A blog post to follow the journey that our projects are on
To date we have worked within Orphan Care, Feeding Programs, School Infrastructure, School Education Curricular Structure, Disabled Care, Foster Care Homes, Micro Loans, Medical Health Care, Baby Massage, Photography, Music, Teach-to teach Programs, Agriculture, and Permaculture- to begin. Ultimately these projects are all exhibiting empathy and compassion – we are supporting, assisting and contributing to what we believe is improving lives in Malawi. Over the years new projects come to our attention either through the communities that we are working with or through the experiences offered through assistance from volunteers and their skills. It is fair to say that we are rapidly developing and growing.
I feel that we are all part of a consciousness – and we are all part of the movement towards bettering humankind.
Compassion comes from a Latin word simply meaning ‘to suffer with’ – I am beginning to see that this is what is important and that this is what we are fighting for, we are fighting for the world to be a more compassionate place, for us to be more compassionate towards one another, to empathize, to support and to unite together in our hope that we can help one another.
Historically, for over 50 years of established aid organization we have been told repetitive stories and advised to help through varied standardised methods (birthday donations, fridge magnets, sponsor programs). These stories aim to show us an insight as to what is going on around the world, encouraging us to empathize and support global problems. These stories are all part of this conscious shift, moving us to be more compassionate towards one another and highlighting the suffering within many other corners of the world.
Global poverty and the drive of those who give to build against it is likely the broadest and longest running phenomena of human manifestations of compassion in our species.
35 years ago they told us that 40,000 children died every day because of poverty, today we report a decrease to 17 thousand. This translates to 8 million less children a year that do not have to die from poverty. If we were to look at extreme poverty, we would see a reduction from 50% to 15% of the world living on $1.25 per day. Despite this being great progress and a huge achievement, exemplifying compassion, and reducing the suffering of thousands, these statistics can be a little misleading.
If we were to look at the next set of data and raised the bar of the definition of poverty from $1 (35 years ago) to $2 (today), we would see that the inclination is all relative; 2 billion people are stuck in poverty under the $2 line. This would give us virtually the same amount of people that we saw living under the poverty line 35 years ago.
The question that we have to ask is why are these people still stuck in such poverty? In 50 years we have seen little to no improvement to millions of lives.
Despite the rise in compassion, despite the increase of awareness, there are still far too many staggering under the poverty line.
Seemingly contradictory, a contributing factor towards this is foreign aid- in spite of the child sponsorship, the fridge magnet, the mail outs and feeding schemes. They are not stopping the basic needs and protections of a child.
As in the first world, developing countries too have laws but what they lack is law enforcement as a basic right. The UN issued a report stating that ’’most poor people live outside the protection of the Law’’
(Report of the commission of legal empowerment of the poor – United Nations)
Civil rights is eating away at humanity, it’s distressing and destroying the paths of education, of sanitation and of human rights from a general perspective. Without law and equality within it, the poor are repetitively being let down not through aid, not through donors or distributions but by law authority that are not only in place but acted upon for the wealthy. The poor are not given this opportunity; they are forgotten despite the fact that they need it most if they are to have any hope of self-development. In Africa the largest employer on the continent is Private Security – but the poor cannot afford it or be supported by it; private security firms are now 7x greater than the police forces.
Education is the key to change, Education is the key to development, Education is the ticket to million of children’s freedom.
”The Girl effect – we must get our children to school – this is the most powerful tool that we can use to get people out of poverty however consider the issue; even if children make it to school we can’t protect them from their environment. Victims of sexual abuse and violence account for more cases of death than malaria, car accidents and war together. The truth is that the poor in this world are trapped in systems of violence; decades of anti poverty schemes cannot get to the people who are victims of violence as they are unheard within the culture.
Traditional experts in economic development and poverty alleviation do not know how to fix this problem, so they do not talk about it. The fundamental reason for the Poor Law in the developing world is because the richer people inside the developing world that are working with money do not need it – they can afford protection privately.
I believe that people think that sacrifice is to give something up – but it’s more about giving people the voice to talk. Getting people talking, getting them to speak their mind, to express themselves and increase their consciousness. Dr Martin Luther king junior, in his 1968 speech, reflects upon the civil rights movements – ‘in the end we will not remember the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends’ as a conscious movement we must agree on this – we must challenge the communities within their silence.
There is not 1% of aid used towards the law of every day violence in developing countries. We talk about it as if we need to move things to make it more accommodating for them. For example girls getting raped on their journey to get water – but we move the water as opposed to educating the community on what and why this may be unacceptable. This is a massive and scandalous outrage – broken law enforcement can be corrected and fixed through effort and commitment. We have to stop violence being so despicable.
We need to unite with compassion and share expertise with the developing world into the public sector.