Sunday, January 31, 2010

Women & Poverty

“Women do two thirds of the world's work. Yet they earn only one tenth of the world's income and own less than one percent of the world's property. They are among the poorest of the world's poor.”

--Barbara B. Conable, Jr.


Saturday, January 30, 2010

Poverty Is NOT an Accident

The End of Poverty.  A film.  A website.  A hope.

"Like slavery and apartheid, poverty is not natural. It is man-made and it can be overcome and eradicated by the actions of human beings."

--Nelson Mandela

From the website:

"The End of Poverty? is a daring, thought-provoking and very timely documentary by award-winning filmmaker, Philippe Diaz, revealing that poverty is not an accident. It began with military conquest, slavery and colonization that resulted in the seizure of land, minerals and forced labor. Today, global poverty has reached new levels because of unfair debt, trade and tax policies -- in other words, wealthy countries exploiting the weaknesses of poor, developing countries.

The End of Poverty? asks why today 20% of the planet's population uses 80% of its resources and consumes 30% more than the planet can regenerate?

The film has been selected to over 25 international film festivals and will be released in theatres in November 2009. Directed by Philippe Diaz, produced by Cinema Libre Studio with the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation, 104mins, 2008, USA, documentary in English, Spanish, French with English Subtitles."

The DVD will be released sometime in the Spring of 2010. Please sign up for our newsletter to be notified when this happens.  Go here.
The End Of Poverty? from Philippe Diaz on Vimeo.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Climbing Out of Poverty--- by Monica at A Pair of Panties & Boxers

Monica is a fellow blogger, world traveler, and woman with a heart of gold.  I follow her blog faithfully.  I tease her that I am able to travel vicariously through her words, her photos, and her stories.  But this talented writer is more than a world traveler.  She is also a teacher and giver by nature.  She does not simply go to big cities to see the sites.  When Monica ventures to foreign and exotic lands, she goes to experience the culture and meet the people. 

Monica also cares about this world and seeks to make it a better place.  On one of her world adventures, this traveler-turned-teacher worked to make a difference in the lives of some very special Chinese children.

So come travel with me to China.  Experience the love and generosity of this amazing woman.  See the faces of the children of itinerant workers hungering for an education.  Listen to Monica's story.

Monica talks about how these experiences change her, but I bet--no, I am sure--that she has indelibly changed the people she has met and the places she has been.  Monica has changed them for the better.

Go to A Pair of Panties & Boxers to read Climbing Out of Poverty.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Woman Empowered Solve Rise From Poverty

Friendship Bridge
While wandering the web (and by Googling "hope in poverty"), I have discovered an excellent non-profit, non-governmental organization created to empower woman and their families of Guatemala.   By allowing these families to create their own solutions, Friendship Bridge helps to lift them out of the depths of poverty through micro enterprise and education. 

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Wisdom of Frederick Douglass

"Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe. "

--Frederick Douglass

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

From the Streets Straight Into My Heart

I have just finished watching a great piece from Journeyman Pictures (YouTube):  Kenya Kids.  This 11 minute video was so powerful that it both brought me to tears, yet left me with hope.  It also confirmed what Rolf Gross (phototgrapher) suggested to me when I started this blog, "Don't become a 'colonial missionary'."  Regardless of the BILLIONS of dollars than have been funneled into Africa over 50 years, the abject poverty still exists.  Until we empower the people of Africa, until Africans embrace the Power of Only One, nothing will ever change and millions will remain in the never ending cycle of poverty. The real solution is in the hands of the Africans themselves, not with the  "old white men" at summits who talk about what should be done.

But there is hope.  Just experience the strength and fire in the hearts of Henry Kangethe and Elisabeth Nyawira of AMREF, former street children of Kenya.  In the hands of those who know the pain and struggle of poverty, there is hope and a plan for a better tomorrow.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Haiti Seeks to Shape Its Own Future...But It Needs Help

This is an article found from the The Hindu (

Haiti wants to shape its future; needs more aid, tents
Haiti’s prime minister put forward a strong case Monday to the international community for more aid, but made clear that Haiti wants to guide the process and develop its own vision of rebuilding the shattered capital Port-au-Prince and outlying areas.

Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive spoke to foreign ministers from 20 nations in Montreal, where Canada called for participants to consider forgiveness of the Caribbean country’s nearly 1-billion-dollars in foreign debt.

The Haitian government “is working under precarious conditions but it is in a position to assume the leadership role expected by its people in order to launch the country on its path to reconstruction,” Bellerive told delegates.

Before the conference opened, he said he was not in Montreal to “simply ask for help.” “We have a plan,” he said, that calls for the future to be “clearly delineated by the Haitians for the Haitians using democratic means.” The conference paved the way for a donors’ conference in March where monetary pledges are expected. Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia boycotted the conference to protest the presence of 20,000 US military personnel in an aid capacity in Haiti.

In Brussels, European Union foreign ministers agreed to send at least 300 police officers to Haiti to boost the United Nations’ stabilization mission (MINUSTAH). Japan was also considering dispatching more troops. The UN mission, which was seriously damaged by the January 12 mammoth earthquake, has confirmed 82 staffers dead and another 53 missing.

Haitian President Rene Preval requested 200,000 tents before the spring rainy season arrives, the UN mission in Haiti said. As many as 800,000 Haitians need shelter. The government plans to build tent cities outside of Port-au-Prince to house many of the displaced.

Haitian rapper Wyclef Jean, who has helped spearhead fundraising efforts, supported the idea in an interview: “The cleaning will take long, that’s why I say: Start bringing the people out of the city with tents and start to convert the tents into homes.” The World Food Programme said Haiti would need more food — and for a much longer time than anticipated -- in what WFP executive director Josette Sheeran called “the most complex operation that WFP has ever faced.” Much of the food must be transported over bad roads from the neighbouring Dominican Republic on WFP’s 75 trucks.

At least 112,000 people are confirmed dead, and that number is expected to climb. An intense, almost daily series of aftershocks has brought more buildings tumbling and caused more injuries and deaths.

Bellerive called for Haitians living abroad to come home and help rebuild the country. “The catastrophe has escalated the emigration of Haitians. We need people to take courage and return,” he said.

In other developments: -- Taiwan President Ma Ying-jeou planned to fly with an aid delivery to Haiti’s neighbour, the Dominican Republic, just a short hop away from Honduras, where he had been planning to attend the presidential inauguration on Wednesday.

** A 21—member Philippine medical team was on its way to help address the growing urgency for wound and trauma treatment. The Haitian government estimates the number of injured at 194,000, many with mangled and crushed limbs.

** Private donations in Britain for earthquake relief reached 46 million pounds (74 million dollars), according to the umbrella aid group The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC).

** The United Nations Human Rights Council plans to meet on Wednesday for a special session in Geneva on Haiti, to focus on a “human rights approach” to relief efforts.

** The United States plans to create 20,000 jobs by the end of the month in Haiti by hiring people to help with the cleanup, the US State Department’s coordinator for relief and reconstruction, Lewis Lucke, said. Hiring has already begun.

** The European Union said it would not launch a comprehensive plan to facilitate adoptions of child quake orphans. In Washington, the US State Department confirmed that the US has evacuated more than 360 Haitian orphans and expected another 200 children. It was working through adoption centres to resettle them.

The status of these US-bound children was not clear. In Haiti on the weekend, Information Minister Marie Laurence Joselin Lassegue said that the government has put a halt to new adoptions and would only allow children already in the midst of adoptions to leave.

A man leaves after retrieving some documents from the rubble of a collapsed building in the aftermath of a powerful earthquake on Jan. 12 in Port-au-Prince. Photo: AP

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Land of Diversity. Land of Suffering.

Africa.  Land of Diversity.  Land of Beauty and Grace.  Land of World Wonders.  Also, Land of Poverty, Famine, Pestilence, HIV/AIDS, and Suffering.  This land rich in resources, including 60-70% of the world's gold and diamonds, is also home to the ten poorest nations in the world.  Go to  Media Global's website to gain further insight about these 10 countries (

Why does this matter?  Africa is the fastest growing continent in the world.  That means exponentially more children will be born in to a life and suffering of poverty.  One report reveals:

"20% of Africa's children die before the age of five... Every day 30,000 children die from a combination of disease- infested water and malnutrition...Water-borne diseases are claiming one child every three seconds. These diseases are the major killers of small children in Africa."

