The Theory of Poverty


‘Poverty is holistic: it is not just economic or physical but is also social, environmental and spiritual. It is complex and multi-faceted’. (Tearfund).

Yesterday, I had a very interesting conversation with my kids after I was overheard by them talking about the poor kids in Africa who are hungry but don’t have anything to eat. My boys could not understand why people starve while they could go to a near by beach, catch some fish, roast them and eat them. They also asked me other lots of questions. ‘Why don’t they go to the ocean where there is unfinishable tons of fish?’ was the second question when I told them about most people who don’t have a nearby beach where they can go and fish. I told them some stories about how some people travel several miles to do this very thing even though the success is sometimes minimal. I told them some kids and families wait and wait and wait with a huge hope that their dad or mam would come back with some food, only to eventually learn their hope had been just a mere hope and fantasy. My kids had nonstop questions why some people starve to death while others throw their leftovers in their bins and trashcans; ‘why does God allow this to happen?’ being one of their paramount question. These kids, my kids, have seen themselves many times getting up from their dinner table without being able to finish their portions in spite of the encouragement and push they get from their parents to eat a bit more; choosing one kind of food over the other etc. I thought to myself, it is time to teach my children about the theory of Poverty, injustice, inequality, unfairness etc. that we see in this world. Giving children the skill and knowledge to see things around them in the proper perspective is one of the greatest investment parents can do for their children – unless we want them to be contributors to the turmoil and havoc the world is entertaining at this moment.

Although we are not still sure who said it, or if she really had said it, for that matter, the phrase ‘LET THEM EAT CAKE’ has been widely attributed to Marie-Antoinette (1755-93), the Queen consort of Louis XVI. She is supposed to have said this when she was told that the French populace or peasants had no bread to eat. I would not imagine many people are as ignorant as that; but in practice, our complacency, carelessness and action-less-ness when millions of people die because of hunger and lack of food is inexcusable.

Merid Desta

Charities Joining Forces to End Global Hunger

Over a hundred leading UK charities including the leading Christian organisations and churches in the united Kingdom have joined hands and forces yesterday Wednesday 23 February 2013 at Somerset House in London to launch the new ‘Enough Food For Everyone “IF”’ campaign, aiming to make this year the beginning of the end of global hunger. Other launches have also been made in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. It has been noted that the world produces enough food for everyone but hunger kills 260 children every hour. It is a bold campaign- can we ever mark a single year as the one in which we can start to end this scandal and global hunger? According to the campaigners, nearly one billion people go to bed hungry every night and two million children die from malnutrition every year. Progress has been made in other areas, but hunger is still the great scandal of our age. All around the world, even in the UK, people are struggling to feed their families. In 2013, the government of UK has promised to provide 0.7% of national income for aid and to host a Hunger Summit. In June, the world’s most powerful leaders will meet in the UK at the G8. This campaign aims to put pressure on David Cameron to use Britain’s presidency of the G8 to address the root causes of hunger, which still kills two million children every year. Mr Tutu, the former Archbishop of Cape Town and a long-serving human rights campaigner, said: “Hunger is not an incurable disease or an unavoidable tragedy. We can make sure no child goes to bed hungry…” UK G8 Summit will be held 17 – 18 June 2013 in Northern Ireland. If each one of us make our voices heard, there is a probability that the policy makers in the world will come to their senses; they will be able to see things they haven’t seen before and do something about it – SERIOUSLY. I like this short video, made by TearFund very much. Enjoy watching it.

Merid Desta