How we fight poverty
We know all about poverty, right?
UNESCO statistics for 2016 show that out of a world population of 7 billion, about 2 billion people suffer from micronutrient malnutrition and about 800 million from chronic malnutrition. Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.5 a day and 80% of humanity live on less than $10 a day. Even these statistics give an inadequate picture of what it means to live the daily struggles connected to poverty, the reality is that far too many people are living in unacceptable conditions, where children are dying too young and where they have little hope for the future.
What is very clear is that we live in a world that is out of balance. In our schools, we take up the task of working shoulder to shoulder with ‘The Poor’ to change conditions for the better. Poverty is an impersonal socio-economic term that transforms a person from a subject to an object that can be analysed in computers and statistics. In order to work towards eliminating poverty, we see the need to specify, humanise and personalise the struggles of those living in poverty, or as we prefer to call them; ‘The Poor’. By doing so, we identify with their struggles and find ways to do something about them.
In our programmes and training, we open and peek through the curtains that are drawn over poverty to see the picture of what poverty means in real life. One face of poverty is that over 800 million men, women and children go to bed hungry every day, perhaps sipping some unclean water to keep away the stomach cramps. Hunger brings irritation, anger, anguish, a lack of concentration, lethargy, stunted growth and the inability to function fully. Going hungry every day without a solution in sight really should be an unacceptable life situation in the 21st century.
Like everyone else, The Poor have a wish to live and love life. Dreams about a better future, schools for children and decent food are universal. Acknowledging that our dreams and hopes literally cross paths is an important element in breaking down barriers and bridging the gap between us. This is an issue that cannot be underestimated in the world today.
At our schools we work on the foundation of a concept called ‘Solidary Humanism’. This is a concept formed from two words: solidarity and humanism. It is basically a worldview and human outlook on which we base our lives and take action. Solidary Humanism is a platform from which we humanise the struggle of The Poor and use our heads, hearts and hands to give our surplus to create better conditions. We act for the good of many.
Together with Humana People to People, we teachers and students join hands with The Poor. We are invited to their homes and we see and we listen. Then together with The Poor, we come up with viable solutions. We make Farmer’s Clubs where men and women gather in groups to learn new techniques and skills in order to gain a better yield and therefore better food and economy. We give education, knowledge and skills in how to cope with HIV and AIDS. We train the future generations of teachers. We mobilise and empower on a multitude of issues including climate change and specific and general health matters.
Most importantly, at our schools, we act together with The Poor to make positive change to eliminate the innumerable conditions that are called poverty. We welcome you to join us in this endeavour!