Tech + Lifestyle

games, gear, and googleplexes (joke)

End Poverty Now

I’m a little late with this, but today has been busy – midterms and whatnot. Anyway, as you should already know, today is Blog Action Day, and this year’s topic is poverty.

As are many others, I’m of the “teach a man to fish” school of thought. Don’t get me wrong – charity is great. It can make a very literal difference between life and death. Past that, though, it is impractical to support others indefinitely, especially when we’re talking about a substantial percentage of the world’s population. You need to help, but in ways with a longer-lasting impact than a bowl of rice and with more potential than a gallon of clean water.

I see this as a two step process. First, obviously, get going with the charity already. In all seriousness, how are you going to help someone if they’ve already died of starvation or a curable illness? You aren’t. You’ve already failed. Organizations that work to provide clean drinking water and the basic nutrients necessary in a diet serve as the foundation in this little scheme of mine. Check out organizations providing life-saving food like Feed Just One and Feed the Hungry. For those helping to drill wells and provide sustainable sources of clean water, look into The Water Project.

After that, I love projects that both improve local economies and make viable contributions to worldwide goals. For example, Eden Reforestation Projects uses the donations of those in developed areas to fund reforestation efforts in other parts of the world. They get jobs, we get the satisfaction of helping out our fellow man and simultaneously engaging in environmentalism. That = a win-win-win situation in my book; win cubed, if you will. Another great option is Kiva.org, an organization that provides micro loans (usually a couple hundred dollars or less) to entrepreneurs in developing countries without the necessary capital to pursue their dreams. I’ve heard more than a few people recently discussing how they want to spread the so-called American Dream. Well, as far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing more American Dream-y than helping others engage in their very own capitalist endeavors. 😉

The whole point of this is to help others realize how much we can help. Stop being complacent, and do a little good in the world. Even if you would never consider something as demeaning as *gasp* physical labor in order to assist those in need, surely you can manage a the few mouse clicks it will take to make a donation to one of these deserving charitable causes. This isn’t immediate. It isn’t a panacea, and it won’t magically make all the world’s problems go away. Change happens slowly. It happens one person at a time. It starts with you.

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October 15, 2008 - Posted by | Eco Conscious, News, Personal | , , , , , , ,

3 Comments »

  1. Thanks so much for the mention!

    I’d encourage your readers to “Meet Bridget” on our site too. She’s an amazing example of how access to water can break the cycle of poverty and despair. We met her by chance while in Kenya last May and her story remains an inspiration for us.

    Thanks again.

    Peter

    (FYI – I noticed our website isn’t linked up correctly in the post above.)

    Comment by The Water Project | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  2. Thanks for catching that. It was a long day. Link fixed!

    Comment by techpluslifestyle | October 16, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hey yea! Thanks for mention Eden Projects, too! There are some cool videos available for post at their website now, if you’d like to check ’em out.

    Yay Blog Action Day. =)

    Thanks. =)

    Comment by Danica | October 21, 2008 | Reply


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