I hate it when phone charger won’t reach my bed, I hate when my leather seats aren’t heated, when I go to the bathroom and I forget my phone, when I leave my clothes in the washer so long they start to smell, I hate it when my house is so big that I need two wireless routers, when my mint gum makes my iced water taste too cold, when I have to write my maid a check but I forget her last name, when I can’t walk and text at the same time, when I leave my charger downstairs, I hate it when my neighbours block their wifi…( play this on the video)
Does this make you feel guilty? these are first world problems for us but not for these children and families living in Africa. Today I am going to talk to you about the poverty that is happening right now in this continent, what the main causes are and the contrast between Nz and Africa. Finally, what can the world do to help out this country that is suffering.
My family spends an average of $400 a week on food there are four of us… a majority of families suffering poverty in Africa barely know the difference between breakfast, lunch and dinner this is because they do not get three meals a day. Kiwis waste around $1.8 billion of food per year, these foods are either going to the landfill or getting burned, we then contrast this with the fact that the people in Africa are struggling to survive with no food at all. More than a million children die a year and every 7 years or so 20 million children die, because there is not enough food for them to eat, starvation is killing them! Africa is the continent with the biggest amount of people living in extreme poverty, 383 million people are living on less than $1.90 per day, this is about an 8th of what our minimum wage is per hour here in Nz. How does it make you feel right now that somewhere over in Africa a mother is sitting watching her child die from starvation… imagine the pain that this mother has to go through. Living in NZ we do not actually realise or take notice that there are millions of children and families just like us dying from lack of food and water, we do not take any notice that all these people are going through a life that could be this devastating. A villager in WaleWale says this “we tell the children that we are cooking dinner, but we are actually just boiling leaves. eventually they fall asleep with an empty stomach. We have to lie to them to keep our reserves going, adults eat one meal a day, for children it is sometimes crushed beans and if they are lucky they might get two meals a day”. How is it possible that there are children living in these conditions. A devastating sight of children made up of nothing but skin in bone are left lying on the ground surrounded by flies is not an uncommon sight over in parts of this country.
People ask what are the causes of this poverty occuring over there? Well…. Firstly corruption and poor governance, poverty can only be fought if there is strong governments and institutions, although in Africa the programs that are made to fight the poverty are not fully agreed to, this is because the funds end up under the care of untrustworthy people because of this it creates a bad balance in the society which causes there to be more poverty. Another is poor infrastructure with the buildings, roads, railways and water systems, only the public facilities are clean and well built in some areas. Bad land use and utilisation of the land, a lot of the people own large pieces of land not utilized good enough, or sometimes they are just left and not used at all. This is due to the people not being educated – not understanding or having knowledge how best to work their land – causing poverty because they can’t grow crops for themselves or take them to the market earning money for other things that are essential to survive. Diseases and poor health facilities that are available, is another leading cause. When you get sick most of you go to the doctors right?… even if it is a serious sickness or disease over in Africa they can not afford to help themselves it is then worsened by the limited poor health facilities, this then causes more people to become vulnerable to poverty. lastly for Africa it is common for its civil wars. These wars can be between countries that are beside them or even within the same country, this scares away the investment that could help the economic development and help to start more employment opportunities for the people in need.
Yes, that’s right I do understand what you are all thinking…. How can just one person make a difference to ending poverty in Africa or even a small country like New Zealand contribute to this? How can this be possible? …. Even though we have the technology to end this, it hasn’t ended or tried to be because we did not unite with ability to use this technology to help until now. How can we solve this huge problem. we can do our bit by doing 40hr famine in our schools gathering some friends up to see what we think of not being able to eat for 40 hrs or a programme that is called “so we can”. Although this just isn’t enough to completely stop it.. Do you think it’s possible for this problem to have a end put to it or not? That is another speech for another day.
Today I have talked to you and briefly explained a few of the reasons why this poverty is occurring and becoming more of a problem in the society today, i stated the fact that we can not stop the poverty in Africa by ourselves but we definitely could try put an end to i with the technology and or as a whole world we could help end/control it. How would you feel to be left without help suffering without food on your own? Would you do anything to help?