BlogAction Day, is a day when bloggers around the world focus on one particular topic on their respective blogs. The topic for 2008 is poverty. This global day encourages discussion and leads to campaigns and raises awareness of the issue worldwide.
It's very easy when one lives in comfort to feel moved and send a fiver to whichever charity happens to spring to mind, but to actually get up and do something practical about addressing poverty, its underlying causes and its symptoms takes real comitment and dedication.
South African blogger and journalist,Damaria Senne offers advice on ways you can make a difference:
You can serve as a role model in your community, inspiring young people so they can see that success for people in their community is possible. As a budding writer, I so wanted to meet a Motswana writer, or a Black South African writer, just so my dream could look more real. If they could earn living as a writer, it would mean it was possible for me to do the same.
With the current world wide economic crisis looming over us, Naeem wonders if poverty and the financial crisis can be solved by the Islamic financial system:
Islam views the economic problem in a radically different way than Capitalism and Socialism. Islam focuses on the distribution of wealth not just the production. The problem of poverty will not be solved by producing more and more for the rich to consume rather it will be solved by ensuring that basic needs of every individual are satisfied completely. There are enough resources in the world to satisfy the basic needs of everyone
Sci-Cultra takes a very interesting look at poverty from an economic perspective and the reasons behind it:
It is a fact learned through hands-on experience that hand-outs (aka aid) don’t work. The irony of the G8 nations is that they are part of the problem, by endorsing the unfair trade rules that then lead them to debating how much aid to give; plus give loans that are inextricably tied to extortionate interest rates, which are in some cases passed on to profit-making vulture funds, e.g. in Zambia. This is like smiling at someone in a friendly manner and beckoning to hug them whilst simultaneously locating a tender place in-between their ribs on their back to drive in your knife.
Pumelela Nqelenga asks the Youth to stand up and take action against poverty:
We must stand for others and show the world what our ancestors meant when they spoke about “ubuntu”. I also call upon my own generation, the youth, to see that we too have the power to bring change, just the same why our parents did in the Soweto uprisings. We too have a page to fill in the history books, a chapter that writes about a generation that fought for equality and poverty. I call for a change!!
Open Technologist writes about using open source software to combat poverty:
The Mifos Initiative program is using open source software to create a service model that increases access to technology for microfinance institutions, allowing them to reach the worlds poor. Microfinance is a program whereby poor people are granted small loans (less than $200) to start and sustain small business like the Villiage Phone Program.
Nigerian blogger, Loy Okezie suggests ways to use technology and social media to raise awareness of poverty:
Using recent web technologies, we can at least together reduce poverty in Africa and around the world. The new web space offers a great opportunity in the fight against poverty. Let me now share some of the newest web technologies that could be used to take action against poverty.
Ignatius Nothnagel from Cape Town, South Africa, tells us about how and old lady who barely has any money for milk or bread is almost thrown out of a store:
My jaw drops. “She's what? Banned?” I look puzzled for a second, “From the most lower-class shopping market we have?” At this point the lady bursts into tears and I have to fight the urge to dodge what is now turning into a Scene.
Kerry-Anne writes about poverty in South Africa:
The percentage of households living below the poverty line decreased from 53% in 1995 to 48% in 2005. The poverty line is set at R322 per person per month. That's the cost of a restaurant meal for two here in South Africa. Read that again. Almost HALF of the people in our country have to cover ALL their living expenses out of LESS than the amount we spend on a single dinner. Sobering, isn't it?