Tag Archives: Poverty

A Nun Once Said

If sometimes our poor people have had to die of starvation, it is not that God didn’t care for them, but because you and I didn’t give, were not an instrument of love in the hands of God, to give them that bread, to give them that clothing; because we did not recognize him, when once more Christ came in distressing disguise, in the hungry man, in the lonely man, in the homeless child, and seeking for shelter. -Mother Teresa

Tagged , ,

Cholera in Freetown Sierra Leone

“With the end of the rainy season, Sierra Leone’s worst outbreak of cholera in nearly 15 years has finally begun to recede. The crisis has focused attention on the dire living conditions in the slum areas of Freetown, where the disease hit hardest.”

“Though water wells have been installed in Kroo Bay, these are not immune from contamination. Unicef estimates that up to 42% of Sierra Leoneans do not have access to clean drinking water.”

“Pigs wander unchecked along the stream, foraging for food in its rubbish-filled waters. Just a few metres downstream, children play and swim, while others urinate along the banks.”

“Sanitary conditions in the slum are extremely poor, with few clean toilets. Many people simply defecate in the open, often near the banks of the stream that flows through Kroo Bay.”

“In such conditions, cholera spreads rapidly through the slums. Though it is easily treatable if addressed early, it is frequently fatal in Sierra Leone, where health facilities are not easily accessible, and awareness of the disease is low.”

“In August President Koroma announced a national emergency as cholera deaths increased sharply with the intensification of the rainy season. The disease has so far killed over 280 people this year.”

The text is cited from BBC News In Pictures, click here to view the article.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Drink with Purpose

What happens when you combine the Melanesian word for coffee, Kopi, and the word purpose? You get Kopur, a brand new company “passionate about coffee” and “committed to using it to help alleviate poverty around the globe.” Kopur’s commitment to alleviating poverty is displayed in its promise to donate $2.50 from each bag of coffee purchased from its online store to a not-for profit of their customer’s choice. Madan Estate coffee from Papua New Guinea and Ethiopian Yirgacheffee are just two examples of the selection of the ethnically diverse selection Kopur’s online store offers. In addition to the option of purchasing individual bags of coffee, Kopur also offers its customers with an ingenious 4-12 month “Kopur-licious” subscription option that allows customers to “buy once, and sip for months.” Oh and did we mention that it includes free shipping? Click on the picture below to visit Kopur’s online store.

Tagged , , ,

Tagged , ,

A Picture of Joy

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit Nairobi. While I was there, I spent time with a friend and learning about the work the organization she works for (more on that later), is accomplishing in the Mathare slum. Muthare is one of the oldest slums in Africa and reputed to be home to almost one million people (all though most sources cite a much more conservative estimation). During my walk through the slum, like most visitors to the slum, I was definitely appalled by the density and the amount of sewage and waste flowing into the slum’s water supply. Who wouldn’t be?
I was most struck however, by the smiles I saw on all the children’s faces. Despite the extreme poverty they were living in, these children still able to find a reason to smile. We could all use a lesson on how to be happy not matter what life brings us from them. So, find a reason to smile today. If they can smile, so can you.

Tagged , , ,

The ABC’s of Bagels and Donuts

Bagels and Donuts are two of my most favorite American foods–and I just had the opportunity to eat both of them. In case you missed it, I’ve been living in Kigali, Rwanda for the past couple of months. Although I wouldn’t necessarily describe Kigali as “third-world” (it’s actually a great place to live and relatively developed), it is lacking in these two “American necessities” I crave on a daily basis–or at least so I thought.

When I first stepped into the African Bagel Company (ABC) last Saturday, I was greeted with quite a surprising view–more Americans per square foot than there are Americans per square foot in the entire United States. After getting over my shock, I sat down to enjoy an AMAZING donut and an equally AMAZING bagel sandwich. [They also had frozen pizzas, cinnamon rolls, salsa, hummus and a variety of other amazing things, but I was stuffed beyond return after eating that bagel sandwich.]

Later on I discovered a fact that made that donut and bagel sandwich I ate seem even more amazing; ABC functions for the sole purpose of helping impoverished women. 100% of ABC’s profits (minus operating costs of course) go directly to the women who make and serve all the food that ABC provides. How awesome is that?

In addition to having my craving satisfied, it feels great to know that I helped make a difference in the lives of impoverished women. Even though most (if not all) of you aren’t anywhere near Kigali, you can always help make a difference in the lives of the impoverished by just being more intentional about what you buy at the grocery store. Check out our new “Fair Trade” page under our Index to learn more about how you can help.

P.S. If you ever make it to Kigali…you should definitely visit ABC. Just look at that sandwich…doesn’t it look great?!?!

Tagged , , , , ,

The Starfish Story: Revised

Excerpted from pg. 18 of Fast Living by Dr. Scott Todd.

A man was walking along the beach when he saw a girl taking a picture of a starfish with her iPhone. Approaching the girl, he asked, “What are you doing?

Uploading pictures of these stranded starfish to my Facebook page and asking friends to Tweet the call to action,” she said. “The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I can get enough friends out here, we can get all these starfish back into the water before sunset.

Little girl,” the man asked, “what does tweet mean?

The girl rolled her eyes. She bent down, picked up a starfish, and threw it back into the surf. Then she gave the man a wry, twinkly-eyed smile and said, “If you want to help out, this is how you do it.

Within hours, thousands of children stormed the beach and every starfish was rescued.

Tagged , , , , ,

Alleviating Hunger…one seed at a time.

Today, there are millions of poverty-stricken farmers around the world. Although many of them have a wealth of agricultural knowledge, most of these farmers are unable to utilize their knowledge because they lack the resources to do so.

Thankfully, organizations like ECHO exist to help provide poverty-stricken farmers with the resources they need to effectively grow food-producing crops under conditions that are frequently harsh. Among other things, ECHO also hosts an extensive seed bank and publishes developmental notes, which provide information regarding new technologies to help ensure that the crops are grown as effectively as possible.

For those who live in urban settings, ECHO publishes information that teaches urban dwellers how to grow gardens in areas that may not be well suited for gardening. From growing gardens on old carpets to growing gardens in cement-mixing tray filled with old socks and Coca-Cola cans, ECHO is equipping anyone with the need and desire to grow their own food, with the ability to do so.

Learn more about ECHO by clicking here and learn how you can help provide seeds for an entire village by clicking here.

Tagged , , ,
%d bloggers like this: