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Can we end poverty?

by Ruth Aine - 28 October 2013

We all want to make this world a better place. Our aim is to see us leave behind a life that is better than what we had for our children, that is why we work so hard.  We want to achieve financial independence for ourselves, yet we also want to see a world free of poverty. Poverty is a source of pain to some and to the majority of us: it is a fact that we are shameful about. What is interesting though is that we can live with it. We can ‘stomach it’. We congratulate ourselves with our success at ‘winning the competition’.  But is it really a competition? We are happy to talk about it and not do much about it because after all: it is not us that are living below the $2 mark every day.

Question is: Can we eradicate poverty? Is this something that we would gladly put our thoughts to as members of this universe? 
 
Muhammud Yunus, an economist, noble peace laureate and founder of the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh at the recently concluded One Young World Summit held in Johannesburg said that he believed in the young generation being able to fully eradicate poverty. ‘You have inherited a world full of disease, war, poverty and strife. But you can still create the change that you want to. You can eradicate poverty, it is possible. How about we set a date and decide that from now on, we are going to work towards that?’ he said. There are optimists like that, who believe in social change and doing business for good.
 
Diana Mitlin has written a book titled: ‘Reducing Urban Poverty in the Global South’. This book highlights the investment in the informal urban settlements which helps leaders to canvass for votes in the electoral processes. But these have not helped a lot; instead we see a great trend of communities creating their own groups that create solutions for themselves and the communities that they are a part of. Important to note is that the women are a focal point on making sure that this happens. They easily take on the leadership mantle and are also result driven. So in the end, we find roads are maintained, there are proper sanitation measures and waste collection in the community is properly done. As these solutions are made, there is a chance to be able to partner with local government as well, with time. The change and growth that has happened amongst the communities has been guided by the unity exhibited by the ‘squatters and tenants’ that are eager to change the world the best way that they know how.
 
This could be a case of people taking matters into their own hands. The urban dwellers are seen taking on a role that their leaders should be taking on, creating the change that they want to see. This is a formidable trend, which means that with time the leaders can begin to consult the social change leaders.
 
So can we end poverty? The answer lies with you and me.

 

Ruth Aine Tindyebwa
Blogger/Online Communications

Read her personal blog; IN DEPTH which is at www.ruthaine.com

Read more about the author and her view on being a futurist.

 

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