As the population of this already struggling continent rapidly rises, these and other issues will only worsen.  We as fellow global citizens must intervene now.  We must all find our starfish, saving them one at a time.

Friday, January 22, 2010

It Starts with You

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sometimes the Gross Domestic Product is GROSSLY Insufficient

Did you know that United States is one of the eight wealthiest countries in the world? This nation's gross domestic product last year alone was over $14 TRILLION.  Depending upon the source--World Bank, IMF, or CIA Factbook--the United States' economy is ranked as high as #4.  The GDP (PPP--purchasing power parity) per capita for this land of abundance is about $47,000.

What does this mean?  How can this be useful to understand poverty?  Let me try to explain.

  • GDP is the gross domestic product, which measures the total value of all of a country's goods and services that were produced in a year.  This number gives economists a means to rank a nation's economy.  You add up the value of all the hamburgers sold at Wendy's, co-pays paid to doctors, tickets bought to a Yankees games, each haircut given at Super Cuts, and everything else and you have the GDP (more or less).
  • per capita = per person
  • Purchasing power parity (PPP) "allows you to compare the standard of living between countries by taking into account the impact of their exchange rates (Go here for an example.)"
  • Basically, if you take the total vaule of all the goods and services produced in a single year and divide by the total population, this will be a nation's GDP per capita.  The larger the GDP per capita, the more developed the nation--translation:  wealthier.
  • If we divided the American GDP (PPP) of $14 TRILLION by our 300 million people AND if the government were to cut a check for the the amount of our little math problem, every man, woman, and child would receive $46,000.  WOW.
Let's put this into perspective.  Zimbabwe has a population of 11.3 million people with a total GDP (PPP) of not even $2 billion, making the GDP per capita only $200.  That is less than half of one percent of the American GDP (PPP).  

Yes, you saw correctly.  The United States produces so many goods and services that the nation of a one-third billion has a GDP per capita in the tens of thousands of dollars. That is garishly wealthy.  A true gap between the rich and the poor.

Over the next few days I will highlight some of the poorest countries in the world.  One of the reference points will be the GDP (PPP).  Just to give you a sneak peak...

  • Did you know that the entire African continent of over 50 countries only produces 1% of all manufactured goods in the world?
  • Did you the know the ten poorest countries in the world (GDP per capita) are in Africa?
  • Did you know that Africa, the poorest continent in the world, is also the fastest growing continent?  and it's population will double in about 20 years?   even with the deaths from preventable diseases, malnourishment and starvation, and the HIV/AIDS pandemic? 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How The World Bank Sees It

Today, I discovered a great site (The World Bank's PovertyNet) that provides a simple and concise definition of global poverty, describes a means to measure poverty, simply explains the trends in poverty, and shares the global goals created to address this issue of poverty.  The website is full of data, but it is presented on a level that the everyday Joe can understand.   I highly recommend that you spend time on this website as it provides more than just data, it also provides tools and training opportunities to address the global epidemic of poverty.

Here is an excerpt from the site:

"While there has been great progress in reducing poverty, it has been far from even, and the global picture masks large regional differences.

Poverty in East Asia—the world’s poorest region in 1981—has fallen from nearly 80 percent of the population living on less than $1.25 a day in 1981 to 18 percent in 2005 (about 340 million), largely owing to dramatic progress in poverty reduction in China. The goal of halving extreme poverty between 1990 and 2015 has already been achieved in East Asia.

Between 1981 and 2005, the number of people in poverty has fallen by around 600 million in China alone. In the developing world outside China, the poverty rate has fallen from 40 to 29 percent over 1981-2005, although the total number of poor has remained unchanged at around 1.2 billion.

$1.25 a day poverty rate in South Asia has also fallen, from 60 percent to 40 percent over 1981-2005, but this has not been enough to bring down the region’s total number of poor, which stood at about 600 million in 2005.

In Sub-Saharan Africa, the $1.25 a day poverty rate has shown no sustained decline over the whole period since 1981, starting and ending at around 50 percent. In absolute terms, the number of poor people has nearly doubled, from 200 million in 1981 to 380 million in 2005. However, there have been signs of recent progress; the poverty rate fell from 58% in 1996 to 50% in 2005.

