I’ve never went to bed hungry in my life.
I’ve never known what’s its like not knowing when the next meal will be.
I’ve never had outgrown my clothes or shoes.
I’ve never not had clean running water to drink. bathe.wash.
I’ve never lived in a tin home or under a fly sheet.
I’ve never not had electricity.
I’ll never really know what it is like to live in poverty (touch wood),
but today I vow to make a difference. To make some noise. For starters.
And start lobbying and planning for 2009.
We all know that word. If you cared enough, or took Social Economics (like I did) or Sociology or Geography, chances are you have studied and analysed enough statistical data, policies et cetera.
Back then, I’ve witness and mingled with the homeless. The poor. And the hard core poor in slums. We made concerted efforts to understand the situation. We interviewed them. Lived their lives. Looking back, I owe it to them to say it was superficial on our part. On my part. Stretching probably a bit too far, they were a specimen on our petri dish waiting for a judgement to be penned in our dissertation.
I’ve witness the homeless in developed parts of Europe and North America. I’ve not seen much in my homeland, other than the handful of mentally challenged individuals roaming the streets. To this day I have problems reconciling the two facts presented above. Maybe the explanation lies in culture. It has to. The answer can’t lie in better social security or a welfare support system. Back here, what we have is very basic.
So, for as long as it has been, poverty has always been safely tucked away in dissertation and research papers. Hidden behind numbers. Hardly ever in my sight. It was only some time early this year that I was jolted. I understood how shallow my understanding and attitude was. And the hopelessness of the situation – the very same one that left me paralysed in action and thought – is what poverty is all about.
* * * * * * * * * *
Bloggers who want to blog about as a show of support, you can find resources HERE.Comprehensive information/FAQs, photos (with permission), videos, posters / badge, and step-by-step information on registering events and support are all available HERE.
Sharelist allows you to link to Orkut, Facebook and Twitter.