blog Action Day, 2008. The subject chosen this year was Poverty.

When the word 'poverty' is mentioned, many people might imagine hungry children in a third world country such as Africa or India or Haiti. Poverty can have a different meaning for each individual. For me, the term poverty implies needing assistance because you cannot meet the basic needs of life which are love, food, shelter and clothing. I mention love because I believe it is the most important.

The members of St Mary's Catholic Church here in Moscow provide this food bank (out of love) to meet the needs of those who cannot quite provide enough food to feed their families. In preparing for this post today (I had only two days to prepare), I have done a bit of research, but one thing stuck out to me in our small little town where we don't often see signs of poverty, "One out of eight children in Idaho go to bed hungry every night" To me that number was a shock. This is Idaho in the good old US of A. There should be NO poverty here. We are the wealthiest nation in the world! How is it then, that a child could be hungry or homeless?

Then I look at the statistics worldwide. It is staggering, really. Here are a few for you:

Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.
Because obviously weapons are more important than educating children that war really solves nothing.

2.2 billion children in the world, 1 billion live in poverty (that is every second child).
EVERY. SECOND. CHILD!

1.6 billion people — a quarter of humanity — live without electricity.
Imagine a life without electricity. Just imagine it.

In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%
Because we want all this stuff so that we can be happy. Never mind that the average amount spent for a month of cable service for entertainment would feed, clothe and educate a child for 6 months and really make a difference in that child's life. We would just DIE without the latest 'reality' show on the tv...their reality show is that, According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”
Kinda makes who is getting booted off the island a little less significant.

The GDP (Gross Domestic Product) of the 41 Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (567 million people) is less than the wealth of the world’s 7 richest people combined.

Just WOW!

You can view these stats and more at http://www.globalissues.org/article/26/poverty-facts-and-stats.

2 comments:

Z said...

Amazing to stand back and take a look sometimes. As the global credit crisis thunders on around us, I think of all those people who have never had enough to actually notice a difference.

Thank you for your visits to and comments on my Villigen blog. See you later!

Sherry said...

It sure is Z. You would have a hard time understanding our current market crisis if you had never lived it.