Poverty: Epidemic?

This is another unusual post for my blog, which is mainly focus on web development, but I felt that this a great way to try to make a little difference in this world.  The Blog Action Day “is an annual nonprofit event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day. Our aim is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion”.  This year’s topic, poverty, an issue that surprisingly enough is still a major issue.

This world has been evolving rapidly for the last century, yet we have not been able to solve some of the basic issues that we’ve had for centuries.  Poverty is defined as:

deprivation, the denial of access to those things which make a life of dignity possible, including not only food, shelter and safe drinking water, but also such as ‘intangibles’ as the opportunity to learn, to engage in meaningful employment or to enjoy the respect of one’s fellow …
(poverty wiki entry).

It has existed almost as long as human kind has been walking around this earth.  Poverty is a disease, it is an abnormal condition for a human being to be in.  It is a condition that I don’t necessarily understand why it happens or why it only affects certain individuals.

In my mind I strongly believe that every person in this planet is born with the same capabilities of being successful.  However there is evidence that proves me wrong, some individuals in this world are born into unfavorable positions, about 6 percent of American children that are born into poverty make it out.  The condition of poverty is similar to every person in the world who is experiencing it, it does not matter religion, race or geographic location.

So why do I think its an epidemic?

  1. Almost half the world (around 3 billion people) live in poverty.1
  2. Child poverty rates have increased in the US and around the globe.2
  3. Poverty indirectly causes death and other diseases.

So how can we cure this disease?  As with many other diseases I don’t think there is a cure to wipe out this disease out of this world.  What we could do is try to bring it under control and help as much people as possible.  As I stated earlier I don’t understand every detail about poverty, so I cant give a full solution to the problem.  In my opinion the problem is of such a large magnitude and complexity that it requires a great deal of smart people to come up with some kind of solution that is both efficient and fair to everyone.  However a good starting point will be to rely less on the governments, more often than not governments come up with inefficient solutions and they execute their plans poorly.

In addition each government in this world has it’s own agenda and poverty is not on the top of the list.  That is why I believe private individuals and/or entities should take the initiative to try to reduce poverty.  There are multiple methods of  helping currently available like contributing to foundations such as UNICEF.  Other ways to help is by sponsoring or contributing towards scholarships for children who cannot afford education.

I know a lot of people already try helping using these methods, but I believe the number of people that can/should help can be increased dramatically.  But for the numbers to increase there must be some kind of motivation.  Some sources of motivation are already in place such as celebrities campaigning and goverments providing tax breaks.  However I think that both the celebrities and governments should rethink the way they do things.  They should try to come up with ways to attract a wider audience or to make a bigger impact on the population.

If we, those who are capable of giving, do not change our mindsets poverty will never be controlled or erradicated.  So today I invite you to learn more about poverty and visit Blog Action Day 2008 to read what others are saying about poverty.