Millions of innocent people across the globe suffer from poverty; in order to alleviate it, the root cause must be dealt with.
“736 million people lived below the international poverty line of US $1.90 a day in 2015,” un.org stated in an article titled, “Ending Poverty.”
I believe that one of the most essential ways we can help those struggling in poverty is to educate those people and help provide them with jobs.
High school senior, Kaitlyn Crawford explained how her sister was a teacher at a school in Zambia, Africa, and upon visiting her sister there, she learned the importance of education for people in poverty as opposed to giving them money and food.
Oftentimes, people think that supplying those in poverty with blankets, toys, food and money is the best way to alleviate it. Although doing these things can be very beneficial, many times it hurts those people because it causes them to be reliant on a source other than themselves for their daily needs.
Instead, we should be creating jobs for these people, explaining to them the importance of having jobs, and aiding them in receiving jobs.
Freshman Kay Rideout grew up in Niger, Africa, and saw poverty on a daily basis. She explained how she often saw the negative impacts of Americans’ attempts to help the less fortunate.
“The truth is that if you don’t address the root cause, the outcome of that is going to be the same,” Rideout said.
Rideout explained how from her perspective, the root cause of poverty is often a lack of education or jobs. One of the most important things wealthy people can do is use their resources to create education and jobs for these people.
In his article titled, “Helping Work Reduce Poverty” published in National Affairs, Ron Haskins described an analysis he conducted of factors thought to affect poverty.
“Increasing work rates had by far the biggest impact in reducing poverty,” he writes. “In many similar analyses using different approaches and data from different years, all our modeling work showed that the most effective way to reduce poverty is to increase work rates,” Haskins concluded.
Haskins stressed the importance of developing successful job programs and providing job experience for those who are unable to find jobs on their own.
So, what are people doing with this information? It’s not exactly the easiest thing to walk outside and hand a bunch of poor people jobs.
Samasource is an organization founded by Leila Janah whose mission is to move people out of poverty through digital work.
According to the Samasource website, members of the organization are first provided with training and support through which they learn digital literacy and other essential skills. Next, they are employed and earn a living wage. They develop work experience that they can take to future jobs. Three years after starting, workers at the organization multiply their earnings by about four.
"Handouts are not going to end global poverty. But work–dignified, living wage work just might," Janah wrote.
Organizations like Samasource are so essential to reducing poverty. Not only is the organization providing jobs for people struggling in poverty, but they are providing education, which allows them to get jobs at other companies in the future.
Year Up is a different program that strives to reduce “the opportunity divide” as they call it on their website.
Year Up's mission is to close the Opportunity Divide by ensuring that young adults gain
the skills, experiences, and support that will empower them to reach their potential
through careers and higher education,” the Year Up website reads.
People must know and understand what is and isn’t helping those in poverty. Ignoring poverty is a selfish act; it is vital that wealthier people figure out what can be done to help and take action.
I believe that every person deserves a chance in this world, and the provision of jobs and education to people in need is an incredible way of doing that.
“It’s easy to forget what a powerful influence poverty is and really how devastating it is because unless you’ve lived it or seen it firsthand a lot, it’s easy to forget,” Kay Rideout said.