What do I know about poverty? Blog Action Day.

Thankfully, very little.

I have never had to worry about feeding my loved ones and my self.

I have never had to worry about water to wash my dishes, my clothes, my dog when he gets skunked.
Water to drink.

[audio:http://feeds.feedburner.com/~r/IndiefeedHipHop/~5/308194366/indiefeed_knaan_washitdown.mp3]
K’naan – Wash it Down on indiefeed hiphop

I do know that I have seen children try to learn without food in their stomachs. And I know one child who missed school for a week one January because he had no boots to help him get to school through over a foot of snow and -30 temperatures. And another child who missed weeks at a time last year – when I found out she wasn’t skipping but had no winter jacket I sent her work home with her and lent her my ski jacket for the balance of the season.

These are the ones I know about. How many other children and their families in my area of the world are living in poverty amongst our riches? How many families around the world are living in poverty amongst our riches?

I am embarrassed for our plastic-bottle-filled with natural spring/vitamin/fiji/organic/limeessence/evian/polandsprings/perrier/sanpellegrino/sanmateo/sierraspring/volvic drinking selves when I hear K’naan sing:

My people drum on water,
drink on water,
live on water,
die for water.

And I know that the water that comes out of our taps is clean.

I wonder how we got so far out of touch from the needs of others.

And I wonder again how many people in my own community are hungry and cold without my knowing it, while we pay for water.

And then I wonder …
how many community organizations like Sun Youth in Montreal could benefit if we diverted the billion dollar water-bottling industry towards their food and clothing programs?

Or what could happen if the people in my city opted to donate 2$/day towards these programs instead of buying their bottle of water?

1,620,693 (Montreal’s population in 2006) x 2$ = $3,241,386 A DAY.

Now that’s some math that has amazing potential.


Click Sun Youth’s image to make a donation :)

Click the Blog Action Day image to find out more about Blog Action Day: On Poverty.

4 comments / Add your comment below

  1. interesting post. for my part, i turn to sites like freerice, kiva, and goodsearch, as ways to help alleviate poverty online.

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

    kouji haikus last blog post at [site]..haiku poem

  2. Kia ora Tracy!

    As a child of 7 to 10 years old I lived in Nyasaland (now Malawi). In those days, the African outbacks had no fresh treated water. What’s more, where we lived during the first year, all our water had to be carried up from the stream to our tank, for there was no piped water.

    Water was carried in two huge empty milk-powder tins balanced across the shoulders on a wooden pole with a can hanging from each end.

    The water was suitable for washing and cooking, making tea etc. But it had to be boiled and preferably filtered before drinking. I remember listening to the plink plonk plop of the water-filter that sat in the cool shade of the back porch. It had a little chrome tap with a varnished wooden handle.

    My mother made delicious ginger beer or lemonade with filtered water. It was always put in a large glass jug that sat in the charcoal-cooler on the same porch. Oh, yes, and we didn’t have electricity. There was only one fridge in the village and it ran on paraffin oil, would you believe.

    In the evenings, I would sit on the varnished floor and play in the shadow of two oil lamps that lit our living room, soon to go to bed.

    These were not impoverished days. But they serve to remind me years later that we take our clean drinking water and our 24/7 electricity for granted.

    I am grateful for not having experienced poverty. But I fear it nevertheless. It’s far less than just not having some money in the bank, or not having four walls and a roof to sleep under.

    • Poverty is having no stove to cook on – and no food.

    • Poverty is having no delicious cool lemonade in the heat of the day.

    • Poverty is not having a fire to boil water, in a land where the water is undrinkable and doesn’t come out of a tap.

    • Poverty is having no electricity and no oil, let alone the lamp, in a land where fire is a luxury, if not a physical danger.

    • Poverty is having nothing but the rags you sit in.

    You are right. We can do more to save the suffering that poverty can bring.

    Ka kite

    Ken Allans last blog post at [site]..You never know till you ask

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