Sunday, April 12, 2009

POV on Poverty

So for a school club I'm in we had a Multicultural Day where students have a booth where they research a bit about a certain country. I signed up to host a booth and was assigned to my country, Kenya. I was just perusing through the CIA World Factbook Website to catch snippets of important statistics I could use for my poster and I saw Kenya's estimated unemployment rate: 40%. Then, I researched the GDP per capita: $1,600. This got me thinking. How does one get caught in the seemingly never ending cycle of poverty?

Well, I came up with a few possible answers: lack of a sufficient education for the masses, expensive health care, natural disasters, and corruption of the government.

If you want to become a CEO of a major company or a powerful lawyer, how are you going to get there? The answer is simple: an education. However, many children do not have access to a local school because either the school is too far or too expensive. Some children do not even have parents to provide for them. How are we going to get children off plantations and into classrooms with teachers? If an educated man loses his job, there are still so many other opportunities he still can branch out to. An uneducated man, however, can only perform one form of job, manual labor.

Well, we can even take this down a notch. What if you were a miner but can't afford the proper health care to oversee your health? If you break your arm, your job is gone. Your life spirals down into the abyss of poverty. Some causes of poverty are beyond our control, like a corrupt government. What if your nation's government claims to be creating all these awesome reforms and providing benefits for those below the poverty line, but just eats up all that money for itself?

Let's say you have a farm. It's profitable and life for you is going pretty swell. Alas, a devastating storm hits your area. Your land is no longer fertile and is ravaged by the brutal environmental factors. Now, I don't know about you, but I'm not exactly the one who controls the storms of the world.

Is poverty an ugly side of our socio-economic model? You tell me.

Question of the Post: What do you think is the cause of poverty? How can this issue be resolved?

Works Cited:
CIA - The World Factbook


  1. Just gonna lay the statistics out for you. The UN estimates that for every dollar they donate to African nations, 25 dollars more is required to pay back the debt.

    Sub-Saharan Africa alone owes 230 B dollars owed to external nations and the IMF
    12 B dollars paid towards the debt(Barely covers the interest.)

    To actually help out nations like Kenya you need to end government corruption (Some guy from Tanzania embezzled 1.8 million dollars from the government, money meant for schools and infrastructure.)

  2. Hi Saloni,
    I stumbled upon your blog after seeing that you were a co-lender on one of my Kiva loans. I commend you on your interest and action in seeking an end to global poverty. If you're looking for more information on root causes of poverty, there's an excellent resource over at ONE on the issues affecting global poverty. I encourage you to check it out here:
    Keep up the great work!