In middle-income countries, the median poverty line for the developing world—$2 a day in 2005 prices—is more relevant. By this standard, the poverty rate has fallen since 1981 in Latin America and the Middle East & North Africa, but not enough to reduce the total number of poor.

The $2 a day poverty rate has risen in Eastern Europe and Central Asia since 1981, though with signs of progress since the late 1990s...

The uneven progress of development is worrying. The flows of trade and capital that integrate the global economy may bring benefits to millions, but poverty and suffering persist. Responding to such concerns, governments and international development agencies have begun to reexamine the way they operate. In September 2000, 189 countries signed the Millennium Declaration, which led to the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The MDGs are a set of eight goals for which 18 numerical targets have been set and over 40 quantifiable indicators have been identified. The goals are:

Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
Achieve universal primary education
Promote gender equality and empower women
Reduce child mortality
Improve maternal health
Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and other diseases
Ensure environmental sustainability
Develop a global partnership for development.

While each goal is important in its own right, they should be viewed together as they are mutually reinforcing. Achieving them will require building capacity for effective, democratic, and accountable governance, protection of human rights, and respect for the rule of law. The World Bank will systematically monitor progress in achieving these goals in the countries it assists (see the Millennium Development Goals website for more detail on the MDGs)."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

It's All About How You Look At It: Turn Things Upside Down

"This video was created for the AARP U@50 video contest and placed second.  It is based on the Argentinian Political Advertisement "The Truth" by RECREAR."

Go here to see the Argentinian Ad here.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Power of One Man's Dream

He had a dream to change the world in which he lived.  He is gone, yet, I still believe. 

I have a dream to change the world in which I live.  To end poverty, suffering, and ignorance world-wide.  I may only be one person with only one voice, but I can, no, I choose to make a difference.  I dare to dream with him.

Do you believe?  Do you dare to change your world with one shared dream?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Words From the Wise

“Poverty is the worst form of violence.”

Saturday, January 16, 2010

How to Fight Poverty: Some Research

Here are few sites/articles that I have found that I will be spending time over the next few weeks perusing.  I hope you find them helpful and educational.

Friday, January 15, 2010

The Right To Grief

by Carl Sandburg

To Certain Poets About to Die

Take your fill of intimate remorse, perfumed sorrow,
Over the dead child of a millionaire,
And the pity of Death refusing any check on the bank
Which the millionaire might order his secretary to
     scratch off
And get cashed.

     Very well,
You for your grief and I for mine.
Let me have a sorrow my own if I want to.

I shall cry over the dead child of a stockyards hunky.
His job is sweeping blood off the floor.
He gets a dollar seventy cents a day when he works
And it’s many tubs of blood he shoves out with a broom
     day by day.

Now his three year old daughter
Is in a white coffin that cost him a week’s wages.
Every Saturday night he will pay the undertaker fifty
     cents till the debt is wiped out.

The hunky and his wife and the kids
Cry over the pinched face almost at peace in the white box.

They remember it was scrawny and ran up high doctor bills.
They are glad it is gone for the rest of the family now
     will have more to eat and wear.

Yet before the majesty of Death they cry around the coffin
And wipe their eyes with red bandanas and sob when
     the priest says, “God have mercy on us all.”

I have a right to feel my throat choke about this.
You take your grief and I mine—see?
To-morrow there is no funeral and the hunky goes back
     to his job sweeping blood off the floor at a dollar
     seventy cents a day.
All he does all day long is keep on shoving hog blood
     ahead of him with a broom.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Haiti Needs Our Help. Remember the Power of Only One Makes A Difference

What can I do to help?

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

"What would it cost to help just one person hang on?"    Not only do I pose this question to you, my readers, but also it's for me, too.  Really, I am asking myself this question.  What can I, no, SHOULD I do to help just one person or one family in my own city?

I am so blessed. I have money, not alot, but enough to meet and to exceed the basic needs of my family.  Perhaps I could choose to give up Pizza Night just ONE time this month to donate the money I would have spent at Papa Johns to the local food bank or other local charity?  Maybe if I skipped Starbucks just two times a week for ONE month and put that money where my coffee drinking mouth was, I might actually help someone meet a basic need for her family. Maybe I might help to bring comfort for just one minute.

