Can We Win The Poverty War

In the middle of a pandemic what has been ringing in my ear is the sound of the leaders keep repeating that we are in this together. We are on the same boat. But the truth is we are not. As the pandemic extends, there has pushed many people to the extreme break. Yet most of us are just blinded but still insist on holding on to our greed.

Humanising Statistics 

When it comes to financial management, that’s what it is based on the statistics. When you meet an Insurance agent, the first thing they will share is the statistical average cost of hospitalization, cancer care, after care etc. The same thing if you were to meet an Unit Trust Agent, the average cost of savings you need to be able to retire, future education cost, housing cost, car cost etc. They blurred you out with the statistics like that what matters the most.  Is it? Because I have a medical card, insurance, a car, a house, I have invested and I was told that having all the money in the world can lead me towards “FREEDOM”. The truth is every time you climb a mountain the true happiness is reaching the peak and you can’t stay at the peak for long. You got to go down and in search for a new mountain to climb. So the drama will be replayed all over again. Statistics can’t show you that but human stories can. 

The fear of being poor 

Every single day. In the news. It is being broadcasted how the rich are helping the poor. How there have been thousands of loads of aids are being given to them to help aid their “BURDEN”. Financial planners love this kind of news. They love that when this is fed in the mind of the people, most of them will take advantage and use it. Sometimes even the multi-level-marketing scheme people love using this news to fuel their own greed. By feeding that fear makes many and many businesses thrive and many stranded with their finances. Thinking that, they could avoid or climb out of poverty. 

Studies have shown that negative news is more likely to be perceived as truthful. Since negative information draws greater attention, it also may be seen as having greater validity. This might be why bad news seems to garner more attention.”

We can never help people who don’t want to help themselves

I stop watching the news and stay far away from any source of news. (I’m even thinking of leaving that chat group that keeps sharing negative news.) As much as, I want to end poverty. Placing all my anger at how it is possible that I’m living in a country where there are people suffering from obesity and starvation. It is not possible to ever force people to change. No matter what intervention is put into place. No matter how much aid is given sometimes it will always be abused. A small percentage of them will be really grateful and a small glimpse of hope that they won’t be struggling for long. But 70% of the time they will go back to poverty. But that does not mean that we can’t give them a decent place to live. The basic needs to live. Food, shelter and a clean set of clothes. 

 

We have to start giving more than greed

The people are suffering for far too long. The greed just has to stop. How many more empty rooms one needs? How many cars do you even need to get from point a to point b? How many more things that are collected in the house that you need to satisfy our empty souls? 

People, real life humans are dying from the same health reasons that can be avoided with a little help.  

 

“A total of 29,698 units of completed houses, out of the 127,604 units launched with a value of more than RM18 million, were reported to be unsold in the first quarter of year 2020.”

-Housing and Local Government (KPKT) Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Abdul Muttalib.

Building free housing shelter 

We do have the necessity budget to allocate better housing for everyone to live better. Is it weird we live in a world where there are so many unsold houses and still people are living in the street? Budgets are being placed solely on building larger road works and enhancing the government buildings so I solely believe there is a budget to be allocated to enhancing shelter. Just like addict’s are given an intervention program to further assist them to beat their addiction, I believe having an intervention program to help people out of poverty is also possible. A 3 months intervention program that comprises free housing and education also finances to support them to get out of the current poverty state. Intervention that comes with a lifelong coaching program to make sure they are on the right track and all financial decisions are screened as well. Creating a community of support that can lean on each other to grow out of poverty. Beginning from the early interventions from professionals towards making it a community lead program.

It is possible and can be done with strong leadership enforcing this belief. China has set an ambitious goal to get rid of extreme poverty in their 13th five-year plan. Another country combating the same issue is Indonesia. Indonesia sees it as one of the biggest obstacles in developing a sustainable future and with this inequality they are determined to further reduce it. The end goal here is not to make one particular party look good for helping the poor. We need a sustainable long term plan to almost guarantee that it will never happen again, or at least to further reduce the poverty rate to the lowest point in history. We are not talking about someone living halfway across the world here. This is happening right in our neighborhood and we are keeping a blind eye on how extreme and desperate the people are in these tough times. We wouldn’t want a riot on the street of hungry people, because once they got nothing to lose, they are willing to break all rules in order to survive. 

 

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