Understanding poverty

I’m very anti Charity if you’ve read my previous articles its pretty obvious but today I thought I would look at it from another perspective. The “Look after our own first” which I have heard many times in the UK. I’ve got into discussions with people about the medical service after a discussion on helping others and asked how many Filipinos have they seen if ever in a hospital? the reply always comes back lots,loads or whatever else.. simply the NHS relies on not only Filipinos but Malaysian, Pakistani, Indian and many other countries for its doctors, nurses and 101 other roles to keep it running but where do they come from really? I was watching a video on the medical agencies from the Philippines and most people would assume people are going to college then applying to go overseas before heading off to new pastures right?? Wrong.. what about the specialists? There was an entire burns unit team that have all left the one hospital for jobs abroad and its pretty much stripping away at the resources and infrastructure of the Philippines medical service. Same could be said for most other industries but you are literally talking life or death with medical services. So “Look After Your Own First” could just as easily mean take all the resources from one country to benefit ones self. The poverty trap in many of the countries is simply not down to just food but a stripping away at its skilled labour. Want a job done?? Well as I found in the Philippines you will have to do most of them yourself because of a lack of skilled staff. I’m lucky my father in-law is very hands on with the tools and a competent welder but makes me wonder what if he wasn’t. How much would I be paying to get jobs done and how much supervision would I need to do?

Now getting back to poverty I can only base my information on the Philippines and a lot of people are very negative about people because of a misunderstanding of the problems. The Nipa huts most people live in especially provincial is a natural habitat on the islands because of its natural ability to keep cool during the heat so thinking that everyone needs a concrete house or some other structure is a misconception as cooling it can be very expensive and well out of the reach for the average person. But a combined unit or other materials could make the difference at little cost. The other thing is the landscape can be pretty harsh I have been fighting off ants for nearly two years and still not won the battle. The heat causes a lot of damage to property so this is another reason simple designs work. As replacing parts are a lot cheaper could you imagine building a house for £500 in the UK??

Working out of poverty is the way things need to go and I have been struggling and toying with ideas to find things that could work. There are a lot of local gaps in the market that could make a difference but also there is scope for business development. If your keen to start a business or develop an idea I am keen to get involved as I can see this being the future of the Philippines or at least Minglanilla for now. Jewellery is a project most charities seem to get involved in and I would be more than happy to help organise wholesale ordering to help some of the people improve they’re lives. There is a myth people are just standing around waiting for handouts but in reality they want direction, education, assistance not handouts. Today a report was announced stating there are over One Billion People in Poverty worldwide the increase was caused by the financial crisis and the fact that developing nations are becoming more involved in the global market place and thus become affected more with its ripples. Biggest problem being inflation and if your living in the UK or on Sterling in the Philippines you know exactly what the affects are but at least you can head to the UK and wait for things to improve.

Charities generally operate on short-term goals and just sustain that level of help where possible which is not only counter productive but feeds the problem instead of fixing it. People need skills and an ability to start rebuilding. The Lost Boys was a film I seen last year to do with boys who escaped Sudan and ended up stuck in refugee camps before America allowing them to go there. You need to watch it to understand it simply because its on so many levels. But it ends up with people wanting to go and help their own country after gaining education and helping to build and fund things back home. The Philippines has a slightly different system called the OFW`s which are Filipinos who work and live abroad paying for families back in the Philippines around 10 million people are doing this and this doesn’t take into account people like myself who are foreigners with families living in the Philippines. The sad things are we are the lucky ones. Imagine if you have no member of your family with good education and stuck in the poverty trap. Maybe you go gathering plastics and metals off a dumpsite all day just to feed your family, your stuck in the cycle and as your children grow older so do you so the roles then become reversed and your children then have to take care of you and now they are collecting the scraps. May sound bizarre but for many its true truth is “Look after our own first” means live in ignorance of others or “I’m alright Jack”. But it also doesn’t mean you have to give to charities there are people doing things directly or you could look to do something that isn’t even charity. What about selling jewellery part-time and you could be making an income at the same time? what about custom made clothing or other textile clothing ? Imagine a business with no rich boss with poor workers but a co-operative business. Imagine people being grateful for the opportunity to work and work hard for it. Imagine you could make a real difference. Imagine you don’t have to rely on corrupt governments or paying for some CEO of a charity organisations lunch. But its upto you… the choice is continue to imagine or really do make a difference… anyone wanting to make a change I will help 110% as I see the Philippines as my home and the Filipinos as my friends, family and country folk. Things can change but you need to make that your goal or aim.. not just talk.