Article about African poverty. Links for African poverty.
There have been many attempts to rid the world of African poverty. It seems obscene that it still exists in the 21st century. Whilst some African countries have made advances, others struggle terribly. Wars, drought, crop failure, disease, corrupt government and the apathy of the West have all played a part.
Charities do their bit to help. I am a member of an organization that recruits people to sponsor individuals in Africa. I sponsor a little girl in a remote village in Malawi. This organization, and similar ones, works in a clever way to combat African poverty. It allows me to establish a personal relationship with one child, but the money I send each month helps the whole community. They have used the money towards the cost of building a school and to dig a well. It's also been used to buy mosquito nets, to address the problem of infant malaria, and to buy school equipment. My sponsored child writes letters to me through an interpretator, and I send letters to her and occasional gifts. The organization sends me reports on the work they do in the community and articles about African poverty in general.
This sponsorship is incredibly important to everyone in the community. As each village becomes self sufficient, the organization moves on to another community caught up in African poverty and invites its sponsors to take up a new sponsorship there. It's a wonderful example of a well thought out and long term strategy. Some charitable giving has to deal with short-term emergencies of course. Just imagine, however, if everyone who could afford it, became a sponsor. Just think what effect that would have on African poverty.
The other way in which I try to give support is to buy Fair Trade goods in the local stores. The Fair Trade movement has been most successful in trying to combat African poverty by setting a fair price for farmers and growers in Africa, so they can achieve a reasonable standard of living. Some of the independent companies that have taken up the Fair Trade cause have been successful enough to be bought out by well-known brands. I buy Fair Trade coffee, tea, chocolate and bananas. So ok, it's just my little bit. Imagine, once again, if everyone did the same.
The promises made, concerning African poverty, at the recent G8 Summit are under scrutiny at the moment. Progress on carrying out the promises must be monitored closely. Politicians have the ultimate power to get rid of African poverty once and for all. Celebrities such as Bob Geldof and Bono do the invaluable work of keeping the issue uppermost in our minds and on the news. Everyone, as an individual, can also do his or her bit. The only way out of African poverty is for all African communities to become self sufficient, and that's something we can all aim for.
South African Council of Churches - Churches working for moral reconstruction in South Africa, focusing on issues of justice, reconciliation, integrity of creation and the eradication of poverty and contributing towards the empowerment of all who are spiritually, socially and economically marginalized.
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