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Poverty training

by | Feb 26, 2011 | Poverty: Analysis and Responses | 3 comments

Understanding what it is like to be poor takes first hand knowledge. You have to experience it. If you’ve never been poor, you have no idea how hard it really is. Poverty is greatly misunderstood. It is a cycle that sucks people in and doesn’t want to let them go. For those who have never experienced life at this level, there is often a smug disdain for the poor.

Every day people are forced to make tough decisions. Pay the light bill or buy a prescription. Pay the rent or buy food. Pawn the television or turn off the phone. People living on the financial edge are forced into these decisions because they simply do not make enough money to meet their monthly obligations. So, they do their best to stay afloat, keep the lights on, the rent paid and food on the table.

Some people will never have to go through this. They will never really understand how stressful this life can be for families. Families fall apart over money, or the lack of it. Poverty attacks every aspect of life, not just the bank account. It can destroy relationships and cause stress that affects health. And it affects the entire community, not just the people who are labeled poor.

Reflections:

  • Can you remember ever being without food for for two days?
  • Have you ever had to make the choice between food or medicine?
  • How would explain to a hungry child you have no money for food?

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