Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Better To Light One Candle...

October 15th rings in this year’s blog action day.
BlogTalkRadio is hosting a special 12-hour live radio show from noon to midnight Eastern (New York) time on Wednesday, October 15. Get call-in and prize info here (yes, there are prizes for good listeners!).
Robert Zoellick, World Bank President: "100 million people have already been driven into poverty this year, and that number will grow."

Poverty Facts and Stats — Global Issues

Poverty in the United States (2007 report)

Several weeks ago, when I took up the assignment of posting an article relating to poverty, the world economy was quite different. Efforts to eradicate global poverty have now come under threat as governments grapple with the financial crisis.

Working families across America and the U.K. are particularly feeling the crunch. In the U.S., food pantries are handing out more bags of groceries than ever before. As gas and food prices escalate, the middle class folk are the ones getting a tiny taste of what poverty is like. Unfortunately, this large segment of society has traditionally been the most helpful when it comes to donating money to fund anti-poverty programs (Everything counts in small amounts!) but now find themselves unable to give.

One of the problems encountered when trying to convince people to donate to anti-poverty programs is that in the U.S. a lot of folks carry the mindset that "poor people are no good." Say poverty, think "white trash" who routinely fight and abuse their children. Or they think of "uneducated immigrants" trying to get a free ride, taking the social welfare sysytem for granted. While there is no denying these types of people exist, they represent less than two percent of the Global Poor. Not to mention the many fine law-abiding religious former middle-class families, demoted by the recession, losing homes and jobs, living in shelters or in cars or with relatives because their very way of life has been swept out from under them. The slippery slope seperating the middle class and working poor from those living on the street is more treacherous outside North America.
South Africa's central bank governor Tito Mboweni warned this past Saturday that slowing economic growth linked to the financial crisis risked pushing tens of millions into poverty in Africa.

"The global economy has been weakened significantly by the financial crisis that arose as a result of poorly regulated financial institutions in developed countries," he told the International Monetary Fund annual meeting.

The slowdown, and other factors including high commodity prices and the credit crunch, "threaten to undermine the policy gains we have made over the last decade, with the danger of pushing tens of millions over the poverty line."

Mboweni addressed the international monetary and financial committee of the IMF on behalf of 21 African countries including Angola, Botswana, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria and Tanzania.

Africa is not alone:

Poverty divide widening in Australia, says QCOSS

Teaming up to help alleviate poverty in the Philippines
Poverty Branch: Putting the Old Horse Down

What to do now? Stay the course! If you've previously been able to donate to anti-poverty charities or programs, don't stop. You may have to scale back your gifting, but remember that what comes around goes around, and your donation, no matter how small, will be rewarded later on down life's road. Microgifting? Remember: "Everything counts in small amounts." Ask any entrepreneur whose dream to start a business cametrue through the efforts of organizations like Kiva!

Ways to help combat poverty:

Microfinance with Kiva
Microloans are small loans, as little as $25, that help entrepreneurs in developing areas lift themselves out of poverty.
Find out how you can microfinance a project via Kiva for as little as $25

Support The Global Fund
There are many structural reasons for poverty. The Global Fund combats AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria which have a crippling effect on the fight against poverty. In 2008 we encourage bloggers to donate their day's earnings to The Global Fund - the official Blog Action Day charity.
Donate to The Global Fund via our Fundraising page on Change.org

Social Network via Change.org
Change.org is a social network dedicated to empowering and enabling people to connect, discuss, donate and make changes. If you're looking for like minded people, this is the place to go.
Visit Blog Action Day's Change.org Site

Blog Action Day is a nonprofit, grassroots movement of thousands of individual bloggers coming together for one cause. Blogs Participating include TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, LifeHacker, Mashable, Smashing, VentureBeat, ProBlogger, Inhabitat, ZenHabits, Stepcase LifeHack, MentalFloss, DailyBlogTips, TorrentFreak, SEOMoz, GetRichSlowly, WiseBread, LifeDev.net, GigaOm, DumbLittleMan and more...
See the complete list of bloggers

Supporting Organisations
Blog Action Day is supported by organisations big and small including: The United Nations Millennium Campaign, Friendster, Deutsche Welle, My.Opera, International Blog Awards, Edublogs, Advanta Corp, BlogTV Inc and Blog.de.
See the full list of supporting organisations here.

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