Poverty

ORIGINALLY POSTED: 11.9.11

Over one billion people in the world live in poverty, according to the World Bank to be considered living in poverty a person is living off of $1.25 or less every day.

What does it really mean to live on $1.25 a day? Often, people living in poverty have more than one job consisting of day labor, small businesses and agriculture. These people spend 50-80% of their earnings on food. More than often indoor plumbing and electricity are unavailable and the families can rarely afford to have productive assets such as; sewing machines, bikes, tractors, ect.
The struggle in any rural area is to live. My question really is why are there rural areas still? The people who live in rural areas are by no means lazy. What they don’t have though, is an education. In India 95% of children go to school until 8th grade, but 9th through 12th grade only 40% attend. So why it that between 8th and 9th grade so many children are dropping out from school? The problem is that the older and stronger children are needed at home to work and help the family. The families are losing sight of what the future for their children can be, they need motivation and the learning has to be productive. “…so it improves learning levels and cognitive skills. Also, India still faces challenges in providing quality Early Childhood Development programs for all children…”
Many of the families think of the situation like this:  if the families and children are living in poverty and are working at home so that their family can survive, why would they leave work for school? By working they can provide needs for the family right away. But down the road, the educated person will be able to obtain a better career and be able to provide more efficiently for the family. They are losing sight of the larger picture. School will give the children tools they need to obtain and or create a better job(s).
In developing countries where ancient traditions still thrive, the importance of an education is not a high priority. While the younger generation knows the importance of receiving an education they struggle with family and work so that they can go to school. Without a proper education one cannot succeed in life, but with one the possibilities are endless.
We have heard the quote, Today’s children are tomorrow’s future, over and over again and yet it still hasn’t really caught on. Currently 121 million children are not receiving any sort of education. These are real facts, and real people. Education is the key to freedom, having an education opens one’s mind to greater options in life. The educated person is able to participate in their country; politically, economically and socially.
Many people are tired of hearing these things especially if they have their minds set already thinking that there’s nothing they can do to help. We are all born with different talents that can be put to good use not only for the better of these developing countries but for the better of our world.
There is hope for those in developing countries. In 2000, 189 leaders of the world came together and created The Millennium Development Goals(MDGs). These goals are targeted towards reducing poverty throughout the world and hope to achieve these goals by 2015.
There are eight goals which are, eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, achieve universal primary education, promote gender equality, reduce child mortality rates, improve maternal health, combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensure environmental sustainability and to develop a global partnership for development. Usually when one thinks of reducing poverty you think of the necessities and might think that with these 8 goals we have bitten off more than one can chew. But in reality the goals all go together and affect one another.
The solution is obvious but difficult. Education is needed among all people but just like the situation they are struggling with today, how do they become educated while working and trying to survive at the same time? There has been so much support going towards education funds that it’s easy to forget what is important to the people. We need to first educate the parents of what is available to them and their families. Every year there are more jobs available and as more people become educated, soon one will need an education so that they can work! If the parents understood the potential an education carries I think that they would feel better about sending their children to school.
It is important that after the parents are taught about what could be available, that in every possible way we make it happen. Many people know of the value that an education holds but do not have access to it. It is also just as important to consistently remind them that with an education will come a better job and that there are new jobs available every day. When times get tough it is normal to lose sight of the big picture. It is easier to just quit trying and go for what is convenient. The problem is big because the people make it big. When doing what is right, by sending their children to school, there will only be positive outcomes and the country will only become that much closer to being a developed country.
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