Mg.co.za recently reported on G8 breaking its pledges on poverty:

Industrialised nations have broken promises to alleviate poverty and provide better health and education, leading to the deaths of millions of people in poorer nations, Oxfam International said on Thursday.

Group of Eight (G8) nations had fallen far short of meeting a $50-billion funding pledge made at a summit in Gleneagles, Scotland two years ago, said Oxfam, an independent group that works to fight poverty.

Read entire article on mg.co.za.

I don’t find this surprising, but I do find it sad. We cannot rely on these empty promises from governments. To end poverty, the people of the world need to learn to work together without the help of governments and politicians.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

Stamp Out Hunger™

10 May 2007

Somebody recently informed me about a great program run by Campbell Soup Company and The United States Postal Service, which facilitates the donation of food by American families to American family.

35,000,000 Americans are at risk of hunger.

Get involved on May 12th!

www.HelpStampOutHunger.com

On May 12th, Campbell Soup Company and The United States Postal Service are partnering once again to sponsor Stamp Out Hunger™, the “nation’s largest single-day food drive.” Your participation in this cause is instrumental in its success

How can you help?

  • Place bags filled with nonperishable food items next to your mailbox.*
  • Your letter carrier will pick them up and deliver them to local food banks!**

It’s that easy to make a big difference. For more information, visit www.HelpStampOutHunger.com .

*Donate items like canned meats and fish, canned soup, juice, pasta, vegetables, cereal and rice. Please do not include items that have expired or those in glass containers.
**If you live in an urban area check with your letter carrier or bring food to your local post office and they’ll deliver it to local food banks.

I like that idea & program, because it helps average families and households to help without inconvienence. The average American family has work to do, bills to pay, and so on. Programs like this let those families help give what they can. Remember, when we all do what we can to help out, we make this world a better place for all of us.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Ways To Help |

While reading a book (not about poverty) today, I came across a very interesting passage that I want to post on the blog. In their book, Waorani: The Contexts of Violence & War, Clayton Robarcheck and Carole Robarchek wrote the following:

At this point, perhaps we should make clear our position with regard to missionaries and their activities. It is fair to say that, at the beginning of our careers, we shared the generalize antipathy toward missionaries that is common among anthropologists and among academics generally. We still have the same fundamental philosophical disagreement with the primary goal of missionization: that of convincing people that their traditional beliefs are false and the another’s are true. (It is also the case, however, that we see little difference in this regard between Christian missionaries whose objective is to replace the belief in “demons” with the word of Christ and his disciples, and the Marxist missionaries of recent decades whose goal was to destroy the “false consciousness” of traditional cultures and to inculcate the revealed truth of their prophet and his disciples.)

The undeniably negative consequences that missionization often had in the past notwithstanding (and this was certainly the case in the Oriente-see chapter 5), it is clear to us, after having lived and worked in traditional societies on both sides of the world, that now, at the end of the twentieth century it is not the ideological and social changes introduced by missionaries that are destroying traditional societies like those of the Semai and Waorani.

Any negative psychological, social, and cultural effects of missionary activity are today utterly insignificant compared to the catastrophic impact of the worldwide industrial megaculture – in both its capitalist and socialist variants – with its insatiable hunger for resources: land, water food, timber, oil, minerals, and labor. It is “development”: mining, oil extraction, lumbering, ranching, plantation agriculture, dam construction, and environmental degradation through deforestation, soil erosion, and toxic wastes that is obliterating the cultures and societies, and often the very lives, of native peoples the world over.

“Development” forces or entices them from their lands and ways of life, robs them of their self-sufficiency and destroys the social and cultural coherence of their traditional lives.

Buy Waorani Contexts of Violence & War.

The last point about robbery of self-sufficiency motivated me to post that excellent excerpt on this blog. I like most that the excerpt explains that the damaging expansion of industrial exploitation comes from both capitalism and socialism. Those two political philosophies represent two-sides of the same dangerous coin.

Industrial growth requires the degradation of the planet to fuel itself, which means that so-called “developed” nations need to economically invade and manipulate otherwise self-sufficient and stable communities in the world, leaving those communities instable and poor.

Many currently poor communities and local societies existed in economic harmony with their part of the earth while isolated from industrial society, before industrial society consumed them for their resources.

