Blog Action Day -08 POVERTY
Heavy topic - but so important!
What does a middle-class girl from the suburbs know about poverty? Not much I can tell you that - I grew up in a family which didn't have everything easy - Dad had a professional job, which he seem to hate, but stayed there until retirement; Mum did shift work at a yucky factory, just so they could put us kids through private school education. We never had take-away meals, we never went on holidays, we always had crappy cars. Did I know poverty? Nup.
Now, money is easier to come by and my children's lifestyle is quite different to what I remember mine being. Presents are lavished on them by all relatives, their bedrooms are full of 'stuff', they have drama lessons, music lessons, ballet and jazz lessons, Girl Guides - do they want to do something, try something new; sure why not? Do they want sushi for dinner; a trampoline in the backyard, a new pair of glasses; sure, we can do that!
Don't get me wrong - 'No' is a word often said in my house. I emphasise that because I don't want anyone to think that my kids are overindulged, maybe spoilt, winging, have everything just because I can, kinda kids - OH NO.
BUT - we DO have so much - we as a household, as a street, as a suburb, even as a city, have SO much.
A person said on TV today that there are 1 Million people below the poverty line in Australia - ie earning less that aprox. $270 a week for a single, $670 per week for a family of four.
Is this you? Can you imagine?
That is aprox. 5% of Australians are living in poverty; including 400,000 children.
Australia - the lucky country, beautiful, wealthy, opportunites galore, The place to bring up children can still have such problems.
There are far far worse situations in other countries; but Australia is what I know.
Education and support - are the two best ideas from me to help minimise poverty. Will it ever be 'eradicated'; I doubt it, but give people the opportunity and I believe most will take it.
We give money to charities like everyone else does I'm sure - but do we give our mind and our heart and our actions? Not enough; that I'm sure of too.