Blog Action Day 2008 – Poverty

My experiences this past year were as much about learning about challenges in global health as realizing how poverty compounds and exacerbates global health issues. The most important lesson I have learned is that nothing occurs in isolation. It will take a lot more than money to help eliminate poverty; focusing exclusively on economic development ignores many of the issues such as global health that contribute to the entrenched nature of poverty in communities worldwide. Participating in Blog Action Day seems an appropriate bookend to a year of volunteering abroad as an opportunity for your involvement.

Reading Paul Farmer’s Pathologies of Power really opened my eyes to the need to approach global health from the perspective of the poorest of the poor, reinforcing what I saw in my daily experiences. It’s hard to talk about reproductive rights when women do not have access to their own sources of income to assert those rights. It is hard to reduce childhood mortality due to preventable diseases such as malaria and waterborne diseases when families can not pay for access to clean water and bednets. When a mother can not afford to buy milk, encouraging adherence to HIV treatment seems like a pointless task.

Huge global problems such as global poverty remain invisible to many and seem daunting to those aware of the tremendous human impact. There is no quick fix to the problem of global poverty, but you can and should act now. It’s never too late to start and there is always something that you can do. The most important thing is to do something positive; inaction is truly the worst action to take. So speak up, stand up, show up, pay up…whatever it is that will contribute to the end of poverty.

– Learn more about global poverty issues from the ONE Campaign.

– Donate to the Blog Action Day-supported organizations: The Global Fund (via change.org) and Kiva.

– Look around in your community for volunteering opportunities to fight poverty. Idealist.org and Volunteer Match are good resources to begin your search.

– Use the web to connect to organizations abroad to offer your experience and time. NABUUR and UN Online Volunteering offer good starting points.

5 comments so far

  1. kouji haiku on

    i also especially like the freerice, kiva and goodsearch sites, as ways to do good online, in fairly easy but significant ways.🙂

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it’s great that you’re participating.🙂

  2. ioni on

    Seriously, people, I do not believe that using blogs we can fight something as big as poverty. How on Earth writing about it helps people who starve? Who die because they cannot afford water? Who are scared that the crisis that is upon us will break down their lives?

    I just do not understand all that hype – but I do not mind to participate, not in the least. Although I do believe that “writing about poverty” is not the same as “fighting poverty itself”.

  3. Vanessa on

    @kouji I do like Free Rice and Kiva. I have not tried using good search yet though. Thanks for your comment.

    @ioni I don’t believe that simply writing about poverty will cause its end. Writing helps to build awareness of the prevalence and human impact of poverty. One of the worst aspects of poverty is that the poor remain invisible to the rest of the world. This year’s Blog Action Day is about shining a spotlight on their lives. You will also notice that all of the participating blogs have a call to action for taking this online activism into the real world. Thanks for participating in the day.

  4. […] Subject To Change […]

  5. ooopinionsss on

    How you think when the economic crisis will end? I wish to make statistics of independent opinions!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: