WHAT IS POVERTY?
"Poverty is not an economic problem, but a behavioral one.”
Gawad Kalinga believes poverty is not so much about the scarcity of resources as it is about the loss of human dignity. Force a man to live like an animal and sooner or later, he will begin acting like one. Living in a slum environment keeps people unproductive and desperate, making it the perfect breeding ground for crime and violence. Poverty strips people of their dignity and allows prejudice to breed as others tend to look down upon the poor with pity, shame or fear.
WHY SHOULD YOU CARE?
"Poverty is not a lack of resources, but a lack of caring and sharing."
The painful lack of caring and sharing in our society is the root cause of poverty. We have focused on ourselves and our loved ones, forgetting that we are all connected to each other as one family. Yet poverty affects us all in many ways:
1. Poverty puts everyone at risk.
Poverty makes people resort to criminal activities. Criminals, insurgents, rebels and terrorists rely on indiscriminate means to bring about the justice they seek for their lack of resources and opportunities.
2. Poverty causes a sense of hopelessness.
Because poverty seems so overwhelming, people tend to feel shame and hopelessness. Unfortunately, widespread apathy among the citizens of a poor country only serves to hasten the decay of its institutions.
3. Poverty contributes greatly to environmental degradation.
Poverty forces people to abuse natural resources to meet their basic necessities. Save the poor and you are able to save the environment.
You should care because poverty cuts through cultures, continents and classes to affect you, your family and the people you love. You should care because it is time for us to commit to help our communities, countries, and the single world we all share. You should care because you can, and because there are millions of fathers, mothers and children whose everyday prayers are simply that someone will.