Poverty is a reality for 1 out of 8 americans.  That means when I look out into my classroom of 25 students, THREE of them are living at or below the poverty level.  Their entire family is struggling to put food on the table, gas in the tank, and heat in the house, all the while praying that no one needs to go the doctor or the hospital.  God forbid.  If they are worried every waking moment about meeting just the basic needs of everyone in the family, no wonder some of them come to school without supplies, homework incomplete, and a chip on the shoulder with the whole world's name on it.

This presentation was sponsored by the Catholic Campaighn for Human Development.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

One Man's Trash is Another Child's Sad Reality

Poverty does more than just snatch food from a child's hand.  Poverty robs the child of the joy of youth.  It blinds him from seeing the path God has set before him.  Poverty steals his future.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Poverty of the Soul

“We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.”

~Mother Teresa

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Poverty in the United States: It Does Exist

Often times, when we think of poverty, we picture starving children in Africa, the slums of Brazil, or the Untouchables of India.  Rarely do we picture the the poor living (as well as starving and dying) in our own country, our own cities.  But poverty is the reality of MILLIONS within one of the wealthiest countries in the world.  Although the United States is ranked #10 in world (based on the gross domestic product per capita-PPP), there exists extreme poverty in our country.

  • 35.9 million live below the poverty line; 12.9 million of those are children.
  • The poverty threshhold for a family of four is $16, 600 annual income.
  • The poverty rate varies from 8.7% (suburbs) to 18.5% (inside central cities). 
  • The poverty rate is double or quadruple for minority groups; 12.5-26.1%. 
  • Although there is an abundance of food in the USA, 100 BILLION pounds of food are wasted annually. 15% of this food is still within the expiration date but never opened.
  • 20% of all American food goes wasted, averaging 130 pounds per person ending up in the landfills.
  • 3.5% of all American households experience hunger, often times with the people of these households skipping meals or eating too little.  This is 9.6 million people, 3 million being children.
--statistics from

It is unimaginable that the poverty levels are this high in a nation so wealthy and abundant in resources and infrastructure.  Let's ask ourselves what are simple steps that we can take to make a difference.  Perhaps, while at the grocery store we should purchase what is only needed for that week to prevent further waste of perfectly good food.  Also, at the store, we could add just a few cans of healthy food to our baskets to donate to the local food bank. 

To become actively involved in your community's fight against poverty and hunger, here are a few links to get you started:

--The Power of One

Saturday, January 9, 2010

The Heart of Mother Teresa

“If you can't feed a hundred
people, then just feed one.”

Friday, January 8, 2010

If The World Were A Village

If the world were a village, what does the world look like? The Minature Earth Project created a video to let you know the reality of so many in our world.  Watch this video.  See where you stand.  Look at your neighbors.  Decide, "What will I do?"  Do you reach out or do you just go home, ignoring those "others" who live in your village?

I am wondering.  What if we honestly looked at the world as simply just one village, all of us neighbors, just with different experiences?  It seems if we looked at those suffering in the world as our neighbors, rather than "those people over there" that we might feel more compelled to reach out, move beyond our comfortable lives to make a difference, to create a better world. 

I watch this video, see the numbers and do the math.  How heart breaking to realize that so few have so much, while the many have so little, suffering greatly.  It is heart breaking that I have done so little to help my neighbors and my neighhbors' children.

Then, I remember change is not impossible, nor is it improbable.  Each one of us can light a single candle bringing more light into this world.  It takes just one flame of hope to stop the dark.

--Power of Only One

Thursday, January 7, 2010

The Power of One

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Making a Difference One Life at a Time: Hearts and Hands International

I have found another website that I will be spending time exploring over the next few weeks.  Hearts and Hands has created an interactive website, including a blog and use of social media, to promote the empowerment of everyday people in becoming involved with children at risk across the globe. 

If you look below, I have provided a video clip that will give you a general overview of the organization.  I would also encourage you to browse the website.  The website details current projects of the organization, provides opportunities for involvement, and provides links with news articles. 

