Corey and Lori's Quest Log


Corey and Lori’s Quest Log

Blog Action Day 2008 – Solving Poverty

Blog Action Day 2008Okay, all you wannabe Heroes – this is your call to action.

Today, around the world, more than 9 thousand people are writing on the internet about working together to solve the issues of poverty. Since this school is dedicated to promoting heroism, we are joining Blog Action Day to put our ideals into actions.

Like all things heroic, it doesn’t have to take much effort on our parts to make a difference when it comes to poverty. All of our old clothes and appliances are donated to charity. We give extra food to the food banks. Corey donates blood regularly, and just last week, I joined him. I put aside my squeamishness and the fact I have small veins so it requires more effort for the nurse to babysit me, but I survived the process. We also give money when we can to those environmental causes that deal with people as well as animals.

Unfortunately, these acts are a little like putting a bandage on a gaping wound. They don’t really solve the issues of poverty. Even with a used coat and blanket, a homeless person shivers at night as winter approaches. The real bases of poverty are unemployment and the inability to find a way to get enough food and adequate shelter.

Commitment to Creating a Cure

Together We can Make a DifferenceWhat will it take to find a solution to the poverty problem? First of all, it will take Commitment. We can’t ignore the problem and hope poverty just goes away. Poverty is a reason why endangered species of animals in Africa are being poached. Poverty is a reason why the rainforests are being devastated daily. Poverty is a reason why children are dying around the world.

We all need to look at the issues and causes of poverty and seriously address what we can do. Then, above all, we need to Do Something!

Lighting the Way

Solving Poverty Brings PeaceWe believe strongly in the power of education – after all, this is a school. Education takes many forms. From the “One Laptop per Child”, whose goal is to provide children around the world with new opportunities and ways to think, to Habitat for Humanity, where people actually learn how to build their own home with the help of volunteers, there are many ways education can change the world.

Poverty won’t be solved by trying to teach starving people how to read and write – but it can be solved by teaching them hope and empowering them to change their own lives.

A Real Hero

One of our fans of the Quest for Glory computer game series is an active force working against poverty by empowerment, education, and economics. Pam is a wonderful artist who lives in Thailand. She and her sister went up to the hills and poor villages in her country to teach the craft of jewelry-making. She helped people there sell their art over the Internet. She makes a real difference in the world – sharing her time and sharing the beauty of her art.

Putting Words into Actions

Stop PovertyIn addition to our participation in Blog Action Day by blogging, I entered PSDTuts contest to create a button design to publicize and promote “Solving Poverty.” PSDTuts is the best site I’ve found for tutorials on Photoshop – much of the style of the School comes from what I have learned there – so I wanted to support their cause. For another thing, I really wanted to do more than just write about Solving Poverty – I wanted to do something about it. PSDTuts and its sister site, Vectortuts, which had a contest to design a t-shirt, offered over $1000 worth of prize money to the best designs. However, the prize money doesn’t go to the winners. It goes to Kiva.org in the designer’s names.

Kiva offers loans to people who need money to start businesses all over the world. The money goes directly to individuals who are actively working to make their lives better. This isn’t a charity – the people are expected to pay back the loan once they earn enough money to do so. It gives a hand to people who otherwise would not have a chance to get a loan from conventional methods. This doesn’t just benefit the borrowers. They create businesses and employ other impoverished people. This helps raise the standard of living for many people in their area. Kiva borrowers pay back 90% of their loans, an astonishingly high ratio considering that startup businesses in the U.S. are 90% likely to fail.

One of my designs – the “Give a little, Help a LOT” button – came in as a runner-up design. It will be for sale on PSDTut’s Cafe Press website along with all the other winners. So if you would like to own a “Lori Ann Cole” original art design button, or just support and promote the cause, check out the site and buy a button or a shirt there. All the profits will be passed along to Kiva.org.

Solving Poverty – We will find a Way

Solving Poverty - We will find a WayI ask each of you to take a moment to be a true hero and help find a solution to poverty. What will you do to end Poverty? Add your voice to this cause and comment upon this article. Do you know of a charity who addresses this problem? Perhaps you know another true hero who is making a difference in the world. Share your thoughts and inspire others to take part in this discussion. It’s a call to action for all of us.

Solving Poverty - Be the Solution

 


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Comments

  1. Joseph Howse Says:

    I’m glad to see that microcredit (local lending programs like the ones funded by Kiva) is one of the movements that you and other bloggers are supporting.

    I had the chance to meet staff and borrowers from many microcredit projects in 2006, when I helped organize that year’s Global Microcredit Summit in Halifax, Canada.

    Most microcredit programs have local roots, being managed and staffed by people from the same countries that they serve. Some of these credit programs are set up as cooperatives, so borrowers and depositors have voting input into the project’s policies.

    Beyond loans and deposit services, the most successful projects tend to offer additional free or inexpensive services, such as vocational training, health insurance, crop insurance, or advocacy for small-business rights.

    A substantial majority of the entrepreneurs who benefit from microcredit are women, who may be more excluded than men from mainstream financial services.

    A few links for anyone interested in reading more:

    http://www.mixmarket.org/ (MIX Market) is the 411 of microcredit organizations around the globe, with plenty of operational and financial data for analysts.

    http://www.imon.tj/eng/ (IMON), based in Tajikistan, is one of the many organizations that receives Kiva funding. I’ve researched and written about IMON (and an affiliated organization, National Association of Businesswomen of Tajikistan) several times and think it’s among the best projects in its region. Their site includes detailed reports and lots of human stories about borrowers and staff.

    http://www.microcreditsummit.org/ (Microcredit Summit Campaign) is the organizing group for the Summit series I mentioned. They publish good global overviews of the microcredit sector, who it’s reaching, and what goals the Summit Campaign’s signatory organizations are trying to reach.

  2. Lori Says:

    I got in touch with Pam in Thailand, and she sent me a link to a website she and her sister, Angie, created about the village that they help. There are many photos of village life on the site, and it really shows that when we help others, our lives are enriched beyond measure. Visit
    Karen Village.

  3. Lori Says:

    Judy’s Blog Action Day Post was well worth reading and sharing with others… Thanks Judy!

    See what she wrote about Abadou on her blog.

  4. Judy Dunn Says:

    I love your quote:

    “Poverty won’t be solved by teaching people to read and write.”

    We in the First World think education is the way out. As a former manager at World Vision who did some work in Africa, I know it’s not that simple. When mothers don’t have to watch their babies die of starvation, when people get immunizations and resources to fight drought and malaria, THEN they can take that next step, developing the skills to move to self-sufficiency.

    I wrote my Blog Action Day post on Abadou, a one-year-old boy whose life was saved in the deserts of Mali. A reminder, I guess, that poverty does have a face.

  5. Corey Says:

    Very interesting article link. I like the idea of changing your (or my!) own attitude on poverty and wealth. How you approach an obstacle often determines whether and how you get past it.

  6. How to Get Delightfully Rich (and Still Keep Your Soul) | Remarkable Communication Says:

    […] Solving Poverty. Lori Cole talks about the role of heroes, commitment and education in tackling poverty. […]

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