According to World Bank, 1.4 billion people – or 20 percent of the world’s population – live in extreme poverty, earning less than $1.25 a day. And unfortunately, it’s getting worse. Seven out of 10 people in the world live in countries where economic inequality has increased in the last 30 years.
The question of how we solve this problem has become a source of debate, but one thing is clear: what we’re doing isn’t working.
The most recent thinking is that we can’t solve the poverty crisis by simply throwing more money at the poor. Instead:
- We need to consider social services a necessary safety net to keep the bottom from falling out.
- We need to empower the poor to improve their own lives, so they can work to get themselves out of poverty. A one-size-fits-all solution will not work—we need to help people as individuals.
Check out what these three nonprofits are doing to change the face of poverty by empowering the poor.
Family Independence Initiative
The Family Independence Initiative helps people toward independence by encouraging them to help themselves. In the past decade, they’ve learned that three elements are critical for building personal social and economic mobility:
- Connections – No one makes it alone. They need family, friends, and colleagues to provide support, information, advice, resources, and a sense of accountability.
- Choice – Rather than being directed or controlled by social services, families must have control over their own choices to succeed. This takes giving them a range of options related to finances, housing, health, education, and other opportunities needed for well-being.
- Capital – The biggest difference between low-income families and upper-income families is money — not intelligence or resourcefulness. Families need access to financial capital to gain control and improve their lives.
The Family Independence Initiative wants us to recognize that low-income families have strengths, capacities, and initiative, and will work to get themselves out of poverty; they just need the resources to see that it’s possible.
Like what they’re doing? Make a donation so the Family Independence Initiative can continue their inspiring work:
PovertyCure is a global network uniting organizations and individuals who recognize that we need to work together to alleviate global poverty. They examine the economic, social, political, and spiritual foundations for sustainable human development. Specifically:
- Enterprise solutions to poverty. Some people are able to rise out of poverty using intelligence, action, will, and ingenuity to make money.
- Dignity and capacity of the poor. Many people look at the poor as though they are incapable of improving their situation or getting out of poverty.
- Private property rights. The poor do not own land. As a result, they can’t borrow money against it to set up businesses or pay taxes, and they don’t have access education and investment incentives.
- Entrepreneurship. Poor regions can meet their wants and needs through enterprise and grow their way out of poverty, but they need proper legal and social structures.
- Foreign Aid. Foreign aid is a controversial topic. Proponents insist that it is a moral duty for wealthy nations to assist the poorer nations. On the other hand, wealthy countries developed themselves through trade, innovation, and business.
- Microfinance. Unlike foreign aid, microfinance gives someone the capital they need to help themselves, using their own abilities to provide for their family.
PovertyCure feels the question “What causes poverty?” is the wrong one to ask. Instead, they focus on the antithesis of poverty, questioning, “How do we encourage people to flourish?”
If you like PovertyCure’s approach to poverty, consider donating to support their work:
Grameen Foundation believes that all of us want to improve our lives, and that even the poorest among us can reach our full potential if given access to the right tools and information.
Grameen Foundation focuses primarily on women to provide :
- Financial services. Financial tools, which are typically not available to the poor, can help people create businesses, build savings, manage their money, and plan for the future.
- Better health care. Mobile technology can improve patient care, increase efficiency of health care providers, and make medical information relevant and easily accessible.
- Agricultural help. By developing phone applications and human networks, Grameen Foundation helps farmers get relevant and timely agricultural information to increase their productivity and raise their income.
The Grameen Foundation is thoughtful about creating long-term solutions, and partners with like-minded companies, organizations, government agencies and more.
Interested in supporting Grameen Foundation’s work? Make a donation to help them do more:
Poverty is an incredibly complex issue and a growing problem. It is essential that we work together as caring, global citizens to lift each other up—because we all deserve the opportunity for a better life.
—Sara Olsher, Marketing Manager