--The Power of Only One

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Bono's ONE

I have found another excellent webiste:  ONE ( co-founded by Bono.  It is yet another example of a grassroots movement aimed at ending poverty and preventable diseases, with a goal to "achieve change through advocacy" by working with policy-makers and activists .  This non-partisan organization focuses particularly on poverty in Africa.  However, their emphasis is not charity, rather ONE emphasizes "justice and equality."

According to the website:

"How does ONE's advocacy work?

ONE members mobilize at key moments - when a critical piece of legislation is up for a vote in Congress, or when world leaders gather at important summits like the G8, or when an emergency occurs like the global food crisis. Online at and working on the ground in local communities, ONE members take action to ensure the issues of the poorest of the poor - issues that can often go unnoticed - are heard by our neighbors and addressed by our leaders. By taking part in ONE Sabbath, churches, temples, synagogues and mosques will make a vital contribution to this movement and make a difference in the fight against poverty and disease."

This site offers opportunities to become actively involved in the fight against poverty, as well providing a wealth of information on the key global issues impacting poverty. This interactive site provides opportunities to:  lobby Congress, encourage local media participation, and recruit and organize other indviduals to help spread the efforts of this movement.  You could do something as simple as writing a letter or making a call to your representative or wearing a ONE t-shirt.  Also, if you are interested in having a better understanding as to the causes of global poverty, ONE provides clear and concise information on issues such as:  AIDS/HIV, Climate and Development, Water and Sanitation, Debt Cancellation, etc.

I find ONE to be a very interactive and user-friendly site with a very appealing design.  It also taps into the power of social media;  ONE has a blog and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, & MySpace.  It even allows people to subscribe via RSS for One Blog, What Were Reading, and Policy News to help member stay up to date with current issues affecting this movement.

For those of you who feel convicted that poverty is more than a social issue, rather the issues of justice and equality are spiritual in nature, this website even provides a means for you to involve your congregation or a small group within your congregation, through the ONE SABBATH.  Although ONE is a secular group "it has deep roots in the faith community."

Here is yet just one more opportunity to explore how to strengthen and to apply your own Power of Only One.  I highly recommend you check out this sight for yourself.  I plan to spend even more time on it myself, especially exploring the wealth of information it provides.  I think not only will the Power of Only One Blog benefit, but also my students will have a richer and better understanding of global issues as I become an even more informed teacher (and private citizen).  Looks like I have found another site/blog to add to the Blog Roll.

--Power of Only One

Monday, January 4, 2010

Light Just One Candle

"It is better to light one candle than to curse the darkness."

          --Motto of the American Christopher Society,
             derived from Chinese proverb

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Power of Your One Can Fight Global Poverty

The staggering reality of global poverty:

  • 25,000 children under the age of 5 die each day due to poverty-related causes.
  • Unsafe water and lack of basic sanitation cause 80% of all sickness and disease, and kill more people every year than all forms of violence, including war. Nearly 900 million people do not have access to clean water.
  • Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.
  • Seventy percent of those living on less than $1 per day are women.
  • Each year, more than 8 million people around the world die because they are too poor to stay alive.
  • One third of deaths...are due to poverty-related causes,

However, with the power of only one person, YOU can make a difference. Did you know, through a donation to One Day’s Wages, a ONE-time gift of $100 can provide either 5 people clean water for 20 years, buy 10 people a mosquito bed net to protect against malaria, enroll 2 children in school for a year, or provide a woman a sewing machine and job training?

Perhaps with this ever changing and volatile economy, you and your family simply cannot afford even $10, let alone the $100. That’s okay, too. There is still the power of only one through actions.

Use the Power of Only One to:

  • Become ONE follower of this blog and pass along its message to at least ONE person.

  • Write ONE letter to your U.S. Senator or House Representative expressing your desire for global change and an end to world poverty.

  • Donate ONE hour of ONE day at a local shelter.

  • Donate ONE dollar at the check-out at the grocery store for the local food bank. 

Always remember, "A waterfall starts but with one drop, and look what becomes of that."

