January 23, 2008
By Drew Henderson, Pinckney, MI

Poverty is a horrible thing, wrecking more lives in the world than cancer and the bird flu combined. However, it can be cured much more easily, and without expensive medicine. Indeed, poverty can be cured simply when ‘other people’ care for the impoverished nations and their citizens. Poverty is defined as a lack of sufficient resources necessary to maintain a minimally adequate standard of living. In the U.S., a family of four is officially in poverty if they earn less than $18,000 each year. Even earning twice this amount, however, is often not enough to live by.

The causes for Poverty are as varied as the people it effects. There is, in sub-Saharan often not enough money to survive. For some countries in sub-Saharan Africa, there is simply not enough food or medicine to be found. Money cannot help people when there is nothing to buy. Corrupt governments cause entire nations to live in poverty, too. Presidents will regularly sit in great palaces or large homes, eating whatever they desire. Their citizens, however, sleep in horrible huts, eating meat so spoiled and water so rancid that you and I would die. The final, and possibly most common cause for poverty is birth. Many people are born into impoverished families, and cannot afford a good education. They will usually get low-paying jobs, and live in poverty. The cycle repeats itself when these people have children.

Poverty affects every nation on the face of the Earth, although it is particularly bad in sub-Saharan Africa. Each person living in poverty is affected in a different way. Some people are malnourished and have weakened immune systems. They catch diseases easily and cannot afford treatment. Poverty, in short, gives people diseases and does not allow them to be cured. Malaria, a disease spread by mosquitoes, kills one child every thirty seconds and costs Africa 12,000,000,000 dollars each year. Children are affected too, when a government cannot afford for them to be educated. An estimated 15 million children are missing elementary school, (60% of which are girls), resulting in 1,000,000,000 illiterate adults, or one sixth of the worlds population.

There are many ways to ‘cure’ poverty, thankfully. Many organizations, such as Red Cross and Do Something.org are constantly taking donations to help the situation. ONE.org helps by raising awareness for the poor, and asks for you to sign petitions so the government will not simply sweep this problem under the rug. The truth is, anybody can help save lives and defeat poverty. It only takes ten dollars to send a mosquito net to Africa, one that will last five years and possibly save two lives from malaria. Two hundred dollars, a small contribution from someone who lives in America, one of the most prosperous countries in the world, will pay for fertilizer and seed to support a family for a full year.

If you are interested in donating money to help impoverished African nations, I encourage you to visit Do Something.org, or go to ONE.org to lend your voice.

As you can see, poverty is a horrible thing. It affects every nation in the world, but can be cured when everyday people, including you, start to care. Please help to rid the world of this epidemic. If you don’t want to donate money, help raise awareness by signing a petition.

In short, poverty can be cured. Are you willing to help?

Similar Articles


This article has 0 comments.

Parkland Book