Hello Gamers, and welcome to an important day in the presentation of Random Thoughts. Today, October 15th is Blog Action Day 2008 and this years focus is poverty.
No, I'm not talking about being deprived of a video game for a week or two.
I'm talking about REAL poverty.
The kind of poverty that faces most of the world today. A report in 2005 stated that about 80% or 5.15 billion people in the world today live on less than $10 a day. $10! Imagine, taking the money you spend on one game and giving it to a person in a developing country could provide them with nearly a weeks income. We should all consider taking one or two of the Starbuck's coffees that we buy each morning on your way into to work and use that money to help someone who has a lot less.
The United States has lost 750,000 jobs lately. While not all people who lost their jobs live in poverty, this number is staggering for those of us who live here. However, in some countries many more people then that have not had jobs for a long time. If they have been fortunate enough to have had jobs, they make less than some in the United States make from unemployment benefits.
How can we change this though? There are ways that the world could redistribute funds and food and supplies so that all could have some. In the 21st century there is no excuse not distributing these things better. There is no excuse for the United States, Europe and other great countries to hold back from various commitments to developing countries on providing food and medical treatments. Yet, these countries still do not receive the things they are promised, which often leads to further poverty. It leaves about one in two children in poverty, one in three without shelter, one in five without access to clean water, and one in seven without adequate healthcare. These facts come from a 2005 report, meaning that things have only gotten worse since then.
There is one organization, among many good ones out there, that is seeking to change the face of poverty so that none are forgotten. Outreach International, an organization with their headquarters in Independence, MO is focused on a different kind of model for ending poverty. Rather than providing money and supplies and food randomly to villages based on a supposed need, they will enter a village when invited and help them solve their problems from the inside.
They call this process the Participatory Human Development Process (PHDP). It is a nine step process taken on by each village, with Outreach's help. Using this process they are able to identify their villages most essential problems and then learn skills to solve these problems. Whether by learning how to talk to local governments to get the funding they need for projects, training events that teach various skills such as more successful farming methods, or simple healthcare, they are working to make a difference around the globe.
Incredibly, Outreach International also works to spend as much money from donations to field projects as they can. Many times people work there on a volunteer or low pay basis. Many of my own friends have worked for them and come away changed. One aids in writing a blog about various problems such as poverty at http://blog.sustainablegood.org/
I, first hand, have witnessed their work in Nicaragua. What they do with their PHDP there is amazing. Villages that once had fewer than half of their children attending school can now regularly attend classes because of work by the villages to provide for their basic needs. People are no longer as hungry because they have learned how to farm foods appropriate for their climate. They have also learned ways to sell extras to other locations for some small income. One village was even building 50 cement houses, each with their own out house, so that their villagers could have strong houses instead of paper and plastic bags for walls.
Outreach International, one organization among many, pushing to end poverty in the world. What can you do? Check out Outreach's main site and see if there are ways you can give to their cause. Find other organizations, through a simple Google search, that are also fighting to end poverty. Even check out other people's ideas for Blog Action Day. There are many things related to poverty I do not know about, but together we can make a difference in this world.