Despite the romantic images that can be seen in the land, such as the sand dunes that seem to extend forever, mythical cities, camel trains and elephants, the Life expectancy of one who dwells in Niger is 46 years. Oh, what a sad story. Niger, with 12.5 million people is ranked as the poorest Country of the world. The words "drought" and "food crisis" are now common place. The farmers sit on the sand in sheer remorse while the locusts freely ravish all the works of their hard toiling. They can only cry out because they cannot do anything about it. They are the world's poorest Nation today.
The dust-laden wind of the Harmattan blows from the Sahara desert into Freetown, Sierra Leone. Yes, other Countries have the Harmattan, but here the Harmattan cuts into the skins of the 5 million people living in poverty, out of the Nation's 6 million. Oh, what a number! They call Sierra Leone the "Lion Mountain," but a Lion with all it's pride would never even climb such a mountain. Ravished by the impact of their long civil war which started in 1991, the people of Sierra Leone were compelled to sell blood diamonds in exchange for brutal weapons. Little did they know that come 1999 they would have a death toll of 50,000 and an estimate of 2.5 million displaced people. We call them BLOOD DIAMONDS, but they have lost more than blood. They have lost their people and pride, and now they swim in the luxury of poverty. Where is the Lion mountain?
Burkina Faso surely must have treasured its main agricultural production, cotton. The men must have taken pride in their work. They must have sat down in groups as the sun went down, laughing and talking about the success of the land. But no more. This is a Country that will not move forward unless it has debt relief. Over the years, the Country has built up a great external debt burden. Now, they need to pay it back and the innocent ones are suffering the consequences. The children who were not yet born, but now exist...born into an indescribable state of abject poverty. A 58% poverty index! To add to this, between 1994 and 1998 there was a severe drought. As if that was not enough, there was a devaluation of the CFA franc, leading to a much lower purchasing power for the already poor people. The children of Burkina Faso are still crying out...
Those are just the three poorest Countries in the world. On the top ten list we still have Chad, Guinea-Bissau, Central African Republic, Ethiopia, Burundi, and Mozambique.
Last year, I and my other half decided to sponsor a child, a very young Indian girl...and that's what we've done so far. Just saying this to encourage you that any little thing you can do is still good. I am not in the greatest financial state to really help right now. But I know I can ask God for these Nations (Psalm 2:8). I know I can make a war cry. I know I can cry out. I know I can shout out so loud until change begins to take place. And it has already started. The question is not whether it will end, but whether you will be part of the relief. Today, I choose to cry out against poverty. In addition to that, for you my readers, if you have the means, there are many ways to help the poverty situations of the world. You can do any of these 10 things:
1) Start a Kiva Lending team, and lend to entrepreneurs in these Countries: Here
2) Donate to the Global Fund to fight against Aids, Tuberculosis, and Malaria: Here
3) Donate 5 cents to the global fund for every comment on your facebook wall (I'm doing this one) OR donate your blog or website’s October 15th earnings to a poverty-fighting charity.
4) Shop to fight against poverty (sounds cool, right?): Here
5) Buy a Poverty Button or T-shirt: Here OR Here
6) Visit Skelliewag and comment on the Poverty Post. For every visit 5 cents will be donated to kiva.org: Here
7) Do your own post on poverty or tell the great story of someone who overcame poverty and how they did it.
8) Sell unneeded items on eBay or Craigslist and donate the proceeds to battle poverty
9) Organize a "Stand Up Against Poverty Event" with friends: Here
10) What can one person do? Find out: Here
Someone Like me and you:
Muhammad Yunus, managing director of Grameen Bank in Bangladesh and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 is credited with inventing the practice of microcredit lending more than thirty years ago. Grameen’s strategy is to offer miniscule loans to very poor people on terms suitable to them, and teaching them a few sound financial principles, giving them the means to generate income and work their way out of poverty. Source: Marelisa