Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Blog Action Day: Poverty

There are 6,730,315,246 people on the planet and as many problems--or at least it feels that way sometimes. Today is Blog Action day and sitting in front of my computer, the word poverty is just too big.

It makes me feel overwhelmed, small, and vaguely guilty. I'd rather focus on words like learn, choose, and share. Those words are something I can do something about.


Looking at a poverty map of the US, for example, shows how things are distributed, but little else. So, I've been visiting the Wold Bank's site and reading on the topic. For me, learning how poverty is defined and analyzed helps me make sense of all the numbers and generalizations.


Fortunately, much of my work is virtual and sometimes involves subcontracting. So I try to reserve a small percentage of subcontracted work for colleagues living in struggling economies.

Also, awareness of what I pay for is a goal for me, like slave-free chocolate and fair-trade products.


There's a
loan service called OptInNow that I stumbled on. The organization gathers funds for micro business loans. Donors build the cash to fund the loan. When the loan is repaid, the loan is recycled and a new recipient benefits.

I'm sure there are many such programs. Over the last 4 years or so, I've seen a lot written on the enormous benefits of these small loans for economically vulnerable groups. Anyway, this is a way of sharing that inspires me because it provides more than money. The loan builds a business that provides income and dignity to its owner. I like.

That is where my brain goes when I think of poverty. I'd love to hear your thoughts and ideas on taking action to alleviate this or really any of our World's ailments.


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The NONEXISTENT Rockway Press Short Story Contest

Rockway Press never actually posted the winners of the 2007 contest. Their site has entirely disappeared, and they're on the Preditors and Editors list.