The agents of industrial society couldn’t care less about behaving fairly. They want to get natural resources (labor, oil, etc.) from these previously self-sufficient communities in whatever way they can while giving as little as possible; hence the economic exploitation and neo-imperialism. If a person doesn’t feel the need to pay a fair price for something, they steal it.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Politics and Commentary |

When asked about how Barack Obama recently said that rap musicians should reform their lyrics, Russell Simmons said, “What we need to reform is the conditions that create these lyrics. Obama needs to reform the conditions of poverty. I wish he really did raise his money on the Internet, like he said. I wish he really did raise his money independently.”

I completely agree! Don’t change the lyrics, change the conditions that create them. If politicians don’t like hearing about violence, drugs, gangs, crime, and poverty, then stop allowing poor and black children to grow up surrounded by such things. Rappers don’t create the problem, they report it.

For president, Russell Simmons supports relatively unknown candidate Dennis Kucinich; For the reasons of preserving mother earth, fighting poverty, and more.

Personally, I don’t support any candidate, because candidates have to sellout to get votes and campaign funded. While candidates like Kucinich don’t sellout as much as candidates like Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and their Republican counterparts, candidates like Kucinich won’t win as a result.

The fact remains that a bipartisan group of ultra-wealthy elites control both political parties, control which candidates have any chance, control who gets funding (since they have the money), control who gets news-time (since they own the news channels), and everything else related to government and major politicians.

For that reason, I only want to get involved with and support decentralized, non-governmental, and grassroots movements – which base themselves on the cooperative power of average citizens working together voluntarily.

As long-time readers of this blog already know, I don’t vote and I don’t pay taxes. However, if you do vote, consider Dennis Kucinich in the Democrat’s primary.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

Jennie Daley and Topher Sanders recently wrote an article about the struggle for food in Tompkins County, New York. I include an excerpt:

Experts on food insecurity note that while the effects may be many, the cause of hunger is most often one — the lack of a wage that will pay all the bills.

“I’ve got a lot of bills to pay, so my money goes there first,” said Michelle Fish as she picked up staples at the Brooktondale Food Pantry. “Rents are so high and with the price of gas now, the money I was spending on food goes in the gas tank.”

Fish, a Cornell University food service worker, has four mouths to feed with one income.

By local estimates, Fish does not earn a living wage. Using figures for a single person with no children, the federal poverty guideline is $10,210. Alternatives Federal Credit Union estimates the Tompkins County living wage to be just more than $20,450 for that same person.

The difference between the two measures comes from how they are derived. The federal poverty line is based on food costs, specifically the cost of a basket of basic grocery goods, multiplied by three. Alternatives considers other expenses, including rent, insurance, health care, transportation, telephone, recreation and savings in its living wage figure.

Read entire article by Jennie Daley and Topher Sanders.

We urgently need to ensure that everyone makes a living wage, but I disbelieve that that alone can eliminate poverty.

A living wage gives a family just barely enough to survive. However, children from these homes need more than second-rate necessities to grow into self-sufficient adults who can avoid poverty. The poverty cycle will trap these children unless they get complete access to quality food, clothes, shelter, healthcare and education. Only then will these children grow into adults have the health and education to support themselves and their families.

If a family gets a living wage immediately, they can survive for now. However, that won’t break the poverty cycle by itself.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |

Sara Steffens reports that many foster youths face a future of homelessness. I include an excerpt:

When a foster youth becomes homeless, no one social worker, guardian or child welfare department is to blame.

The average parent spends $44,500 on a child after he or she becomes an adult, “and that doesn’t include the kid being still in his room at home,” said Robert Fellmeth, executive director of Children’s Advocacy Institute, based at the University of San Diego School of Law.

By contrast, foster youths get a median of $5,000 in public support after aging out of care.

“Most kids don’t get anything,” Fellmeth said. “Most kids get zero. (They get) ‘Hit the streets with your clothes in your trash bag.’”

One study says that at least one in five former foster children becomes homeless within a few years of becoming a legal adult. Other research, using broader criteria for homelessness, sets the figure as high as half.

Read entire article by Sara Steffens.

This terribly sad reality represents just another part of the poverty cycle. As a society, we have the ability and resources to give these children what they need to succeed. We choose not to. We choose to ignore poverty. We choose to excuse our inaction with delusions that poor people bring poverty on themselves. Poor people do not bring poverty on themselves. Who would choose homelessness? Rather, our society never gives kids such as those neglected foster kids a fair shot to succeed.

We don’t need government or war. We the people can put an end to this ourselves. Let’s stop the poverty cycle. Let’s ensure that every child receives what they need to succeed: sufficient food, clothes, shelter, healthcare, and education.

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 | Posted by | Categories: Poverty News |
Children suffering from Poverty