--The Power of One

Saturday, January 2, 2010

One Day's Wages Fights Global Poverty & So Can You

I am only one person! 
What can I do to help end world-wide poverty? 
I am a single mom and have very little money to spare. 
I am a busy father of three children; between work and all the kids' activities there is so little time to give to any organization.

Does this sound like you?  I get it.  I'm a single mom with a full time job and two children who are active in martial arts.  It seems there is never enough time or money for all that we need to accomplish in our own lives.  But, I bet you are like me and feel the need to contribute to postive change in this world.  This is the world we are leaving to our children.  Our actions today will be the inheritance of the generations that come after us.  I want to make it a better place for not just my children and their future offspring, but all the children in the world.

Thanks to Monica at A Pair of Panties and Boxers I have found a very simple way to help, a way that will have a dramatic and positive impact on the fight against global poverty.  One Day's Wages is a movement inspired by the convictions of Eugene and Minhee Cho to make positive change in the world after seeing the reality of extreme poverty in the eyes of the people during their travels.  "One Day's Wages (ODW) is an international grassroots movement dedicated to ending extreme global poverty."

Please watch the following video to better understand this great opportunity to be a part of world-wide change, a change that will help those who need it most, leaving a better inheritance for your children.

Today I encourage you to visit One Day's Wages, learn about the movement, and become empowered to make positive, world-wide changes in the fight against poverty with the power of only one day's wages.

--The Power of Only One

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Power of Only One: Day 1--The Launch

Who am I to DARE to make a difference? I am only one of 6,793,724,593 people on this blue marble. Over 5 billion of these people live on less than $10 a day and live in countries where the gap between the rich and the poor continue to widen. Over 3 billion people live on less than $2.50 a day.  40% of the poor account for 5% of the world’s wealth, whereas 20% of the wealthiest account for about 75% of the world’s income.

Who am I to DARE to make a difference in a world where 25, 000 children die daily due to living in poverty? 28% of the world’s children are underweight and stunted due to malnourishment, most of these coming from Africa and South Asia.  Many of the world’s children not only suffer from the malnourishment of poverty, but also live in a world without education. As of 2005, 57 billion primary school-aged children in developing countries were not enrolled in school, 57% these being young girls.

Who am I to DARE to make a difference in the world where the children suffer on daily basis because of extreme poverty? According to “1 billion children live in poverty (1 in 2 children in the world). 640 million live without adequate shelter, 400 million have no access to safe water, and 270 million have no access to health services. 10.6 million died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (or roughly 29,000 children per day).”

Who am I to DARE to make a difference in a world with so much suffering and the odds off success seem insurmountable with global efforts, let alone the efforts of just one person? I will tell you who I am to DARE to make a difference. I am not a company or a non-profit organization. I am just one. One person. One mom. One teacher. One American. One Texan. One daughter. One sister. One friend. One member of the human race who has challenged herself to save the day, one word, one post at time with the POWER OF ONLY ONE.

What was the impetus that compelled me to tap into the Power of Only One? It started with this post at Monica’s blog A Pair of Panties and Boxers. Also, as I did research, I was reminded of and read inspirational stories of THE ONE making a difference. I bet you have all heard the story of the woman on the beach trying to save the starfish one at a time. Someone also walking on the beach challenged her, saying she couldn’t possibly make a difference. The woman responded “But I made a difference for that one” as she threw it back into the sea.

One of my favorite movies, one that I share with my students, is the Power of One, loosely based upon the novel by Bryce Courtenay. In this story, Peekay seeks to make changes of Apartheid–era South Africa. Again, when the character is faced with the challenge that one person cannot make big change, he discovers that “A waterfall starts but with one drop, and look what becomes of that.” Finally, I found wisdom and truth in Mother Teresa’s words, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.”

There is hope and strength in facing the challenge of THE POWER OF ONLY ONE. I may be only one person who changes only one life on this planet, but it will make a difference. It is my goal to reach each one of you, encouraging you to join me on this journey. Imagine what could happen if each of us empowered just one person to a better life. Oh, what a mighty waterfall of change we could create.

I hope to see you here on a regular basis. Feel free to contact me at powerofonlyone (at) gmail (dot) com if you have any questions, suggestions, or ideas. Here’s to the Power of Only One on January ONE of the brand new year.

--The Power of Only One