Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day 2008: Poverty - Let's cure it with a girl!

Today is Blog Action Day 2008. Our subject is poverty. I only found out about this Day and this topic late last night, and therefor have not had time to create an in-depth and educational look at this problem for you to read (as if I'm ever in-depth).
You don't have to know the daunting and horrific statistics about poverty across the globe. We all know it is there, we all know it is unfathomably sickening.
The World Bank describes it simply:
"Poverty is hunger. Poverty is lack of shelter. Poverty is being sick and not being able to see a doctor. Poverty is not having access to school and not knowing how to read. Poverty is not having a job, is fear for the future, living one day at a time. Poverty is losing a child to illness brought about by unclean water. Poverty is powerlessness, lack of representation and freedom."

We knew that. We already know that it has the most devastating of affects on children.

  • According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”

  • Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimistic numbers.

  • Less than one per cent of what the world spent every year on weapons was needed to put every child into school by the year 2000 and yet it didn’t happen.

  • These facts and more can be found on, along with their original sources.

Nothing is nearer and dearer to my heart than education... and that is exactly what it takes:

"The role of education in this process is particularly one of achieving universal primary education and adult literacy. The report made by the Secretary-General of the United Nations within the context of the Decade for the Eradication of Poverty confirms that universal primary education is central to the fight against poverty. Understandably so, because this is the level of education through which most poor children pass and within which their achievements should assist them to break the cycle of poverty. In fact, education is the social institution that reaches the largest segment of the population with the goal of guiding it through a systematic learning process." (

OK, so education is important... but where do we start... well, we know that it HAS to start with girls. Educating, investing in, and supporting the girls of our planet is going to be the CURE for poverty in our lifetime. We can do it. Can you believe that? We can eradicate poverty before our own children are grown? If you were the one in poverty and you were looking at your young daughter... going without food, clean water, health care, education, sanitation, etc... and someone said... here is what you have to do to ensure that your daughter and all of the children who come after her will NEVER have to experience this Hell - you'd do it. We all would. How do I start, where do I sign, what limb can I rip off to make this happen as soon as possible?

The information and the organizations are out there... get the word out, give what you can, learn, and be proactive. OK, ok, wait a minute... it really isn't my kid who is in need... in fact I don't even know any kids in need... and the economy is bad and my family is tightening our purse strings right now... we have to look out for ourselves... I mean we could be in a soup kitchen line if we're not careful! Oh... umm, I guess we could be wearing the "P" on our sleeve too.... Oh crap... OK... go on, tell me more.

Are you ok? Is the picture getting a little clearer? A little foggier? Let's move on. Watch this real quick: The Girl Effect:

The Girl Effect is about girls. And boys. And moms and dads and villages and towns and countries.
If you want to help end poverty and help the developing world, the best thingyou can do is invest time, energy, and funding into adolescent girls. It'scalled The Girl Effect because girls are uniquely capable of investing in theircommunities and making the world better.

Are you on board yet? Wanna see more? Go here.

Well what can I do? You can go to their website and learn more.

You can make a difference in a girl's life with Goods for Girls. You keep those girls in school during their time of month. They can't be missing 5 days a month of school now can they?

Goods for Girls

What else, what else?

Why not try supporting the End Poverty 2015 Millenium Campaign?

"In 2000, leaders of 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration agreeing to do everything in their power to end poverty. They pledged to do this by achieving the Millennium Development Goals, a roadmap to end extreme poverty by 2015.
Still, every day, 50,000 people die as a result of extreme poverty and the gap between rich and poor people is increasing. Nearly half the world’s population live in poverty, 70% are women. We have the power to change this.
Campaigners worldwide will
STAND UP and TAKE ACTION to push their governments for more and better aid, debt cancellation, education for all boys and girls, healthcare, trade justice, gender equality and public accountability."

This Millenium Campaign definitely has girls on the front burner too. We all know what needs to be done, let's Stand Up for girls everywhere.

Check out: Stop Child Poverty and Justice for Girls, two more organizations looking to make a difference.

We are all talking about girls and education as the key to eradicating poverty. Even our kids are talking about it through Net Aid/ Global Citizen Corps.

We're talking about it in the United States, the United Kingdom, Vietnam, Rwanda, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Cambodia... and today we are talking about poverty all over the globe. Everyone has an idea, a thought, a theory... let's band together and make a difference! What a lesson to us all... can you imagine?

So, what are you going to do?


Raynola said...

This is a very powerful posting! I put a direct link over to your blog on my blog today, even though I generally don't post on Wednesdays, Like I write I was very tempted to just copy your post and paste it directly onto my blog, but I thought again and said Nah! Well written, you said it all perfectly.

Zac said...

Good post Fischer, i highly recommend you check out - the London based anti-poverty NGO who have just had a website redesign with pages upon pages of powerful information and hardworking campaigns fighting to right the injustices in the world.