Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Poverty As Told Through Youth Voices

By David Hylton, Public Relations Specialist

Adults can try their best to explain to you how poverty is such a bad thing, but do you really believe what you’re hearing? We can give you the statistics and results from a study, but what does that mean?

To understand poverty and to be moved to take action to fight poverty, you have to hear about it first hand. The quote we left you with earlier today is only a small part of what poverty does to children. Here is how a group of youth in a CCF program in Honduras views poverty.

Wilmer, 15
Poverty is a problem that has been going on for a long time. Poverty is most damaging to young people, leading them to drugs, alcohol and other vices. Poverty is something that has not been controlled in our municipality. We have seen how this situation causes damage to children and youth due to discrimination by not having a roof, food and a decent life for a human being.

Poverty is manifested through malnutrition. Malnutrition is something that has not been controlled due to lack of resources to combat it. Lack of education is another manifestation of poverty in our town. Education is something that can help us reduce the force of poverty, and hence contribute to the development of our region.

Unemployment is also a product of poverty. By not having work, the person responsible for the household is not able to bring food to his or her family

Edgardo, 13
Poverty is a different condition that drives poor people to seek outlets in life. This continues to be the most humiliated condition by society. Poor people live in conditions in which they lack food, housing, clothes and health. By not having the opportunity to have what the rich have, poor people, and most of all young people, seek refuge in gangs and even steal to support their families. Children suffer when they become ill because there is no money to buy medicine.

Poverty is manifested by not having an education because of lack of money. Malnutrition is what most concerns because there is no food. People suffer because of ignorance in their minds, which brands them for life.

Idania, 14
Poverty is one of the things that greatly affects children, young people and adults. It is everywhere and limits the development of the communities. Poverty obstructs education, health and our way of life. Poverty makes you think that you are not the same as the others. Opportunities for the poor are also fewer.

In my municipality you can see that children have no clothes; their food is not good; there is no adequate medicine; there are no jobs; children sell vegetables on the street in order to make some money and not endure hunger; and children are malnourished.

Delmy, 14
I believe that poverty does not allow us to be better – it denies us the opportunity to be better people. It makes us live hungry, with no clothes and no medicine. That makes the non-poor see us as rare and that we don’t belong to society.

Poverty is seen in people that do no have adequate and safe housing. People eat a little so that the rest of the family can eat. Some don’t have the opportunity to learn to read and write. Sometimes people are forced to steal because of the difficult situation.

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